It is hard to know what to do when you see a “catholic” site post something that is simultaneously heretical and thoroughly dopey.
Do you ignore it? Do you post about it and therefore drive traffic to it?
This is my dilemma today in the case of Jamie Manson of the National Catholic Fishwrap. Her piece today is both as weird and as heterodox as any NCR reader could ever wish.
Jesus did not come into this world or endure His Cross and death to save us from our sins. That’s just a guilt trip the Church laid on people. Its Religious Power that killed Jesus. He came – so far as I am able to glean from her article – to save us from the Roman Curia and the Republican Party.
I’ve had more than one Catholic who grew up either before or on the cusp of Vatican II tell me horror stories of how they were taught that Jesus died because of their sins.
This was a particularly heavy-handed way for priests and nuns to lay an even thicker coat of guilt on impressionable Catholic school children. Because they were sinners, Jesus had to suffer and die to redeem them. It was one rendering of the traditional theological interpretations of the crucifixion — that Jesus had to die to fulfill the Scriptures and that his death atoned for the sins of the world.
I know that countless people throughout the centuries have found profound, life-changing and even comforting meaning in this understanding of the Cross. But I’ve often felt that if we immerse ourselves in the accounts of Jesus’ arrest, passion, and death as told by the four Gospels, these texts can broaden and deepen our understanding of the crucifixion. It can help us make meaning of so much of the anguish that we witness in our world and in our church.
When I read the passion narratives of the Gospels, I don’t hear simply that Jesus suffered and died for our sins. Rather, I hear the four evangelists very clearly say that Jesus’ suffering and death was the will of those who conspired against him — those whose political systems he had undermined, those whose religious convictions he had offended.
There’s a lot more like this. She effectively offers an NCR Soteriology.
Jesus died to save us from the Roman Curia.
I am trying to imagine a version of the Stations of the Cross composed by Jamie Manson for the National Catholic Fishwrap.
- The 1st Station – Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura Condemns Jesus to Death.
- The 2nd Station – The President of the Pontifical Council for the Authentic Interpretation of Legislative Texts Gives Jesus His Cross
- The 3rd Station – The Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy Trips Jesus the First Time
- The 4th Station – Jesus Meets the Congregation for Religious
- The 5th Station – The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Helps Jesus Carry the Cross.
- The 6th Station – The Sister President the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Wipes the Face of Jesus
- The 7th Station – Jesus is Tripped for the Second Time by the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops
- The 8th Station – Jesus Meets the Women’s Ordination Conference
- The 9th Station - Jesus is Tripped for the Third Time by the Secretary of State
- The 10th Station – The Vatican Bank Strips Jesus of His Garments
- The 11th Station - The Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith Nails Jesus to the Cross
- The 12th Station - Jesus Dies Not For Your Sins But Because Of “Religious Power”
- The 13th Station - The Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” Takes Jesus Down From the Cross.
- The 14th Station – The Congregation For Divine Worship Lays Jesus in the Tomb, in Latin.