I like Vatican II- The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, which occurred in Rome between 1962 and 1965. It brought in “fresh air” and strived to create a sense of unity- and the beginning of the effort of understanding between the church and the modern world. Relevancy being no small thing back then.
It seems to be a small thing now. Especially for those in charge of the Roman Catholic Church.
The wagons are circling. And the Pope is the one drawing them in- followed closely by the fanatics who use communion as a weapon, have no (and want no) understanding of the sciences of psychology or sociology or biology and simply want to hold on to the illusory power that disappeared with the Borgias….
The Reform of the Reform may be better understood not as an exaggerated exercise in nostalgia as much as the debilitating side-effect on being unable to adjust to the Space/Information Age that has ended the division between the earth and the heavens that was the theoretical basis for hierarchical structures. By healing the centuries old presumed rift between earth and the heavens the Space/Information Age also healed the separation of the human person into antagonistic elements of body and soul, flesh and spirit. It is difficult for hierarchs to adjust to the Space/Information Age because they cannot get their bearings easily unless they sit atop an hierarchical array; they fear going into free fall in the universe in which there is no center, no up and no down, and so they want to reconstruct the times and places, the Time and Again of an age before Vatican II in which they feel that they will be comfortable again.
There is something poignant about these would-be time travelers who pull back from the future that is already enveloping them. They remind one of the travelers in the desert described by Freud in explaining the difficulty many people have in letting go of the past. When the sun goes down and the air turns bitter cold, such pilgrims long to return to the remembered warmth of campfires they had left behind them. They cannot return to them because they have cooled to ashes and the winds have mixed them with the billowing waves of sand. The Reform of the Reform is built on just such understandable but misplaced longing, is bound to disappoint those who invest their hearts in its success, may generate centrifugal pressures in the heart of the Church, and one day, long after it has failed, be judged not as an inviting oasis worth a long journey but a cruel and seductive illusion of the unforgiving sands of time.
But the blogger at EC speaks for me when she says:
It’s very very sad to me, that at a time when the collective consciousness of this planet is finally choosing to see that we are all inner connected and no culture can pretend to live in a hermetically sealed vacuum, the Vatican is attempting to recreate Catholicism’s own hermetically sealed vacuum. As Kennedy says, this is a cruel and seductive illusion of the long ago shifted sands of time. It really is destined to fail.
The last gasps of social relevancy seem to be coming long and hard right now….