Editorials

commonweal THE NATURAL FONT OF AUTHORITY Franciscans may BE as gentle as doves, but Brazil's Father Leonardo Boff has remembered the other side of the admonition the snake part. Boff s book,...

...Faithfulness, then, must oppose all authoritarian systems, including ecclesiastical ones, which seek premature closure on the action of the Spirit...
...The book hits unsparingly at a wide range of clerical "pathologies" and unmasks a pattern of pagan power domination, marginalization, triumphalism, and hybris masquerading beneath a sacred mantle...
...Yves Congar, Hans Kiing, and Edward Schillebeeckx have already argued the same...
...One group produces the symbolic goods and another consumes them...
...In giving every member an active role in the biggest event God's act of transferring and renovating the forms of life a person was placed at the center of the cosmos, and 3 May 1985: 259 was made a participant in the divine blood line...
...The hosts are not part of his body...
...The natural fountain of revolution and reform, G.K...
...As Aquinas knew, the most pedestrian, material images are best for speaking of God's act because there's less danger of confusing the sign with the signified...
...One is its rootedness in an absolute beyond history, the divine will and promise of justice in the certain but indefinite future...
...There are two premises underlying Jewish thought...
...But if this witness is to be consistent and credible, it demands a major decentralized reconstruction of church order...
...It was the great theoretician of sacred kingship, A.M...
...The Eucharist invites us to swallow mat line whole...
...The group that holds the means of symbolic production develops a corresponding theology that justifies, reinforces, and socializes its power by attributing divine origin to its historical exercise of that power.'' Equipped with the Occam's razor of neo-Marxist critique, Boff gives new cutting edge to fourteenth-century Franciscan arguments with the papacy over the poverty of Christ...
...The point, then, is to avoid being swallowed up by any system, ecclesiastical or other...
...Our true dignity is not to be parts of a body,'' Simone Weil wrote, ". . .It consists in this, that...
...But once Christianity is understood against the backdrop of the centralization of ritual under sacred kingship, the Gospel message begins to stand out as a liberating decentralization which recovers primitive communalism extended beyond the tribe...
...Remarked one Vatican official, "He makes Rome sound like.a four-letter word...
...Chesterton realized, is the old orthodoxy: "that God could have his back against the wall is a boast for all insurgents for ever . . . Christianity...
...In contrast, sacred kingship and its modern analogues: the state, the Party, the corporation expropriate such "blue blood" for the few and spell impotence for the many...
...The good news startlingly negates antiquity's myths of integration, which reduced the individual to a passive subject...
...The sticking point is ecclesiology: crudely put, the tension between a top-down, command-structure church and Boff s vision of a charismatic, participatory church from below and periphery...
...becomes in a sense each one of us, as he is completely in each host...
...he seems to perceive it as that leveling atomization that de Tocqueville observed in North America in the 1830s each pursuer of happiness reduced to the "solitude of his [ sic] own heart...
...Nicaea's insistence on the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father denied that there existed any such hiatus as the pagans supposed between being and becoming, God and nature...
...God vents in the event...
...evidently such appeals are congenial to the two Brazilian cardinals, Aloisio Lorscheider and Paolo Evaristo Arns, who accompanied Father Boff on his interrogation before Rome's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith last September...
...Certain options in Boff s book," declared the CDF on March 19, "are unsustainable...
...The same Hebrew spirit is evident throughout the New Testament...
...it portrays something which neither the poets nor the historians of antiquity ever set out to portray: the birth of a spiritual movement in the depths of the common people, from within the everyday occurrences of contemporary life...
...What we witness is the awakening of a "new heart and a new spirit...
...Boff s book, Church: Charism & Power, lets clerical blood...
...There is no institution today," Boff acknowledges, "mat has upheld human dignity more than the Christian community...
...To break the whole masterslave dialectic upon which nightmare history hinges.' 'I do not call you servants but friends...
...has felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel as well as a king.'' The Gospels' mock-king identifies with ' 'the least.'' Why...
...Classical Greek philosophy conceived God as exclusively immutable, and hence incompatible with the messy flux of this world...
...For Jewish thought gives priority to what must be over what is, to imagination over sealed fates, closed books, and deadening realpolitik...
...Why does the pericope of Peter's denial elicit the most serious sympathy, Erich Auerbach asked in his classic Mimesis'] Because, he wrote...
...Yet the function of a good metaphor is to defamiliarize the familiar, and we suspect Boff is onto something big...
...Christ...
...But to a humorless CDF, the use of production-consumption metaphors in connection with the sacraments is anathema...
...Hocart, who first sought to understand the power of primitive ritual by pointing out that it constitutes a pre-industrial society's basic physics and industry, and that arguably better than the modern division of labor which hands over power to experts for redistribution primitive rites really gave "the goods" to every tribal member...
...In this respect, the prophets are normative: their spirit is nomadic, they will not be taken in, assimilated, or sedentarized by the world...
...It sets man's [sic] whole world astir...
...The second is that any empirical order is consequently seen as relative, non-obligatory, and inconclusive...
...At base, this is the point of the doctrine of the Trinity articulated at Nicaea in 325 A.D...
...All too often, Boff argues, the church has imitated this pattern...
...By now, however, it is fairly clear that democratization is not Pope John Paul's style...

Vol. 112 • May 1985 • No. 9


 
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