Corpus Christi

Chrst the King it used to be called. As we read the Catholic lectionary last Sunday we find the feast now called the Body and blood of Christ. The old name will do fine, redolent as it is with universal, sacramental meaning.

Jack Cosello the homilist pointed out a dramatic breakthrough in theological reflection.

During the Pinochet years in Chile when the thug suborned the democratically elected Allende government on Sept 11, 1973, disappearances and torture became rampant.At that time, spurred by liberation theology and some strong episcopal leadership, the Chilean bishops began to document the abuses.

As the bishops knew several of the good people being tortured,a deeper theological reflection emerged, one which recaptured the teaching of the early fathers of the Church-men like Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. How can people go to communion and take the “Body” while doing irreparable damage to living bodies in the torture chamber? George Bush and his vaunted Christianity might ask the same of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Bodies are sacred, ikons of the living God. War and torture shatter the Body of Christ.

Bishops could no longer distribute communion while staying silent as the larger Body was being disfigured.

Another blasphemy occurred in the Regan years.

A nuclear sub was launched actually named Corpus Christi! The dolts in the US government including the Admiral of the ship could not figure out why many Catholics were beside themselves. I remember Leroy Matthiessen the great Texas bishop writing a powerful objection to this shocking development.

Imagine a ship carryong Trident missiles poised to deliveer the equivalent of 50 Hiroshimas, named after the Body of Christ.

That’s what the Reagan years were about. Imperial strutting, inflationary military budgets
and war on the poor. The Gipper made America feel good after Vietnam. What a great president. some neocons still believe this.Jimmy Carter called him the worst president (by gospel standards he was) ever—until W.

Last week W appeared with Benedict XVl. I spied another torturer in the background, the Deputy secretay of State, the man who supervised the Contra attacks from his ambassador’s post in Honduras, John Negroponte. Of course, the pope would hasve no idea of this thug’s background.

Another tribune with no concern for the Body of Christ. The Contra murdered innocent civilians by the hundreds.All in a good day’s work for Negroponte.


  1. 1
    polpursun Says:

    Not only was it Sept. 11th (the Nixon/Kissenger ANTI-DEMOCRATIC atrocity in Chile in 1973), it was Tuesday Sept 11th.

  2. 2
    lcarriere Says:

    Ted: You mention that when Bush met Benedict XVI, you “spied another torturer in the background, the Deputy Secretary of State…Negroponte…who supervised the Contra attacks”.

    This reminds me that a few years ago, during the pontificate of JP II, his Vatican Secretary of State (Angelo Cardinal Sodano), former papal nuncio to Chile and close personal friend of dictator Augusto Pinochet, pleaded directly with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to release Pinochet when he was in Britain seeking medical treatment, and send him directly to Chile for “national reconciliation” instead of allowing him to be arrested and made to stand accountable in an international trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    What a sham – how embarassing to see this ongoing Vatican realpolitik, – so far it seems from uncompromising commitment to the radical nonviolence of the gospel proclaimed and inaugurated in history by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

    Is there no shame for this unending mockery, this duplicitous and deceitful hunkering after political gain with the eathly empire, rather than serving the gospel and the reign of God?

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