Friday, May 24, 2013

Francis' Wager? - Or - Ignore the atheist thing, focus on encounter

I have a new essay up on The Atlantic.

Money quote:
Perhaps the focus on atheism, as breathtaking has this issue has proven to be for the  media and the blogosphere, misses the more powerful concept at the core of Francis' homily: the culture of encounter. In the documents from the Second Vatican Council, as well as much older texts, one finds numerous explicit statements about our shared humanity, universal rights, and the necessity to find common ground. This idea of encounter lays out a pathway for us to locate and recognize those commonalities.
 What do you think?


William Fritz said...

The lines tying Christ the Redeemer to an exclusively Catholic form for his redemptive encounter with humanity are lines which are visible only through the prism of catholic doctrine. Francis rightly but simply observes that there were no box seats at Calvary. The sacrament of the supper doesn't deliver the gift, it delivers the invitation to acknowledge and trust the intention of its Donor. The 'common ground' is the Christ whom no church owns. Other 'common ground' only insults the redemptor as relatively unneeded. But the church Francis serves by definition cannot concur with me. It will silence him.

David Perry said...

Ecumenical Christian thought is actually pretty well developed among Catholics. Sure, there are MANY Catholics who disagree with such thought, but one can even see the hints of it emerging in the documents of Vatican 2. So I think you're wrong about him being silenced. Time will tell though.

I'm personally more interested in the ways that Francis is reaching outside the purely Christian framework, while retaining his identity as Catholic. A harder, but more significant, process.

Thank you so much for commenting.