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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Se Cristo vedesse

In 1870, when Giuseppe Garibaldi and the troops of the Italian Risorgimento invaded Rome, they put an end to the Papal States. The church at the time thought it was a calamity. Pius IX excommunicated some of the leaders of the new Italian state. But today, we see the end of the Papal States as a blessing. We are glad the church does not rule Italy. In fact, the recent elections prove no one can rule the Italians.

The Vatican is the last echo of the Papal States. It was created as a country in 1929 by the Lateran Concordat signed with the government of Benito Mussolini. The Vatican is a little "Potemkin village" of a state, just a fa├žade. It allows us to claim to be an independent nation. Jesus said that we should "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Mark 12:17). He did not say we should become Caesar.

The whole thing, written by a brave Catholic priest, is here.

Comments (5)

Matthew 23 pretty much says it all.

I hope this article resonates with a new generation of priests. Young men (and maybe eventually women) focused more on the attributes of Jesus, rather than the quest for power. There are members who have rejected the leadership and abandoned the church, but not necessarily the religion. The author articulates many reasons why.

There once was a Pope down in Rome
Who quite suddenly needed a home
He had to confess
The church was a mess
So he chose to retreat from his dome

Gibby, I hear you. I get the occasional fanatic (my late grandmother included) who snarks about my being a "lapsed Catholic", but never does anyone ask specifically why I left. I simply state that it's a case of conscience: I never really left the church, but I couldn't accept the venality and arrogance of those who presumed to speak for it.

A very brave and honest article by the priest, but not really anything revolutionary. Power tends to corrupt those with even the best of intentions. In fact, the same failure occurs in secular politics. I couldn't help thinking of local political greed and power mongering while reading this. Very few officials in positions of power are the servants of the people.

This may get me in hot water, but it's always seemed to me that the Papal States are the morphed remaining slice of the Roman Empire, complete with Emperor and Senate, trimmed way, way down.

I am simply enjoying the charade of the fallable voting over and over to select the infallable, especially when they apparently got it wrong the last time.

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