April 30, 2002

I think the search for humility in the bishops is a vain search, for the humility gene is one they simply don't have. They are politicians, and we know that an admission of guilt from a politician requires a DNA-stained dress. The best we can hope for (and I think it HAS been achieved) is that they will not shuffle bad priests any more. They have gotten that message, even if they will not publically confess their sins. I have come to peace with that because I confess my sins in the privacy of the confessional and therefore will give them the right to do the same.

I think clerics look at the laity the same way a customer service manager looks at customers. Lay people require priests to work for them, they are needy. My uncle is a pharamcist and he says they all secretly loathe working with 'the public'. Isn't that what clerics do? But isn't that quite human? The customer makes demands, often unreasonable. As one customer service manager I know says, "The customer isn't always right, but the customer is always the customer". I'm not excusing this mentality at all, but I think anyone who works with the public everyday has to fight against an "us against them" mentality.

April 17, 2002

"Man can be defined as an animal that makes dogmas.
As he piles doctrine on doctrine and conclusion on conclusion
in the formation of some tremendous scheme of philosophy
and religion, he is, in the only legitimate sense of which the
expression is capable, becoming more and more human.
When he drops one doctrine after another in a refined
scepticism, when he declines to tie himself to a system,
when he says that he has outgrown definitions, when he
says that he disbelieves in finality, when, in his own
imagination, he sits as God, holding no form of creed
but contemplating all, then he is by that very process
sinking slowly backwards into the vagueness of the
vagrant animals and the unconsciousness of the grass.
Trees have no dogmas. Turnips are singularly broad-minded."

G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, Ch. 20

April 12, 2002

From Nat'l Review Online:
"Um, this is getting really weird. One month ago, a red heifer was reportedly born in Israel. Rabbis checked her out and found her to be unblemished. Apocalyptic types hardly need to be reminded that an unblemished red heifer is needed for the sacrifice to purify the Temple Mount for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, in anticipation of the Messiah's coming (or Second Coming, depending on which way you swing theologically). The Temple Mount, of course, is currently occupied by the Al-Aqsa mosque. You do the math; I'm headed for the hills, and hoping this is a hoax." Go here

April 09, 2002

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of hearts, there remains . . . an un-uprooted small corner of evil."- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago, "The Ascent"
Reflections on pedophile priests.....

Nietzche was so pious as a youth that he was called 'the little pastor'. Stalin was a seminary student. Do intensely spiritual environments produce either a Satan or a Judas or a Nietzsche or, contrarily, a Gabriel or Peter or Aquinas? Do religious communities produce either great saints or great sinners, whereas laymen & women are more likely to be mired in mediocrity?

Don't we humans only respect 'scarcity'? Did the priests begin to treat the sacred as profane due in part to their overfamiliarity with the sacred? Isn't that why God had the high priest only visit the Holy of Holies once a year in the O/T?