Sunday, February 23, 2003

The Mommy Church-I might start a food fight over this, but this piece from Jesus Gil got me thinking.
You know there´s been a lot of comments lately about how Pope John Paul II is sticking his nose in where it´s not needed with respect to Iraq. Just a small comment on my part. I´m proud of Pope John Paul II and I´m proud that I belong to a Church that believes in peace. It amazes me that people somehow expect that it should be different. To that I say, wouldn´t it be a bit strange if it were otherwise? Wouldn´t it be bizarre if the Vatican said "let´s roll, let´s attack?" Instead, the message is, let´s first seek a peaceful way out of this. I find it odd, that this sort of message is mistaken by so many who think that the Church is saying no to war no matter what cost. That´s not what the Church is saying, instead it´s saying, and shouldn´t it always be the way of the Church and other religions, let´s seek to avoid war?
Yes, but there comes a point that war is better than the status quo, especially if you're dealing with evil people who don't respond to Christian virtues. There comes a time where the best diplomatic tool is a 2-by-4 applied upside the head, and we're near or at that point with Iraq. John Paul II is a credit to Christianity as a whole; he's fought the good fight against communism and liberalism and stuck to his guns on sexual issues where it wasn't popular. Even his economics is solid; a bit to the left of most evangelicals, but he's pointing out that the Church has the real answers, not the government nor the market. However, he and other Catholics officials seem to be overly diplomatic on geopolitical issues. A possible cause came to mine when I read Señor Gil's exerpt from a papal speech.
John Paul II asked all Catholics worldwide to pray the rosary, a "privileged instrument for building peace." With this appeal, the Pope concluded his Message for World Mission Sunday 2003, which will be observed Oct. 19. The message was published today. "War and injustice have their origins in the 'divided' heart," he writes. "Anyone who assimilates the mystery of Christ -- and this is clearly the goal of the rosary -- learns the secret of peace and makes it his life's project." "If the rosary keeps pace with the speed of our lives, it can become a privileged instrument for building peace in the hearts of persons, in families, and among peoples," the Pope adds. "With Mary, we can obtain everything from her Son Jesus," the message says. "Supported by Mary, we will not hesitate to devote ourselves generously to taking the proclamation of the Good News to the ends of the earth."
Could part of the Catholic emphasis on diplomacy come from the nurturing nature that comes from the focus on Mary? If you look at the two key differences between Catholic and evangelical politics is a Catholic emphasis on aiding the poor and their diplomatic streak; both can be explained by the more maternal praxis that devotion to Mary helps to give to Catholicism. Women tend to be less militaristic and more compassionate towards the poor; those traits seem to be more prominent in the Catholic church than most evangelical churches. In liberals, you can make the case that moral equalivience is the root cause of their pacifism, that the differences in righteousness between countries are so small that war isn't justified. You can't easily make that case with this Vatican. The Catholic church might be just well in touch with the feminine side. If we could just get Saddam to pray the Rosary, we might avoid a war. It was Schwarzkopf 's Hail Mary (more like Student Body Left; it wasn't a last-gasp play) that won the first Gulf War. I don't think the original Hail Mary is going to avoid this war, unfortunately.

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