Week of 12/4-9/2023: The “Power of Round” & the Homophobia of Catholic Prelates

December 4, 2023: The Roundness to the Recent Synod in the Vatican 
When Matthew was asked his opinion about the recent synod in the Vatican, his spontaneous response was that the round tables were the most important part. Sitting at round tables, where one can look into each person’s face and gauge reactions, enables more empathy. It also renders null the hierarchical model. Once, when giving a talk about “Climbing Jacob’s ladder vs. dancing Sara’s circle,” a woman came up to me afterwards and said, “My husband is vice president of a large corporation, and what you say is true. A ladder is very precarious. I don’t know anyone on the ladder who feels secure or even happy. And that includes their families as well.”

King Arthur’s Round Table has long been considered a symbol of equality and cooperation, as distinct from hierarchy. Detail from Lancelot (1470), attributed to either Gaultier Moap or Michel Gantelet. Wikimedia Commons.

December 5, 2023: Black Elk & Meister Eckhart on the Power of Round
Referring to Pope Francis’s decision to use round tables at the recent synod, Cardinal Cupich of Chicago said that it represents “a new way of being church.”* Indigenous people notice the prevalence of the circle in the natural world, and so their ritual sites and dwelling places often reflect circular energy. (Medicine wheels, kivas, teepees, etc.) Black Elk says: Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round…. Meister Eckhart also acknowledges the power of the circle. He says, “Heaven runs constantly in a circle,” and the soul is a “circle of the world.”

December 6, 2023: Round Models of Organization: Can They Work?
The round model of the recent synod in the Vatican originated in Brazil. It resulted in the bishops developing “a kind of dynamic of working together and looking for solutions together.” A commission was appointed to write a document addressing how to “transmit the faith from one generation to the next” in a new cultural context, and Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina—the future Pope Francis—was chosen president of that commission. Clearly he carried that vision forward to the Vatican.

Pope Francis, sometimes called the “People’s Pope,” among the people in St. Peter’s Square in 2013, two months after his election. Photo by Edgar Jimenez on Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 2.0

December 7, 2023: Pope Francis Cleans House, Expelling Cardinal Burke from His Vatican Apartment
Pope Francis recently expelled Cardinal Burke from his luxurious apartment in the Vatican confines. This apartment received quite a bit of attention in the eye-opening book, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, by French journalist Frederic Martel. He reported that photos on the wall reveal “the diva cardinal; the dandy cardinal; the drama-queen cardinal. They must be seen to be believed.” In the corridor are numerous boxes where the cardinal stores his headdresses, fake fur coats and his red trapezoid outfits. He appears to relish wearing the cappa magna, a red train that trails a whopping 12 meters, making him look “like a Viking bride.” Pope Francis confronted Burke several times about his outfits, telling him the cappa magna is inappropriate: “The carnival is over!”*  

December 8, 2023: Cardinal Burke, continued
Cardinal Burke, recently ejected from his 5000-square-foot rent-free luxury apartment in the Vatican by Pope Francis, is a friend of Steve Bannon and far-right wing American politicos.  He was the keynote speaker in 2019 at the gathering of super right-wing Catholics at the Napa Institute. While Burke seems to relish the ornate and extravagant outfits of his position, he is vehemently “anti-gay and rages against homosexuality.” In fact, “his homophobia is so intense that it even disturbs the most homophobic Italian cardinals.” Says Matthew, “It almost seems like he protesteth too much.”

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke enters the sanctuary wearing the Cappa Magna for Solemn Benediction at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory. He is accompanied by his Familiari, who represent the members of his household. Photo by Phil Roussin on Flickr.

December 9, 2023: Some Questions for Homophobic Catholic Prelates
Matthew suggests several questions to ask the homophobes of the Catholic hierarchy. Some of them are: How are you so sure of your position when Jesus never once spoke on the subject? Is it not similar to those in power who were so positive Galileo was wrong about the Earth circling the sun? Have you studied the document published by the American Psychology Association in 1973 which said that 8-10% of any given human population is going to be gay? And how many of you are gay? Are your diatribes against gays a form of self-hatred?

* Gerard O’Connell, Cardinal Cupich on the synod, women deacons, giving bishops job reviews and why ‘LGBTQ’ was left out of the final doc. America: The Jesuit Review, October 29, 2023.

Banner image: “Interior of the Basilica of Saint Peter” in Vatican City. Photo by Babak Habibi on Unsplash

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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3 thoughts on “Week of 12/4-9/2023: The “Power of Round” & the Homophobia of Catholic Prelates”

    1. Phila Hoopes

      Hello Rachael,

      Thank you for reaching out. Yes, the Meditations are daily, with a summary on Sundays. Occasionally, however, subscribers’ email services have hiccups and the DM does not get through. We have tried to find an explanation and solution to this issue, but have not succeeded. The best we can tell you, if you are missing a day’s meditation, is to come to the website to see it; today’s summary DM is inset into the banner image.
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    COMPASSION… continue growing in the hearts~Souls of All Our sisters & brothers around our Sacred Mother Earth….

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