Thursday, September 17, 2009

Racism? Let's think about this


A Roman Catholic Bishop asserts that racism was behind the brouhaha surrounding Obama's invitation to Notre Dame

[...] Some racism still exists, [Bishop Terry Steib SVD of Memphis] said, and cited the recent furor in Catholic circles over the honorary degree awarded by Notre Dame University to Obama, who supports abortion on demand.

Other presidents have had disagreements with the positions of the Catholic Church, for example, in war policies and capital punishment, but have received honorary degrees without similar objection, he noted. It is the subtle racism that still exists which contributes to the lack of priestly vocations among young black men because “it leads to a mistrust of the Church among young black men and women,” he said. “Let’s acknowledge that.” .... [from The Catholic Standard and Times]


h/t Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."