We are still paying the price for the mediocre bishops parachuted into major sees by JPll and Benedict XVl. Good word parachuted—with literally no input from longsuffering Catholics who believed in Vatical ll and “the signs of the times” These company men are still fixated on pelvic orthodoxy. And absolutely out of it when it comes to the greatest moral calamity facing us—a real “sign of the time”, the cry of the earth and climate change.
In Toronto we hear not a peep out of the local bishops on this issue of signal, overwhelming importance.
To the rescue, the brilliant Sr Elizabeth Johnson csj, one of the great feminine theologians we have. Her new book is just out Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love
Johnson had wigged out US bishops when she dared write about the ultimate mystery in her Quest for the Living God and She Who Is. Fordham, her Jesuit employer, stood right behind her and the great woman has moved on —to the earth and sentient life.
This clip says it all about ecclesial autism and the earth:
Loving life on earth is not foreign to Christianity. Indeed, it is supported by the tradition’s beliefs about God as these are revealed in Scripture and condensed in the creed. (I expand on this in the central chapters of Ask the Beasts, where I discuss the sacred character of the natural world in light of the indwelling of the Spirit, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and the Creator God who is the beginning and goal of the universe.) Still, critics have rightly censured Christianity for long abetting the ecological crisis. Indeed, with some exceptions, Christian churches often choose not to face this calamity with the energy they spend on other matters. It’s as though the planet were undergoing its agony in the garden, and we, the disciples of Jesus, are curled up fast asleep. Waking up to our own role in this crisis will require a dramatic course correction, a reorienting of our ethical compass away from ourselves alone and toward all creation. In a word, ecological conversion requires profound humility.