Eugene Kennedy Quotes
Benedict's spending down his energy was a function of his fighting against the Space/Information Age's relentless pressure on the concept of hierarchy, the restoration of which he had, following John Paul II, made a central part of the program that has come to be known as the reform of the reform.
From his first hours as pope, Francis has re-enacted or spoken of the great pastoral transformation of Vatican II as his own agenda.
St. Pope John XXIII called for the Second Vatican Council because he understood, as no Holy Father had in a long time, religion spoke to and found its language and symbols - its entire sense of the sacramental nature of existence - in the imagination that reveals not just the penalties of living, but the wonder and awe of our existence.
Human experience resembles the battered moon that tracks us in cycles of light and darkness, of life and death, now seeking out and now stealing away from the sun that gives it light and symbolizes eternity.
As in the Divine Right of Kings, hierarchies invest those who preside at the top of their pyramidal structure with absolute power to rule over the lesser ranks that spread down like a marble staircase to the broad foundation stones of those with no power at all.
Vatican II and the Space/Information Age began in the same eye blink of history, with John XXIII's opening speech of Vatican II on Oct. 11, 1962, following John F. Kennedy's call for a round trip to the moon a month earlier.
As dutiful bishops soon discover, authoritarianism, or control from the top down, characterizes the hierarchical tradition.
Wherever you find 'men together' - writing the rules, as at exclusive golf or other men's clubs, businesses, and lodges where they wear elaborate robes and funny hats - women are kept completely outside if possible and, when grudgingly admitted, to highly restricted areas or token status.
The world, more suffering than sinning, turns toward Pope Francis as in a conversation people turn to the person who is making sense of things.
The seminary of the future must relate itself to flesh-and-blood men, or it provides a framework that only talks about the people of God but never really shares life with them.
Our human experience, like the World War II Ultra code-breaking machine, catches the heavy traffic of messages about what we really do and what is done to us every day.
Bishops may often feel but cannot express the sting and throb of submitting themselves to Roman commands because the latter are always presented as tests of their loyalty to the Pope and of their absolute acceptance of his teaching authority, or Magisterium.
The object of religion is the imagination, that deep and inexhaustible font of our understanding and symbolizing our deepest possibilities.
Pope Francis reminds us of Pope John XXIII because both men share the same lack of self-consciousness, and neither needs to keep his guard up through the use of psychological defenses such as rationalization, projection or intellectualization.
Friendship is something whose depth fits human aspirations and fulfills human possibilities. It has heft to it, as a gold-piece does and a gambling chip does not.
9/11 revealed that those about to die do not seem afraid or plead for forgiveness for their sins, if they think about them at all. They all have one thing in mind - those they love - and they all do the same thing: They call them up - spouses, family or friends - to tell them they love them.
There would be no need for love if perfection were possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness, encouragement and that missing half of ourselves that we are searching for, as the Greek myth tells us, in order to complete ourselves.
Most ecclesiastical relics are fixed in time at the moment of their manufacture. That is why they are offered for veneration in casings that resemble pocket watches. They have lost their claim to mystery because they are so clearly the products of time.
In April, God speaks to us in the seas whose rhythmic murmuring fills our ears from a long way off. It was in April that the Titanic went down into the deep to lie like a slasher's victim, bleeding the 'debris field' - its passengers' personal possessions, the everyday things of everyman and everywoman - across the ocean's floor.
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