Friday, February 19, 2010

Talk about chutzpah!

Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
From Highway 61 Revisited", Bob Dylan 1965

A saint is always someone through whom we catch a glimpse of what God is like -- and of what we are called to be. Only God 'makes' saints, of course. The church merely identifies from time to time a few of these for emulation.
From Kenneth Woodward in Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn't and Why"

Pope Benedict XVI approved sainthood for Mother Mary MacKillop on Friday, making the woman known for her work among the needy Australia's first saint.
Yahoo News February 19th 2010

Australian hippies contemplating their feet, circa 1968
Some things I can almost "get" when it comes to religion. A Gerard Manley Hopkin's poem. Van Gogh's Starry Night, a Vivaldi concerto ... but recently I've come across a few things that really stretch one's credulity.

Last month I read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII of England. There's a fair bit in it about the corruption of the Catholic clergy in the sixteenth century - indulgences and so on. But I came across something I'd never heard of before - people paying money to human beings, get friends and relatives out of purgatory before their release date - sort of an early parole. And we thought Ponzi schemes were bad!

Talk about chutzpah and taking the cake.

And then along came the Baptist missionaries from Idaho who went to Haiti after the terrible earthquake of January this year, and took "orphans" across the border into the Dominican Republic. Only they weren't orphans. And no one had given them permission to leave the country with the children. Speaking of the children the leader of the arrested group, Laura Silsby, told CNN, "they really didn't have any paperwork ... I did not understand that that would really be required." Yeah. Sure. Tell it to the judge... Which she did.

American hippie buying junk food circa 2008
"God is the one who called us to come here and we just really believed that this was his purpose," said Carla Thompson, another member of the group. It reminds me of silly kids in school when caught, telling the teacher, "another boy told me to do it." But blaming god who can't answer back, that's a bit below the belt.

Third time lucky and the week closes with the first Australian saint being proclaimed. Looks like some people haven't progressed since the sixteenth century. Saints aren't even real so how can one be made one posthumously? It's not like electing a president. I just don't get it.

Australia's saint is named Mary MacKillop and she comes with excellent credentials, having been excommunicated from the Catholic church in 1869. Pope Benedict is batch-processing her along with five others — from Italy, Spain, Poland and Canada. It is heartening to see that German efficiency is alive and well.

"This is a great honor for Australia. I offer a heartfelt expression of appreciation to the wider Catholic community," Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday. It is obvious that he's been too busy watching the Winter Olympics and thinks that getting a sainthood is part of some sort of international competition. A pity. I had such high hopes for him (Rudd, not the Pope).

Talking of things spiritual and "unseen" - in the sense of not being able to be touched, measured or experienced ... I've had a few emails lately from readers asking about the brunch crowd and am I still "dumped?"

I am happy to tell y'all that no, I am not dumped. And even if I was, I am now RE-INSTATED. Brunch is definitely back on the New York agenda. And THIS weekend, just to make it really real, we are not going to plan it and THEN cancel it. We are cancelling it first. "Pre-cancelling" - for busy New Yorkers who don't have time to wait.

I am REALLY looking forward to it this time. Stay tuned, for updates.


ian (chinamonty) said...

It is a competition. You have to prove two miracles to the judges to get the gong.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Kate has achieved sainthood in New York. The Assn. of Post Menopausal Sorority Sisters has granted her this privilege so she won't trash 'em in her world-read column. On ya, Kate!
As for miracles, anyone who could hold together the wankers in Australians Abroad for these many years has got to be a saint.
Mother Mary's followers, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, or the Brown Joeys as they are more better known in Oz, tanned my hide for several years when I was a lad at St. John Baptist's Preparatory School for Boys, Hunter's Hill.
Ah well, water over the dam. made a good atheist of me tho'

Anonymous said...

>>>people paying money to human beings, get friends and relatives out of purgatory before their release date - sort of an early parole<<<

And they're still doing it!

Anonymous said...

Good Christ !

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