the scribe felt it was high time for a whisper at the windfall of encomiums and love letters to John Paul II.
Like the Reagan death of 2004 – the Pope’s demise projects itself on global politics and little puppies in the backyard alike.
the scribe has never sensed this intimate link with the little fellow from Poland, so that his influence came as something of a shock.
And it also begs pointing out that, coupled with the Schiavo affair, nobody loves a good death more than the right-to-life crowd.
And what is it about the media and its tropism toward the same story? Suddenly everybody is in Rome as if a corpse was the most important thing going on.
For years this man traveled, wrote papal encyclicals, passed church law, and worked to influence world events. For years what you got were images of him ministering to large crowds coupled with voice-overs such as: "The Pope called for an end to war in the world," and end of story.
Nice of everyone to check in on him now that the party’s over.
Bush, of course, is loving the distraction. Abu Ghraib was assaulted head-on by insurgents and because the Pope passed on the feeding tube, every reporter on the planet is up the funeral story’s ass.
No great student of churches, the scribe will limit his comments to saying this man was energetic, even militant in his Catholicism, which is the better part of the job description.
In his advocacies and defenses the Pope’s position seemed natural to the churchman of any stripe.
He fought the good fight and struck the scribe as an even intellectual pope.
In a continuing effort to shed light on voices outside our own media bubble, we here at highwayscribery look elsewhere, returning with pearls your time is to valuable to waste tracking down.
Today we present an analysis from a priest who was punished with a year of "obsequious silence" and divested of his academic and editorial functions by the Vatican at one point in his career.
Leonardo Boff is a preacher of "liberation theology," which turns Christianity into a left-wing movement for uplifting the poor.
Boff’s article appeared on the Web site "Reds and Andalusians" (Rojos y Andaluces), which is tied to the Spanish Communist Party in some form or other. Weathered and toughened during a long battle with the Franco regime, few political groups possess the democratic bona fides of the Spanish Communist Party – even if they treat one another atrociously.
Anyway, Boff writes that JPII found a conservative bureaucracy at the Vatican he could do business with; people pushed out by John 23's reforms in the early 1960s. "Together they formed a pope/cleric block with the goal of imposing the restoration of identity and the old discipline."
He says the Pope, "rewrote canonical law so as to subject the entirety of the church to it, published the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church making official his own unitarian view of papal power [which was convenient since he was the Pope]. The Synod of Bishops were divested of power and subjected completely to Papal whim... he marginizalized the layman’s participation church’s decisions and denied full ecclesiastic citizenship to women, relegating them to secondary functions, always far from altar and pulpit. "
Boff writes that the Pope adopted a direction for the church based on an "Augustinian" world view that what is not subject to the church’s mediation does not count, because the church is a "natural doorway to supernatural salvation."
This world view put him at odds with liberation theologists, like Boff, who were plying their wares in Latin America circa the 1980s, putting liberation in the poor’s hands and relegating the church to a secondary, supporting role in that struggle.
"He was convinced," Boff says, "liberation theology was a Trojan horse for communism in the region, when the real problem had always been savage, colonial capitalism with its retrogade and anti-popular elites."
JPII pushed the church’s religious mission over its social crusade, says Boff.
There was a great gap between the Pope’s actions and teachings, Boff continues to hammer.
"Outwardly he acted as paladin to dialogue, liberty, and tolerance, he asked forgiveness for ecclesiastic errors, and gathered with leaders of other religions to pray, but inside the church he silenced the right of expression, prohibited dialogue, and produced a theology with
"The Pope’s political-ecclesiastic project did not resolve the grave problems presented by reform, modernity, and poverty," Boff closes, "He more likely aggravated them, setting back the eventual balancing of accounts."
Now in the real word where things are happening that will affect the living...
...Sen. John Kerry continues to use the wreckage and remnants of his presidential campaign to mount an opposition to the (p)resident.
In his goal to return our country to its mid-century condition of stable jobs, powerful unions, and social democratic cooperation (and the added fantasy of a functioning opposition), the highway scribe gives Kerry yet a little more love, because the senator seems to be the only one trying.
He has formed the "John Kerry Online Community" with his e-mail list, which he used to generate a petition carrying the weight of some 250,000 signatures during the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ("United in Dividing," March 16).
That failed, but opponents had both voice and vehicle.
Now he’s trying to prevent the (r)epublican party from eliminating the filibuster from Senate rules (which would be convenient since they are a majority) so the president can have his way on appointing judges. There’ll be an advertisement with all signers to a new petition in "USA Today", well, today.
the scribe’s name will be among them.
Here’s a bit from Kerry’s electronic call to action:
"Making President Bush's judicial nominations immune to a Senate filibuster is the next step in the GOP's arrogant, out-of-control grab for power. If Senator Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, can convince enough Republican Senators to go along, the nomination and confirmation of judges will become a tightly-controlled, one-party affair.
We're calling on Republican Senators to persuade their party's leaders not to pursue this reckless course.
If you haven't done so already, please act to personally support our call for an end to the wide-ranging Republican assault on constitutional principles."
And finally, we would be remiss in not mentioning that the scribe’s novel, "Vedette, or Conversations with the Flamenco Shadows" is a finalist in the 2004 "ForeWord Magazine" book of the year contest in the literary fiction category. "Vedette" is one of 11 left standing.
Here’s the cover of "Vedette" which you can buy at iUniverse.com and some of the better branded online booksellers. Soon enough we will link highwayscribery to the iUniverse so you can click and buy directly.