God is the question

God is the question

What does it mean to accept that God is not the answer to anything, but remains the unanswerable question?

I re-watched Diarmaid MacCulloch’s brilliant tv series on the history of Christianity and liked his description of himself as a “candid friend” of Christianity. That is a label so many of us could wear. As the programme ended he observed that God is not the answer but is the question and I came across a couple of articles of the same mind. the first by Mark Vernon, in The Guardian ten years ago I reproduce below:

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He has routed the arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones

He has routed the arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones

The NCR questions whether the U.S. bishops, have the will to confront the now undeniable corruption in their culture.

The harsh reality couldn’t be avoided. The secretive, all-male, allegedly celibate clergy culture, where bishops can enjoy privileges once reserved for royalty and the extremely wealthy, was coming apart. There is no place left to hide.

The National Catholic Reporter of the USA says, in an editorial following on the sex abuse scandal, that after all of the denial, lying, cover-ups, excuses, promises to change, apologies for “mistakes made,” and looking for blame and causes in every imaginable corner of the church, the harsh reality can’t be avoided. The secretive, all-male, allegedly celibate clergy culture, where bishops can enjoy privileges once reserved for royalty and the extremely wealthy, was coming apart, the NCR believes and says there is no place left to hide.

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Whale Rider - a parallel Christmas story?

Whale Rider - a parallel Christmas story?

an ancient Maori cultural myth, the story of a long-awaited great leader who is coming to bring new life to a dying tribe

The film “Whale Rider” (directed by Niki Caro, New Zealand, 2002) just released on DVD opens with an unusual birthing scene and invites a parallel with the Christmas story. The gentle voice of a young girl narrates an ancient Maori cultural myth, the story of a long-awaited great leader who is coming to bring new life to a dying tribe.

This anticipated leader traces his lineage to the ancestor “Paikea,” a revered hero whom tribal lore describes as having arrived from the legendary island Hawaiiki, miraculously, on the back of a whale.

“But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider,” she discloses, “for the boy who would be chief.”

Leaving a faith community when we know we can no longer stay.

Leaving a faith community when we know we can no longer stay.

Melinda Henneberger. former columnist with USA Today grapples with the deep sadness of leaving a faith community when we know we can no longer stay.

Melinda Henneberger writing in the National Catholic register, is an opinion writer for The Kansas City Star and previously worked as a columnist for USA Today. Talking of her own faith journey she grapples with the deep sadness of leaving the faith community you were born into. Melinda is a cradle Catholic but many of us know the difficulties that accompany that decision when we know we can no longer stay.

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That was then

That was then

Does Francis still hold to this declaration from 2007?

Reading an extract from a Jesuit magazine I was interested in the following paragraph:

The Latin American bishops in 2007 led by then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio deplored “a Catholic faith reduced… to a collection of rules and prohibitions, to fragmented devotional practices… to the repetition of doctrinal principles, to bland or nervous moralizing.” They wrote, “Being Christian is… the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”