Archive for January 7th, 2013

Romanizers vis-à-vis Judaizers: Is Overstressing Law as ‘Stupid’ Now as When Paul Applied it to the Galatians?

Stupid Catholics? Does Paul’s Adjective for the Galatian Church Apply Today?

Lately the term stupid has been used quite frequently. On the left, Chris Matthews of MSNBC called himself ‘not just stupid, but wrong’ for making remarks about Hurricane Sandy’s potential impact on politics. On the right, after the election, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said that Republicans should ‘stop being the stupid party.’ Beyond politics and after Sandy, Bloomberg Businessweek had a cover feature that pictured a flooded city street in virtual darkness with the words: ‘It’s Global Warming, Stupid … ‘

“Stupid has a religious meaning too. This insight came to me on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Oct. 11, 2012. I live in a Capuchin Franciscan community, where we share faith around each day’s Scriptures. The readings for Oct. 11 came from Galatians 3:1-5 and Luke 11:5-13. Both involve the Spirit’s power in the community of believers. In this context, to undermine the power of the Spirit by an overstress on the law, Paul said, would be ‘stupid …’

“From the above texts [and others the author cites] it seems that anontos [the greek translation for ‘stupid’ in Paul’s text ] refers to believers who have reverted to some ‘other gospel’ or teaching that is undermining the integrity of the Spirit-grounded Gospel they once embraced. This certainly represents the case in Galatians. Unnamed ‘Judaizers’ (Galatians 2:14) had effectively undermined Paul’s Gospel about the death, resurrection and embodiment of the Spirit of the Risen One in the community by an overstress on the law. Today we might call them the ‘Romanizers … ‘”

By Michael Crosby, a Capuchin Franciscan priest who lives in Milwaukee, in National Catholic Reporter

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Second in a Series — Bishops Investigating US Nuns Have Poor Records on Sex Abuse Cases

This is the second in a series of articles, being jointly reported by NCR and GlobalPost.com, that examines the background and the principal players in the Vatican’s investigations of U.S. women religious.

Bishops Investigating US Nuns Have Poor Records on Sex Abuse Cases

From its palace in Vatican City, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith monitors compliance with Roman Catholic moral teaching and matters of dogma for the oldest church in Christendom. These issues have little bearing on most of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Faith, for them, rests in parish life and the quality of their pastors. In the 1980s, for example, when the congregation punished theologians who dissented from the papal ban on artificial birth control, the majority of Catholics who believe contraception is morally acceptable did not change their opinion … ” By Jason Berry in National Catholic Reporter

Click here to read the first article in this series, which appeared in GlobalPost.com.

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