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Friday, February 4, 2011

A Model Of Catholic Theological Reflection?

I don't know about you, but Malcolm X wouldn't be my first choice.

Fr Bryan Massingale of Marquette University, though, believes so. He's giving a talk on that very topic in Detroit today, appearing at the request of the Wandering Tribe Elephants In The Living Room, a local group of dissident priests (and one retired bishop), former priests and disaffected lay persons intent on weakening the Church from within like a nest of termites. Termites with dentures, IYKWIMAITYD.

How a former member of the Nation of Islam, who became a Sunni Muslim, represents Catholic theology is a mystery to me. I can think of numerous other persons that aptly fit the description, who just happen to be Catholics. Perhaps the connection is that Malcolm X, it is claimed, came to believe that Islam could be the means by which to end racism. Or maybe he just really hated "white power". Now, Fr. Massingale's passion is resolving racism - which includes concepts such as white privilege and reparations - via incorporation of Catholic social teaching. But since this is a talk on Catholic theology, and not Catholic social teaching - I mean, he could have titled his talk "Malcom X as a Model for Catholic Social Teaching", right? - it'll be interesting to see how he relates the two.

Either way, I'm sure that as a white person, if I were to attend, he'd tried to make me feel guilty about my whiteness, as if I had anything to do about that. Whatever.

In time, the transcript of Massingale's talk will be made available, and I'll make the effort to read it. Suffice it to say, though, given Massingale's proclivity to buck Church teaching - such as supporting so-called gay marriage - and that the Elephants aren't exactly the poster elderly (can't really call them the "poster child", cos' they're really really old, y'know?) for orthodoxy, I'm prepared for something slightly better than your run-of-the-mill National Catholic Distorter opinion piece.

In the meantime, enjoy a few photos from the previous Elephants meeting, at which Sr Teresa Kane - the nun who spoke out at Pope John Paul II's US visit back in 1979, asking that women be ordained - spoke. And before you ask, the answer is No - I did not take these myself, because I didn't attend the talk.

The audience is awash with anticipation...and maybe some Metamucil, too.

Sr. Kane, with Bishop Gumbleton on her right. The other guys are part of the Elephants' brain trust. I think they're the 'youth movement' of the group.

Consider these photos a preview of the upcoming American Catholic Council. Nature, it appears, is well on its way of resolving the issue.