Advent is a time of awaiting a new kind of kingdom or queendom: One that announces the coming of Good News.

More than 200 U.S. bishops voted unanimously to approve amendments to a Catholic voting guide framing abortion as a preeminent issue for the 2024 election. Currents 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? 

Muscular Jesus breaking away from the cross in a much-reproduced early painting by Boris Vallejo. Reprinted with permission.

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. 

The Damage Report‘s John Iadarola and Mondale Robinson discuss Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Russell Moore’s reporting evangelicals describing the Beatitudes as “liberal talking points.”

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?


Recommended Reading

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


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4 thoughts on “Advent 2023:  Good News & Bad News”

  1. Avatar

    Advent Prayer

    Come, come, come
    Come into being
    Sacred union of
    Divinity within humanity

    Come, come, come
    Come into being
    Great Spirit of
    New beginnings

    Come, come, come
    Come into being
    Season of descent
    The arrival of Kinship

    Come, come, come
    Come into being
    Sacred connection
    Outflowing upon Earth

    Come, come, come
    Come into being
    Leap forward into our
    earthly existence, appearing

  2. Avatar

    Christianity, except for its universal mystical tradition and understanding of the Cosmic Christ, is mainly a patriarchal institution in human history along with others following toxic, spiritually unbalanced, and destructive patriarchal societal beliefs and values. The enclosed video of the US Congress of bishops was symbolically and obviously dominated by men.
    The Divine Feminine and Her spiritual values of Divine Love~Wisdom~Compassion need to continue growing and evolving in our hearts/Souls and in our human societal evolution towards human and earth Justice, our Sacred Diverse Loving ONENESS….

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