Advent is a time of awaiting a new kind of kingdom or queendom: One that announces the coming of Good News.
In the Bad News department, however, it is no small thing that American Bishops are pushing abortion as the number one issue in an election year. Playing into the hands of fascist politicians eager to end democracy and deny Climate Change is a big thing.
Is it possible to be a fascist and a Christian? I think not. I would love to see an encyclical on that subject from Pope Francis before he retires or dies. After all, since Pope Francis’ people fled Italy in the 1930s because of the rising tide of fascism, he seems especially fit to take on this important subject.
If fascism has no joy to it, is it Christian? If fascism has no love to it, is it Christian? And since joy is born of love, according to Aquinas, is a joyless and loveless political movement in any way Christian?
Is it not instead a monument to masculine depravity, a control-oriented and idolatrous movement, a heresy in the fullest meaning of that term that takes one away from Christ’s teachings instead of toward them?
Injustice, joylessness, hate, fear, bigotry, projection, institutionalized violence, misogyny, homophobia and denial of the raging sin of climate change–matricide and ecocide—these do not qualify as Christian virtues.
Is there anything Christian about giving billionaires—whose incomes increased by $1.5 trillion during the pandemic while everyone else’s shrank—more tax breaks and tax shelters?
And those who want to kill Medicare and Social Security—is there something Christian about that?
The Gospel stands for Good News. “Evangelization” means spreading Good News.
I do not find fascism in any of its representations to be either Good or News. Nor do I find Catholic bishops in bed with political zealots bent on authoritarianism, the least bit Christ-like.
Jesus’ words are pretty reliable however. “He has sent me to bring good news to the poor….” (See Luke 4.16-24.)
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times.
And Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can be Saved, pp. 106-144.
Banner Image: “Jesus 2020” flag at the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Brett Davis on Flickr
Queries for Contemplation
Do you see Advent as a time of waiting—and working—for the coming of a new kind of “Kingdom” of Good News for the poor and dispossessed and Mother Earth?
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit
The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.” — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II