Daily Archives: May 20, 2011
Soon the Feast of Ascension will be upon us; it will be followed, soon after, by Pentecost.
When I used to live in Germany, these were both public feast days. Actually, at Pentecost the festivity was the following day.
I never can understand when even people who consider themselves religious manage to separate the calendar from their religious convictions. Religion is not a private matter, something that you remember only when you are closed in your own bedroom and pray. Religion is very much a public matter, and Christianity, with its inherent claim to evangelisation and expansion, is the most public matter of them all.
It is true that Christians would celebrate Christmas even if it wasn’t a public festivity; but it is also true that when a Christian festivity is a feast day the following happens:
1) the Christian character of a country is reaffirmed;
2) Christianity is forcefully put to the attention of non-Christians;
3) the Christian calendar moulds collective identity, even for non-churchgoers.
The idea that it be all right for Christians to celebrate, say, Labour Day or those insipid, utterly stupid, PC-stinking “bank holidays” we have here in the UK without pushing for their substitution with Christian holidays is, in my eyes, not very Christian. In my opinion, public feast days on, at the very least, Ascension, Pentecost, Corpus Domini and Assumption should be in the private list of grievances of every UK Catholic, and the first two in that of every Christian. The Catholic – and not only Catholic – hierarchy should push for the recognition of at least the first two in lieu of those stupid, politically correct, tofu-like “bank holidays” or, in case and when necessary, through the reduction of statutory holiday rights. They might, admittedly, not succeed in this generation, but their assertiveness would put Christianity high on the agenda and force the country to think about what it want to be, and what price it would pay if the wrong decision is taken.
These days, middle ways are difficult to maintain and – as I have heard saying – he who stays in the middle of the road risks ending up under a truck. Cue the calls for the abolition of Christmas as a festivity, or the renaming of Christmas markets as “winter lights” – or such bollocks – already seen all over England.
Christianity can’t be protected by half, and neutrality is of no use. You either fight for the Christian values of your country, or you will be forced in a rearguard battle by the ever complaining, now more and more aggressive atheists.
In countries like Italy – where the situation is not ideal, either – every city has a feast day on the day of his patron saint. Think of what this means: that the city puts itself under the protection of a saint, and that this is made clearly visible as a social, and not merely religious, event.
Feast days alone will, admittedly, not cause a country to become more Christian. But by clearly marking the Christian ground, they will at least make it more difficult for it to become less Christian, and will be a public call to conversion in times of licence and unbelief.
Christianity is not a private matter.
Shocking affirmation of the newly appointed chaplain of the United States Congress; unsurprisingly, a Jesuit.
Rev. Patrick Conroy is on record saying:
I never pray in the name of Jesus — except when I’m doing something Catholic — saying Mass, for example.
This would look like a serious case of schizophrenia, if it wasn’t just a normal case of being a Jesuit. A Jesuit like the chap tolerating homo masses in Manhattan, or like the chaps leading universities with links to Planned Parenthood, or like the chap denying the existence of Hell.
Interviewed for the liberal Huffington Post and – being a Jesuit – wanting to accommodate everyone and the devil, our hero of the day basically says that he prays in the name of Jesus only when he really must because of his profession but otherwise, hey, he is far too inclusive for narrow-minded acts like……… praying in the name of Jesus.
Someone of his confreres should explain to him the origin of his order’s name. If anyone still remembers it, or was taught it in the first place.
So we have a Jesuit appointed to a prestigious and exposed position, saying that Jesus for him is confined to the realm of strict professional duty. When he prays alone, or when he talks to others, he will simply ignore Jesus and pray – who knows – some other non specified, politically correct, inclusive, huffington-post-approved deity instead.
What this Jesuit (who might or might not be a Christian, but I doubt it) is basically doing, is:
1) denying Jesus in a way which, he thinks, wouldn’t automatically cost him his habit; he might be, unfortunately, right on his assumption, though if the Jesuits were still Christians I think the matter would look entirely different.
2) making of Jesus an embarrassment that he is ready to push out of the way whenever halfway practicable; and
3) making a clear statement of Assisi-I-style religious syncretism, in which Jesus is nothing more than a badge to wear on certain occasions, a particular aspect of one way to pray; basically, an option.
Of course, one must hope that the usual clarification will now hit the computer screens, explaining to us what a horrible misunderstanding this is and how “white” has clearly being misunderstood as “white” when it is clear that it means “black” instead. Only, no one – not even one who has probably long begun to forget what Christianity is, as I bet most Jesuit are doing – could have possibly conceived such an utterance without having a very clear idea of what the implications are and without asking for the text to be modified or, failing that, issuing a clarification together with the interview.
This has not happened; which means that Rev. Conroy is either blissfully unaware of what he has said, or doesn’t care a straw.
Yep, he must be a Jesuit.