Earth Day 2013: Not us!

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For those who see everything in terms of God  the entire world is one grand sacrament. Every thing and every historical event appear as sacraments of God  and God’s divine will.

Leonardo Boff

One only needs to peruse the websites of the CCCB and the Archdiocese of Toronto to groan at the irrelevance of the institutional church  in today’s world.That’s not to say that  many good things do happen. Money is raised for good causes but  the Church continues to be a charity church far distant from  becoming a justice church demanded by the politics of the kingdom of God. We continue to offer hand outs but lag behind many secular institutions in understanding the seriousness of the present moment.I refer here to the central issue of history today, climate change justice.

Nowhere on the websites named above do we see any necessary genuflection to Earth Day 2013 which takes place this Monday April 22.

One would have thought prescinding from our doctrine of Creation the Catholic Church would be among the global leaders  in the defence of the earth which we seem hell-bent on destroying. One would have thought that the putative  leaders would notice the absence of young people in the pews many of whom have left the church behind as an irrelevant institution in their lives and in particular in the great and necessary adventure of protecting creation.

One would have thought given the prophetic pioneers within the communion, people like Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Fr.Sean McDonagh, Brian Swimme and Matthew Fox, Leonardo Boff, Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis and the list goes on, bishops would have taken the divine hint and moved away from their obsession with pelvic orthodoxy to the fate of the earth.

What we have seen in this regard is a theological dereliction of duty and a catastrophic failure of leadership.

What is so stunning  is that one of the Catholic Church’s greatest strengths is its sacramental nature, its insistence that the holy is apprehended through all things,as Richard McBrien says, “ in other people, communities, movements, events, places, objects, the world at large, the whole cosmos. The visible, the tangible, the finite, the historical—all these are actual or potential carriers of the divine presence. Indeed, it is only in and through these material realities that we can even encounter the invisible God.

We  are watching or central sacrament degraded, stomped on and ignored.Many other citizens  deeply understand this and are acting forcefully to resist this blasphemy, this movement to ecocide and biocide.

Our Catholic school systems have not caught up with this murderous trend.Its curricula is stagnant, lagging way behind the sacramental principles we eschew. Catholic teacher unions have not grasped the seriousness of the situation.

Thomas Berry in challenging the institutional church wondered what it means to baptize with water which is polluted or to celebrate eucharist with bread and wine fashioned from wheat and grapes laced with pesticide and herbicides. Our creeds remain underdeveloped mired  in  ancient theological language which has not come to terms with our evolutionary universe.

In other words the institution seems stuck impervious to the prophetic ecomovements of our time. Great strides are being made in our  race  between extinction and cosmic health. The entertainment weekly NOW Magazine http://www.nowtoronto.com/ has a marvellous issue this week on “being the change” we need in our world as we move toward Earth Day 2013 . As for the episcopal leadership it’s nowhere to be seen.

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3 Comments »

  1. 1

    I needed some good comic relief today, and you provided it. Will the real Ted Schmidt please stand up!

    And he did. The above post is the real Ted.

    Holy smokes! I knew you were gone, but not this far gone.

    One only needs to peruse the websites of the CCCB and the Archdiocese of Toronto to groan at the irrelevance of the institutional church in today’s world.

    Irrelevance? Ted: I’m the only one who comes on this site to make comments, besides your two or three inarticulate friends who drop by once every few weeks. And I don’t know how long I’m going to last, but it won’t be much longer. But just look at how many people come to Church every weekend! They want the Eucharist, not this outdated 60s babble. You are irrelevant. Your Catholic New Times is irrelevant. That’s why it went under.

    the Church continues to be a charity church far distant from becoming a justice church demanded by the politics of the kingdom of God.

    A justice Church? Ted, listen to what you are saying. Charity is greater than justice. I’d much rather be the object of someone’s charity (supernatural love of God and neighbor) than someone’s justice (rendering to another his due). Where is your mind? People want to be loved. I want to hear the voice of Christ telling me that my sins are forgiven. I want the body of Christ, who longs to enter into me. I don’t care about your NDP politics that does nothing more than stifle the economy and increase unemployment and saps people’s initiative, turning them into lazy louts who just want hand outs.

    We continue to offer hand outs but lag behind many secular institutions in understanding the seriousness of the present moment.I refer here to the central issue of history today, climate change justice.

    Laugh out loud funny! Climate change justice? A disciple of David Suzuki. Why don’t you read the Skeptical Environmentalist. Green is the new red, Ted.

    Nowhere on the websites named above do we see any necessary genuflection to Earth Day 2013 which takes place this Monday April 22.

    That’s because we worship God, Ted, not the earth. You are a pantheist, which is a very polite form of atheism.

