February 21, 2019

Biggest News Shocks of Last Quarter Century

Off top of my head, these are the things that most surprised me over the past 25 years:

Resignation of Pope Benedict.  Lesson?: God knows.
9/11.  Lesson: They hate us, they really hate us. Also that modern evil does not always rely on half-assed emotion-based strategies.
O.J. found not guilty.  Lesson: Race relations is, was, and always shall be fraught.
Blue dress with DNA. Lesson: One person's trash is another's souvenir.
Catholic apologist's Bud MacFarlane's marriage. Lesson: religious orthodoxy does not guarantee much.

Update/Addendum:

Episcopal Prevarication: Lesson: Put not your trust in princes (of the Church)
Media Corruption post-Trump: Lesson: Flee to conservative media, fast as you can!

5 comments:

Anna said...

I have always thought that the papacies of JPII and Benedict XVI were given to us as two sides of the same coin. On the one side, you have JPII, who lived out his last days at the same time that Terri Schindler-Schiavo was being murdered. His lesson for the world in those days was that God has a plan for each person's life to the end, and that that plan holds whether one speaks with a powerful stage presence or has lost all that and is wheelchair-bound and drooling. No person is disposable.
Benedict gives us the other side: if the work is God's, it doesn't need *this* individual. How great the temptation for all of us to grip the reins! But God shows us through Benedict that He is the one leading the Church and it doesn't stand or fall on this or that man. Much like the last of the three parts in Tolstoy's "What Men Live By."

Two men to show that knife-edge both/and that you always get with the Church: no one is disposable, and yet... God is the one who works and we can step aside with peace and let Him get on with it. Just my two cents.

TS said...

Thanks Anna, that's certainly a good lesson to take from it.

I guess I looked at it more from the point of view as the papacy as a fatherhood and that fathers don't retire per se. I especially don't like a utilitarian idea where when someone is less "useful" in worldly terms - i.e. the Holy Father too old to travel to foreign countries - that that means he should step aside.

Anna said...

True about needing to fight the utilitarian miasma society is in. Been thinking a lot lately though, due to some things in my current life, about how all of us eventually (assuming we live long enough) will have to hand the decisions over to someone else: a mother superior ends her term and has to learn anew her vow of obedience, elderly parents have to let their kids make decisions on living arrangements and such. Even with our regular jobs, it's hard to see how anyone else could just replace us. And it's true that we all bring something really unique and irreplaceable to our jobs, vocations, friendships, etc. But the world doesn't stand or fall on us and I think that's what Benedict's resignation was trying to teach us.
Writing that, it makes me wonder how the people in the early Church felt when the last of the Apostles died... "Wait, we thought the world was supposed to end before this happened! What will we all do without that direct connection to Jesus?" Or maybe not, since the Apostles had dispersed to so many places and most people probably weren't keeping close tabs on them all.

Domenico Bettinelli said...

I'm surprised the clergy abuse scandal, and especially episcopal prevarication, isn't on the list. But maybe it wasn't a shock?

TS said...

Oh yeah that was a big miss. Not so much clergy abuse but I’m still gobsmacked about how bishops lie and McCarrick could’ve been promoted. Good catch.