Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

inclusiver than thou

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 02, 2004

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, doesn't like labels:

God's house has many rooms, just as truth lies in many places, and God's consolation and challenge is always somewhat colored by the biases of those who bring the good news: liberals, conservatives, feminists, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, New Age people, Social Justice advocates, Opus Dei members, Charismatics.

Here's what Christians understand by the good news: "He who was slain for our sins, lives." Does Rolheiser really think that Hindus or Muslims are bearers of this message, or would even be pleased to learn that he thinks they are? If we stretch the phrase "good news" beyond its Christian roots to include any truth whatsoever that may be germane to the human condition, does it make sense to say a particular truth lies in feminism or social justice advocacy the way it lies in Roman Catholicism?

I presume Rolheiser's roster is an instance of patronizing multicultural cuteness that was meant to shock us by its inclusivity and, having misfired, ends up merely annoying. God knows he's not the first clergyman to pull this stunt. But there's also a twinge of dismay in the reflection that a man's priesthood means so little to him. It can't mean much, seeing that he understands it as priesthood in the service of one among several arbitrarily enumerated focuses of personal allegiance.

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