Saturday, September 26, 2009

"we report, you decide."

"Racism," Cont'd.

So it seems, Memphis Bishop Terry Steib's flag-raiser of "racism" in the church got some brows raised after appearing in last week's edition of the River City's beloved Thursday Visitor.

Given the hubbub -- and after getting told that the Tennessee prelate "doesn't talk to the media" -- Religion News Service's Dan Burke landed a transcript of Steib's original comments courtesy of hometown freelancer Lou Baldwin, who broke the story in the Catholic Standard & Times.

Ergo, via Burke, according to Baldwin, here's the relevant portion:
"I ... know there is a subtle racism that still exists within our Church that leads to a mistrust of the Church among our young African American men and women. (snip)

"Slowly we are moving away from that mistrust to trust in our Church and thereby trust in the Universal Church. You may ask, 'What do you mean by subtle racism?' Well, recently and particularly because of the awarding of a degree to President Obama at the University of Notre Dame, the question [of] racism among the bishops of the country has been raised. I am only raising it because [retired San Francisco] Archbishop [John] Quinn in an article in the America Magazine said that continuing confrontation with President Obama and his administration sends the message that the bishops are insensitive to the heritage and continued existence of racism in America. Archbishop Quinn said that.

"When President Obama was inaugurated four buses full of African Americans Catholics drove for more than 19 hours to be present for the historic moment. But they felt that their celebration was muted because they had heard that so many of our bishops did not seem to understand the significant moment. They seemed not to understand what the whole world took to heart -- that President Obama's election was creating or beginning a whole new era that rejected racial stereotypes and it was opening the door to more embracing international relationships.

"But many of our Church did not share that jubilation. And this, people, I will admit to you too. Nothing was done during other administrations, nothing was said when other presidents who favored the war in Iraq with its constant killing, or who favored capital punishment were given awards in the name of the Church, even though those presidents were not adhering to Catholic Right to Life principles. Because of his clearly unacceptable stand on abortion many who are leaders in the church are willing to pillory President Obama with direct confrontation rather than with clear moral teaching about abortion and public law."
So, there's the script... and as they say "we report, you decide."

No comments:

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."