Skip to comments.Watch This Man (a future papabile)
Posted on 02/20/2006 11:00:55 AM PST by NYer
Fama habetout there is that Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto -- who's already being cited as a future papabile, despite lacking (at least for now) that magic shade of red -- delivered a virtuoso turn last week in giving the annual JH Walgrave Lecture at the American College at the Catholic University of Louvain.
Barbarity has won. With the same logic with which the Sharon government reacts to the criminal brutality of Palestinian terrorism with military actions that have all the character of state terrorism, the Bush administration strikes at the tyrant Saddam with the atrocity of a war that not only has no ethical justification, but also deeply wounds international order and frighteningly isolates from the civilized world America and its supporters in the mad adventure of war. The fact that our country has been numbered among the latter by the United States government, unfortunately without prompting any denial, particularly saddens Italians....And that from a Catholic bishop, one said to have a papal destiny.
The myth of an America, defender of freedom, crumbles under the blow of its current president. The ethical divide that is opening between the shores of the Atlantic -- and unfortunately also between the shores of the English Channel -- could become unbridgeable....
[P]erhaps [the most] most devastating consequence of this war is in consciences. It demonstrates the triumph of arrogance, the brutality of the law of vengeance guiding relations among peoples, the answer to the barbarity of a bloody regime with the barbarity of violent use of weapons of mass destruction at the expense of an entire population. With what courage will the American administration combat the already extensive violence within the United States? And who will be able to convince the citizens of the world that honesty, the respect of the rights of everyone, and the defense of the weak are values worth pursuing? Corrado Alvaro wrote, "The most subtle temptation that can take over a society is that of thinking that to live rightly is useless." Bush and his allies are doing everything to make the world fall into this temptation. Anti-Western and anti-American hatred will increase everywhere with truly unpredictable consequences.
Thought without shadows becomes tragedy; far from emancipating, it generates suffering, alienation and death. The modern "society without fathers" does not bear children who are freer and more equal, but, instead, produces dramatic dependencies on those who at various times offer themselves as "surrogate" fathers. The "leader", the "party", the "cause", these become the new masters, and the freedom promised and dreamt of turns into a painful, grey manipulation of the masses, held in place by violence and fear. The collective murder of the father did not prevent this proliferation of these new, barely camouflaged, "fathers and lords"...The lecture runs 20 pages in total, so there's way too much to snip for these pages. Do go read.
The dream of emancipating life and the world seems, then, to have broken itself against the unheard of violence produced by the age of emancipation. Eloquent witnesses to this are the wars, ethnic cleanses, crematory ovens, the Shoah and genocides of the twentieth century, as well as the massacre caused by hunger every day in the world. Are these the fruits of adult reason? Where are the new heavens and new earth promised by the great ideological narratives?
This is the drama with which the twentieth century closed: a moral drama, a crisis of meaning, a vacuum of hope. Not so different was the beginning of the new Millennium, if one thinks of September 11th 2001 and its consequences of violence and war. If, for modern reason, everything found meaning within one all-encompassing process, for the "weak thought" of the post-modern condition - shipwrecked on the great sea of history after the collapse of ideology's claims - nothing seems to have meaning anymore. In reaction to the failed claims of "strong" reason, then, there emerge the contours of a time of shipwreck and collapse; this crisis of meaning is the characteristic of the post-modern restlessness. In this "night of the world" (Martin Heidegger), what seems to triumph is indifference, a loss of the taste for seeking ultimate reasons for human living and dying. And thus, too, we reach the nadir of modernity and its dialectical overcoming, that is nihilism....
This is the triumph of the mask over truth: even the very values themselves are often reduced to banners hoisted to camouflage the lack of real meaning. Human beings seem to be reduced to a "useless passion" (the expression used, disturbingly ahead of the times, by Jean-Paul Sartre: "l'homme, une passion inutile"). One could say that the most serious malady of this so-called post-modern age is the definitive abandonment of the search for a father-mother towards whom to hold out our arms, our no longer having the will or desire to seek a meaning worth living and dying for.
Orphaned by the ideologies, we all run the risk of being more fragile, more tempted to shut ourselves up in the loneliness of our own selfishness. This is why post-ideological societies are increasingly becoming "crowds of solitudes", in which people seek their own self-interest, defined according to an exclusively selfish and manipulative logic: faced with the vacuum of ultimate meaning, we grasp at penultimate concerns, and seek immediate possession.
This explains the triumph of the most shameless consumerism, of the rush towards hedonism and whatever may be enjoyed at once; but this is also the deep reason for the emergence and affirmation of forms of thought which are sectarian, narrowly ethnic, nationalistic or regional, and which spread with alarming virulence throughout Europe at the end of the last century. Without the wide horizons offered by truth, we easily drown in the selfish loneliness of our own particular situation, and our societies become archipelagos, collection of separate islands.
Yet, it is exactly this process which shows that we all need a common father-mother to free us from the confines of our selfishness, to offer a horizon for which to hope and love - not the claustrophobic, violent horizon of the ideologies, but one which truly frees all, and respects all. So if the "society without fathers" ran after the dream of emancipation, and to achieve this dream sought to destroy the father, it is precisely this bitter fruit of totalitarian and violent emancipation - and the vacuum it created - that evokes the newly felt need for a father-mother who welcomes us in freedom and love. This is certainly not to seek a father-mother whose place could be taken by the party, or the boss, or unquestioned leaders, or money, or capitalism; it is, rather, the longing for a father-mother who, at one and the same time, founds the dignity of each person, the freedom of all, and the meaning of life.
