*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday, 3 March 2014

'State of Grace'; serving Mammon

As our politicians wrap themselves in the cassock, this matters.  If the churches were a shade as divine as mundane, the sacraments would be refused most of the politicians we have: that we have ever had.  Or under Catholic catechism which doesn't allow refusing the sacraments, offered to them while counseled they do not receive the grace of the sacraments in their present 'state of sin'.  I will never believe again, but I might respect the Church, and churches if, ex cathedra, the names of 'leaders' who cannot receive the grace of the sacraments was announced, and what restitution, penance and contrition would be required to undo that judgment.  Churches may be created by dreamers like me, but they are not run by them.

This is encouraging, except much the same could have been said by Borgia popes.
Members of the Church of England are much more hostile to benefit claimants than their bishops or clergy.
25 [Anglican] bishops have blamed "cutbacks to and failures in the benefit system" for forcing people to use food banks. They are joined by two bishops from the Church in Wales, 14 Methodist districts chairs and two Quakers.  [Note, no RCs, except maybe the one in the next quotation.]
David Cameron’s Big Society initiative is toothless and could be used to allow ministers to wash their hands of responsibility for the impact of spending cuts, the Archbishop of Westminster warned. 
Maybe, only just maybe, the leaderships of churches could remember the words and actions of Christ...

... rather than run wash the blood from the hands of princes and their bankers.

I am no Christian anymore: hypocrisy is the ultimate cause of my atheism, religious and political; finding other traditions are full of the same is the proximate cause.  However, 'Western' leaders purport to be, and so must be called on it, as should their churches' bishops, their clergy and the laity.  Resorting to the Old Testament is the surest sign of it: establishment churches are the refuge of, and cover for, the usual sociopaths and their fellow travelers.  It would be nice to believe, if I were able, that those ambitious in churches are enough unlike those ambitious for Mammon, but they dine together, went to the same colleges, have relatives...

There are good priests.  I insist on that, because I have known them.  Good priests do not become bishops, cardinals, popes, so who does?  Good priests quote the New Testament, and act in good faith to it, as Giles Fraser did when he let Occupy into St. Paul's, London.  Chris Hedges isn't ordained, but studied to be, and has sabotaged his career remaining true to his understanding of Christ's message.  Good priests are willing to become martyrs, because in this world you'll be made one.
For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?" And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."

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