    One would have thought prescinding from our doctrine of Creation the Catholic Church would be among the global leaders in the defence of the earth which we seem hell-bent on destroying.

    If one does not love God, one will not love one’s neighbor, and if one does not love one’s neighbor, one will not love creation, which exists for the sake of human beings. You put the cart before the horse.

    One would have thought that the putative leaders would notice the absence of young people in the pews many of whom have left the church behind as an irrelevant institution in their lives

    Yes, all the young people are on this site, leaving comments and reading your profound articles, Ted.

    In any case, Christ is relevant to young people, and the Church is his body. But human beings require a lot of growing up before they begin to realize what’s important in life, and what is not, what’s relevant, and what’s just a passing fad (like climate change). And then they return to the Church, which they continue to do. You’d know this if you were teaching RCIA. You simplify a very complex phenomenon. You’re just angry because the Church never walked down the road that you walked down, and that makes you wonder whether or not you got hoodwinked. You simply can’t admit you did, so you spend the rest of your life blaming the Church, calling her irrelevant, and you continue to claim that people are leaving in droves. You said that 15 years ago, if I recall correctly. Now, if you were right then, the Churches would be completely empty by now. But there are more now than there were before. We have to build a bigger Church. Finally, all the media coverage of the conclave reveals one thing: the Church is anything but irrelevant.

    One would have thought given the prophetic pioneers within the communion, people like Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Fr.Sean McDonagh, Brian Swimme and Matthew Fox, Leonardo Boff, Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis and the list goes on, bishops would have taken the divine hint and moved away from their obsession with pelvic orthodoxy to the fate of the earth.

    These are your heroes, not the Church’s heroes. Thomas Berry is a pantheistic, tree hugging reductionist, Matthew Fox is psychotic, Boff only reads the gospel of Luke.

    What we have seen in this regard is a theological dereliction of duty and a catastrophic failure of leadership.

    Hyperbole. The only catastrophic failure was your teaching career.

    …The visible, the tangible, the finite, the historical—all these are actual or potential carriers of the divine presence. Indeed, it is only in and through these material realities that we can even encounter the invisible God. We are watching or central sacrament degraded, stomped on and ignored.

    The central sacrament? Astounding! Christ is the central sacrament, and he was stomped on and ignored on Good Friday. Why would you expect anything different with respect to anything else that belongs to God?

    Many other citizens deeply understand this and are acting forcefully to resist this blasphemy, this movement to ecocide and biocide.

    This is such comic relief!

    Our Catholic school systems have not caught up with this murderous trend.Its curricula is stagnant, lagging way behind the sacramental principles we eschew. Catholic teacher unions have not grasped the seriousness of the situation.

    Au contraire! These kids are fully indoctrinated with the pantheistic eco theology of the 70s. That’s precisely the problem. Screwing your girlfriend and taking her to the abortion clinic is not nearly as horrific as failing to recycle. In fact, it’s not horrific at all. No one told them it was.

    Thomas Berry in challenging the institutional church wondered what it means to baptize with water which is polluted or to celebrate eucharist with bread and wine fashioned from wheat and grapes laced with pesticide and herbicides. Our creeds remain underdeveloped mired in ancient theological language which has not come to terms with our evolutionary universe.

    But you and I drink that water, we eat bread, rice, vegetables, fruits, etc., all contaminated. That means you are contaminated, and Tommy Berry as well. How can you walk down the street and show such a polluted face? How can your polluted hands hold a picket sign? Drop that sign and stay inside until you are completely purified of all pollutants. I’ll stop going to communion too, since it is full of pesticides.

    In other words the institution seems stuck impervious to the prophetic ecomovements of our time.

    Darn right she is. Thank God for that.

    Great strides are being made in our race between extinction and cosmic health.

    Well then what are you complaining about? If we’re making great strides, then stop whining.

    The entertainment weekly NOW Magazine http://www.nowtoronto.com/ has a marvellous issue this week on “being the change” we need in our world as we move toward Earth Day 2013 . As for the episcopal leadership it’s nowhere to be seen.

    The bishops are doing more important things. They’re dealing with people, real people, hurting people. They are ordaining priests to continue their work of preaching the gospel of Christ, not the gospel of the earth, or the gospel of St. Marx, St. Lenin and St. Suzuki.

    O boy, thanks for that laugh, Ted. I was beginning to take you seriously. That post woke me up big time.

  2. 2

    make it plain, mr.schmidt. ignore the smoke that’s being blown.

  3. 3
    fiatjane Says:

    I’ve been visiting this blog for the past few months. It got really interesting when 49francesco left comments. Keep them up! Your defence of the truth that is the Catholic church is spot on. Ted – you remind that the spiritual works of mercy, namely “instruct the ignorant” is important.


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