Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pamphlet published by UK Bishops attacks Pope

Definitely makes one go, "Do what?" From the blog of [UK] Telegraph religion correspondent Damien Thompson.
Catholic Social Justice, a volume of essays put together by an agency of the Bishops’ Conference, systematically rubbishes Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love). The book has been given a glowing foreword by the Bishop of Plymouth, Christopher Budd.

Benedict is accused of taking an ideological position in favour of “the capitalist system and colonialism”.

We are told that the Pope’s views on social justice are “hardly credible” in view of the Church’s historic record of violence, torture and theft. We learn that the Catholic clergy teach that “men are superior to women” because they are more in the image of Christ.

Pope John Paul II is also criticised. According to Fr Tissa Balasuriya, the author of the relevant essay, both John Paul and Benedict lived their lives “in a world dominated by white racism” and therefore could not understand the developing world.

This judgment has been produced under the aegis of Caritas-social action, an agency of the Bishops’ Conference. In other words, Catholics in the pew have helped pay for an attack on the Pope.

But worst of all, in my opinion, is this passage in Balasuriya’s essay: “The 21st century was born in violence, with the ‘terrorist’ air attack on New York on 11 September 2001 and the invasion of Iraq by the USA, the UK and Australia on 18 March 2003.” Those inverted commas are despicable. Did the Bishop of Plymouth notice them before he recommended the book in his foreword?
It will be recalled that Fr. Balasuriya incurred the penalty of excommunication because of views expressed in his book "Mary and Human Liberation." I believe that the penalty was lifted after some discussion that involved the CDF and his order (the Oblates of Mary Immaculate). I don't recall the details. This is the only piece I've read on this subject ... I'm sure more details will emerge soon. [Oh, how I miss Open Book ... where does one send such news on so it gets wide press in the blogosphere?]

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