Thursday, 14 March 2013
Habemus Communicationis Defection est!
Habemus communicationis defection est!
(my Latin is a little rusty… but what I hope that I said was something to the effect of “We have a failure to communicate!”)
If I may, allow me to rant and respond to statements that you probably haven’t made, but somebody did!(Hey, it’s my blog)
He’s been Pope for less than 24 hours. Don’t be stunned that he hasn't swept through the Curia or cleaned up the Vatican Bank. That may take weeks.
I know that Francis is a name that speaks of humility and reform, but reform takes time and rarely looks like reform to those of us occupying or marching on the left. This Pope is apparently not swayed by Liberation Theology – it’s not the only theology available – but he has shown a devotion to the poor, even if not always in the right circles. We were never going to get a Pope Che.
Don’t worry about the name Francis. Nobody remembers the Donald O’Connor and Francis the Talking Mule movies. Really. Almost nobody….
Matthew Fox thinks that the Dalai Lama would have been a better choice as Pope. And he wonders why he was silenced by the Roman Catholic Church when he was a Priest and ultimately ex-communicated? Might have been his belief that Buddhists should the successors of the Apostle Peter (just sayin’). And, Rev. Fox, I have enjoyed and been influenced by many of your books, but your insistence that the Spanish Inquisition is alive and well is getting tiresome. Yes, the office continues (now called the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) and Pope Benedict was the head of it when he was a Cardinal, but they didn’t torture you; they made you get another publisher for your books. Not the same thing.
And Media… where do I begin?
The election of a Pope is not a reality show. It’s NOT Survivor, the Bachelor or Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s not a human endeavor; or a process of elimination in which the strongest, smartest, best looking or obnoxious survives. It is meant to be Divinely Influenced process: A gathering of individuals who strive to be open to the influence of God; the moving of the Holy Spirit. It’s not supposed to be about campaigning or strategizing – it’s about hearing the call of God. Not about plotting the growth of the company or re-visioning of the brand. And that confuses us…. This idea that it might not be all about us is hard to imagine. Even now, you’re thinking “yeah, but the Cardinals all had their favourites; the Pope stacked the deck with conservatives so that things would keep going his way….” I know that you’re thinking that, because I think the same thing. And then I remember how hard I tried to let go of my preconceptions when I was a Commissioner to United Church of Canada General Council and we elected a new Moderator. (kind of the same thing as a Pope, only without the authority, the great view of Rome and the red shoes… only Dorothy gets red shoes!). When it came time for us to elect a new Moderator, I prayed… I let go of my preconceptions… I didn’t vote my friends or my region… my gender or my sexual orientation or cultural background. And if I can do that, I am sure that a bunch of Cardinals can, too. I’m not that amazing. (well…. Maybe somewhat amazing).
I like the election of the Pope. It’s a reminder to me that there are people who take seriously that idea that God is active in the world… not just floating around in the sky endorsing and affirming our decisions; but actually gently calling and persuading us into a better future. Is that what happened with the election of Pope Francis? I don’t know… some folks think so. I hope so.
In the end, I don’t know if it really matters all that much what I think, I’m not a Roman Catholic. I married one and raised three - but the election of new Pope is not about me. We don’t really talk the same language - although clearly my Latin is fabulous (if you speak Latin, I just made a brilliant joke). It’s kind of like Walmart to me… I don’t like their labour policies or the power that they have over so many economies, so I don’t shop there. I don't hate Walmart, I recognize that many reasonable people think that Walmart has a lot to offer... but I choose not to spend my money or time there. But that's me...
And now that I've finished ranting, I really should get back to work.