Responding to Catholic Sexual Misconduct with The Christian Manifesto as an Art Form
Cardinal George Pell Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers was charged with sexual assault, the Victoria police said on Thursday
The Christian Manifesto is The Sermon on The Mount also called The Beatitudes. Art Forms include artistic compositions, such as the novel, sonata, sonnet, and imaginative or creative self-expression
By Eileen Fleming
Australia’s Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, has been accused of mishandling misconduct cases against clergy members while he served as the leader of the Archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney.
Pell also faces allegations that he sexually abused minors beginning early in his priesthood and continuing until he became archbishop of Melbourne.
He has repeatedly denied the accusations.
Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr recently wrote:
The job of religion is to help people act effectively and compassionately from an inner centeredness and connection with God….
Compassionate acts from a contemplative foundation are the greatest art form.
Among the last words the Jesus spoke while nailed to a wooden cross were: “Father, forgive them; they know not what they are doing.”
Jesus said that he came that we would have life to the full; abundant life [John 10:10] and that takes deep thought and action.
Two thousand years ago, there was lively debate about who Jesus was and until the Church got in bed with Emperor Constantine, all the churches were hot beds of individuality: NOT the institutions that have become big business today.
Jesus spoke about “being born again” and he never meant that to be a solitary experience; but a lifetime endeavor of waking up to God within oneself, all others and in every situation.
Living in the past has got no soul and the future of Christianity will not be found in antiquity, but in our ability to re-IMAGINE those ancient stories, symbols and concepts with modern eyes.
Christianity came into existence in a world radically different than ours.
The ancients believed the Universe consisted of three tiers; the earth at the center was flat, the judging all knowing deity was up in the sky, and hell was below.
The ancients ascribed to a tribal, male supernatural being who validated warfare as a noble and divine enterprise.
The Christian god “evolved’ from its Hebrew tribal roots into a Church which controlled knowledge as it promoted an invasive deity dominated civilization for 1,600 years after Jesus walked the earth.
When Copernicus and his disciple Galileo concluded that the sun did not rotate around the earth but that the earth rotated around the sun they birthed a new concept of God.
This revolutionary evolution in consciousness began the shift from a god who was not so involved in the daily affairs of humans.
Galileo was condemned a heretic but on 28 December 1991, the Vatican officially admitted the Church and Bible had been wrong about the universe and humankind’s place in it.
The god on his throne ‘out there’ had died.
When Freud exposed the childish neurotic elements in religion he was vilified and demonized by Christian leaders.
Carl Jung offered a bridge of reconciliation when he recognized the historic process necessary in the development of Consciousness; which is the quality or state of being aware of something within oneself.
Albert Einstein introduced relativity as present in all things including “eternal and unchanging truth.”
Astrophysicists raised awareness of the emptiness in the heavens above and that hit at the heart of human loneliness.
“In the West there is loneliness, which I call the leprosy of the West. In many ways it is worse than our poor in Calcutta.”-Mother Teresa, Commonweal, Dec 19, 1997.
The theistic concepts of a supernatural big daddy in the sky, an errand boy just waiting to fill our desires, and a deity that will punish us and thus motivates behavior is a god that must be fired— if not killed!
Among the forward thinking founding father’s of America was Thomas Jefferson, who weeded out the miracle stories from the gospels and clarified the teachings and ethics of Christ in:
THE LIFE AND MORALS of JESUS of NAZARETH
1. Be just: justice comes from virtue, which comes from the heart.
2. Treat people the way we want to be treated.
3. Always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with COMPASSION.
4. Consider valuable the things that have no material value.
5. Do not judge others.
6. Do not bear grudges.
7. Be modest and unpretentious.
8. Give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid.
9. Being true to one’s self in more important than being loyal to one’s family…those who think they know the most are the most ignorant…
The most ignored of America’s founding fathers was Thomas Paine, who wrote:
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
Soon after I had published the pamphlet ‘Common Sense’ [on Feb. 14, 1776] in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion… The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
John Lennon sang, “Christ, you know it ain’t easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going. They’re gonna crucify me.”
John Lennon, other muses and my first of eight trips to both sides of Israel’s Wall in Palestine in 2005, conspired and inspired me to spin The Beatitudes, The Sermon on The Mount, The Christian Manifesto this way:
When Jesus of Nazareth was about 33 he hiked up a hill, sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and ‘sins’ honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8
Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
Jesus continued, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8
Jesus affirmed, “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’
“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warns as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
Jesus knew, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
Jesus promised, “Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”
And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other….
In 2005, during my first of eight trips to both sides of Israel’s Wall in Palestine, the presence of Dorothy Day came to me and her spirit continues to encourage me:
“Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.”
Read more about Dorothy Day HERE
Eileen Fleming is TADN’s volunteer Health Reporter and Senior Non-Arab Correspondent
Fleming produced the UNCENSORED “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Mordechai, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower
Read her books HERE
Contact her HERE
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