The view from the Pope - update

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at
Sat Dec 14 07:19:36 MST 2002

Henry wrote:

"The condition of the Church is in worse shape than that of humanity".

That is not something I am able to judge myself at present, although my
impression is that some catholic churches are pretty well-off.

Henry also wrote:

"The usefulness of an anti-communist pope has outlived events.  Its time for
the Church to stand again on the side of
justice, and help the poor inherite the earth".

That is a pretty good suggestion, let's hope the faithful take it up.
Personally I am not a catholic, but I do take an interest in religious
movements, which often have considerable political clout.

The only sense I can presently make of the concept of God, simply put, is as
a universal characteristic of the subconscious mind, which all humans share,
and which one might become conscious of in all sorts of forms and to varying
degrees through experiences of transcendence, hope, awe, inspiration,
elation, dignity, music and so forth (but I don't claim to be an expert in
these matters).

Following this line of reasoning, really what seems to be happening is that
the Pope is contingently a bit out of contact with this divine, positive
quality in himself, resulting in a somewhat somber, depressive, agonising
mood and an inability to attend to positive developments happening in the
world, in spite of all the awful things happening, which could be a source
of hope and anticipation. But that is just a personal hypothesis. It is of
course very difficult to be a world politician and a religious authority at
the same time, it is not a career I would recommend to anyone.

"And yet ethics as experiment must neither remain boundless nor merely be a
formal requirement for individual behaviour. It must draw its light from the
class struggle of those who suffer and are heavy laden, from the humiliated
and the insulted. In this way only, will enduring ethical postulates become
indestructible and imperishable, in spite of their betrayal in reality. This
means that the true face of humanity, however vague its features, and
despite the weariness and purely loquacious character of its too general
determinations... is at least present in its self-consciousness".

- Ernst Bloch, Experimentum Mundi. Frage, Kategorien des Hereausbringens,
Praxis. Frankfurt: Surhrkamp Verlag, 1975, p. 184.


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