Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Like the Caesars of old

President Obama's presence and discourse at Notre Dame University brings to mind the way in which the Caesars of ancient Rome pleased their people with spectacle and heady public intervention, making little of matters of great import, so that they were able to prosecute, behind the scenes as it were, their real and intended policies.

However, much more important is the question of the Church. This is a point which George Weigel has drawn attention to. Why are members of the Church surrounding this leader with their applause; what do they take they membership of the Church to mean? The Pastors of the Church in America are the hinge of the Church's communion - that bond of unity which has been created by God and which is the essential relationship within the Church. The reception of Obama into Notre Dame, into a community of the Church, is like an event which is taking place at the heart of the Church. But it is not. The applause which you see on this video is a sign of unreality. Those who here applaud, are called to surround Christ their Lord and to demonstrate this through witnessing to the reality of communion - which is the Catholic Church. What we see in this video is a total abberation in the life of the Church. President Obama, given his public policies, is not being received with open arms by the Catholic Church. What then are these people in Notre Dame doing? Why are they applauding? What group or church do they represent? Why are they not with their Pastors?


Afro Seminarian said...

They are applauding because he is the President of the United States.


Fr Richard Aladics said...

Dear Afro Seminarian, you will be aware that the new secular statesmen are currently proposing a new vision for the relationship between Church and State, a vision which is based upon a new secular 'spin' about 'faith' - faith in the light of the secular vision for humanity.. The vision which statesmen such as Obama and Blair are placing in the popular arena for a dialogue between secular society and people of 'faith', is totally different, and in some ways, at odds with the way in which the Church looks at the world. If we applaud these statesmen in such contexts as this one, what are we saying about the real relationship between Faith and the world, which is Transformation in Christ? Be discerning! Balir, Obama and others are very skilfull operators, but our mission does not lie with them, but with Christ!

Anonymous said...

Weigel and co might have more credibility of they hadn't been such conspicuous lapdogs of the Bush Administration. And, I'm sad to say, even Mary-Anne Glendon compromised herself by accepting an appointment from Bush. Where was she, for example, when Dick Cheney, who supports embryonic stem-cell research, spoke at ND?

The US Church needs to find a way of advocating its teaching on life without giving the impresion that it ia a pack of rusted-on Republicans pining for the days of Dubya!