To be a spiritual adult is to be both mystic (lover) and prophet (one who speaks out about injustice).
For several DMs we have been speaking out about the events of the past weeks, including the presidential impeachment hearings; Attorney General William Barr’s appalling diatribe against diversity and separation of church and state; and the election of an Opus Dei bishop to head the American Catholic Bishops Conference.
All very troubling, not least this Opus Dei prelate’s accession to national power. For the sake of the church, the people, and the nation, questions need to be asked.
My questions to Bishop Gomez continue below.
–Bishop Gomez: When I read about Opus Dei one word that comes to my mind is dour. I do not sense a lot of joy and playfulness in your sect. Does Opus Dei teach the virtue that St. Thomas Aquinas calls eutrapelia or play?
If not, as a fellow priest and your elder, I must warn you that sentimentalism is not a healthy spirituality. In fact, it is a cover-up for an authentic spirituality of justice and compassion.
–Do you and your fellow bishops know the difference between good law and good morality? Thus a law like Roe vs Wade may be a good law without being perfect morality. Has that occurred to you and your fellow bishops? The law does not require any woman at any time or anywhere to have an abortion.
Rather, it makes it possible that if a woman decides (and it is her decision to make, not that of male politicians) to have an abortion it should happen in as safe a way as possible. To preserve life!
The church can inform its members that it does not recommend abortion as a moral choice—but why interfere 1) with non Catholics who make their choices; and 2) Catholics also who may seriously feel they need an abortion but can’t afford to so they would do it secretly and dangerously.
If the Catholic church is truly “pro-life” shouldn’t it therefore allow for safe abortions (without having to pronounce that an abortion is a good thing)?
Isn’t that what the distinction between good law and good morality is all about?
–Do you think male politicians should tell women what to do with their bodies? If so, why?
–Did you celebrate when Archbishop Romero was declared a saint? As you know, he supported a movement called “preferential option for the poor.” Neither I nor any other observer of Opus Dei I know has ever seen such a practice among Opus Dei members or teachings but rather a “preferential option for the rich and powerful.” Which option do you prefer?
Did you rejoice when Romero was canonized? Did you support him when he was alive? How many other Opus Dei members so rejoiced?
See Matthew Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, 437f.
Banner image: “Priests.” Image by Javier Ocampo Zuluaga from Pixabay
Queries for Contemplation
Do you practice eutrapelia and play? Do you do so enough?
Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him. He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French). He gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way. The result is exciting!