Saturday, December 03, 2005

When the salt loses its flavor

The leaders of the Roman church are in no hurry for Jesus’ Second Coming. They know that on that day he will vent on the Vatican with the same anger he showed in the Temple on Palm Sunday. The cardinals and curialists have committed the sin of many religious leaders in numerous demonimations: they put man’s law above God’s.

Catholics are taught that salvation is only available through the sacraments. Today tens of millions of Catholics can no longer receive the sacraments regularly due to the priest shortage. And now it will only get worse, as every year millions more will die without benefits of the Last Rites.

Yet this pope and his predecessor have said, clearly and unequivocally, that the salvation of the many is secondary to preserving their clubby, clerical celibate clique. This points to one of two conclusions: either the sacraments are a fraud, or the church leaders are a fraud. Take your pick.

The worthy rabbi said, ‘Take this all of you and eat...’ The Roman church interprets that to mean only as long as the bread of life is delivered by those in possession of a penis who promise never to use it, and only as long as the recipient never thinks about sex, practices birth control or wears patent leather shoes. How did such a sweet, simple message – be at peace with yourself and love one another – ever become this miasma of Greco-Roman gobbledygook?

Educated in the Catholic school system from K to B.A., and having met several priests whose MMPI psychological profiles were off the charts, I try to be as understanding of the two percent who caved, as I am respectful of the 98 percent who were true to their Orders.

Consider the bind a priest is put in on the day of Ordination: commissioned to preach a gospel of love, he’s then forbidden any love in his own life. (I distinguish between the increasingly useless hierarchy and the increasingly demoralized local priests forced to transubstantiate baloney into the bread of angels.)

The developed world is in moral meltdown, and the leaders of the largest denomination this week turned their attention to the pressing issue of reviewing the church’s teachings on limbo. The tragedy is that in turning away from such institutional self-righteousness, many also reject the notion of righteousness itself.

Jesus said to the first bishops, “You are the salt of the earth, but the time may come when the salt loses its flavor and is to be tossed out and ground under foot.” That day has long since arrived.

Woe to you, doctors and lawyers of the church - you pious frauds. You mince about in your scarlet capes and ermine collars and look forward to your mansions in the Kingdom. Gentlemen, you have received your rewards.

Woe to you, doctors and lawyers of the church - you whitewashed tombs. You took a living faith and reduced it to a monumental irrelevancy. You took a gospel based on the law of love and transformed it into a pathological love of the law. You claim to walk in the shoes of the fisherman. Be advised, Simon Peter will hock a lugie on your loafers before you see daybreak inside the Pearly Gates.

Repent, gentlemen. And reflect carefully this Advent on the humility of the virgin, the faith of the shepherds, the integrity of the magi, and the innocence of the babe. And give serious thought to those lovely hermitages in Capadocia just waiting for your humble presence.

3 Comments:

Blogger Stephen A. Fuqua said...

Indeed, the salt has losts its savor.

Some believe that mystical event known as the Second Coming has already occurred. Writing to Pius IX, Bahá'u'llá said "O Pope! Rend the veils asunder. He Who is the Lord of Lords is come overshadowed with clouds, and the decree hath been fulfilled by God, the Almighty, the Unrestrained."

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