In short, faced with the indifference and lack of passion for the truth which characterizes our present age, our greatest need is to discover the countenance of the father-mother who loves us. It is our longing for the Totally Other, of whom Horkheimer and Adorno spoke as they foresaw the crisis of the ideologies. It is the yearning for the hidden Face, the need for a home to be shared, which provides horizons of meaning without violence.
Rocco's already promoting the 'home team' :-)
That didn't take long.
The rest is just froth.
What's Saint Malachy say about him? (joke)
Rocco "yawn" Palmo.
Did the man ever mention Jesus Christ once? You know, the reason we have a Catholic Church? Or is it all liberal pabulum?
This is such a rant of a diatribe that it's hard to take it seriously. Where do you think it was written?
I even had more common sense when I was 22. Rocco Palmo on occasion has good info, but more often than not, his "info" does not pan out, and as I said on previous posts, knowing his views on many issues, why would so called "conservatve" Catholics give him the time of day, as one poster(no not you NYer and I mean that without sarcasm) seems to do too often.
Reading the snippets of this typical pompous anti-American Italian cleric's rant against the liberation of Iraq, I at first resolved not to waste my time on any of his "theology" - then I thought, well, OK, like most of JP II's Curia (Martino, Sodano, Tauran, Hmao, etc. etc. etc.), Forte hates the USA. Maybe it was a requirement for getting himself a mitre in that administration, and maybe he still has some good theological points to make.
TWENTY PAGES of THEOLOGO-GOBBLEDY-GOOK.
A real eye-glazing experience if ever there was one.
Only a group of desperately-trying-to-appear-theologically-astute seminarians . . . a la Louvain . . . could possibly acclaim what can only be described as Wojtyla-philo-speak or Henri Nouwen on steroids.
It has NOTHING in common with Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's liturgico-patristic exegesis or spiritual application.
And THAT's "papabile" ????
Great, just what we need on the Chair of Peter, a pompous anti-American windbag.
Anyhow, for those of you who missed this nitwit's Iraq-Rant, here ya go. You'll notice that he's so busy trashing Bush and the USA that he fails to mention the role of that wonderful Catholic assistant tyrant to Saddam, Tariq Azziz, or the pre-Iraq War presence in Rome of the Palestinian gun-running Melkite, Archbishop Hilarion Cappucci.
Oh - and one thing I'd love to ask Future-Pope Forte:
WHAT WAS YOUR FATHER DOING oh say between 1940 and 1945?
Because I know what MY father was doing.
He and most of that Greatest Generation had VOLUNTARILY put their lives and marriages on hold in order to bail out the Forte-Family's "conscience" giant of a nation's sorry ass from its ill-conceived alliance with the Nazis.
And HE's pontificating to US - about the morality of war?
Sit down and shut up, Your Excellency.
Or stick to the gobbledy-gook!
Here's his rant (grab a barf bag):
OP-ED PIECE by Father Bruno Forte in his pre-Archbishop days:
When I get a minute, I'll post the details of Bishop Randy's ordination and installation in Reno that my wife attended. Makes this guy look like Pius X.
The twenty page text
does mention Jesus five times.
It could have been worse . . .
(1) How can revelation, brought to completion in Jesus Lord and Christ, speak to the crisis provoked by the collapse of the false certainties offered by the ideologies, and to the painful lack of reasons for a great hope so typical of post-modern nihilism?
(2) ...Christians are called to follow the Cross, where God spoke in the silent, disquieting eloquence of the passion, they are constantly placed before this great choice: to crucify their own expectations on the Cross of Christ, or to crucify Christ on the cross of these expectations. This is exactly the way the Cross is the gospel of freedom, as Jesus showed us in the way He went out of Himself in choice after choice, till the point of deepest self-abandonment!
(3) In a beautifully naive medieval insight, to believe (credere) comes from cor-dare, to give your heart, and this involves a continual struggle with Gods total otherness which does not let itself be solved or possessed. God is other than you. That is why doubt will always inhabit faith. Only those who do not know this are shocked by the Baptists words, when at the sunset of his life, and evidently restless with doubt, sent to ask Jesus: Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?
(4) Jeremiah wrestled mightily with God, but in the midst of the combat he learned how to give in, to submit in love and to entrust himself to God. This is how faith can become a home-coming of beauty and peace. This is not the beauty the world knows, the seduction of a truth explaining everything; it is instead the beauty of the Man of sorrows, the beauty of crucified Love, of Jesus total offering of himself to the Father and to us.
(5) Shall we be ready as believers and as Church to accept this challenge without fear, with spirit and heart, trusting in the faithful God? On this question we must verify ourselves to make our choice in order to follow today, in our historical context, as persons and as Church, Jesus the living Lord.
From all accounts it was more like a luau than a solemn commissioning of a successor of the apostles.
In fairness to the new bishop, however, my wife tells me the Cathedral only seats 430.