Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Newman on Jerome...

Or two occasionally pricklish Cardinals.
A snippet from Newman's Church of the Fathers where he speaks about the honour we owe to saints, even ones we're not fond of...
[...] a word or two about St. Jerome. I do not scruple then to say, that, were he not a saint, there are words and ideas in his writings from which I should shrink; but as he is a saint, I shrink with greater reason from putting myself in opposition, even in minor matters and points of detail, to one who has the magisterium of the Church pledged to his saintly perfection. I cannot, indeed, force myself to approve or like these particulars on my private judgment or feeling; but I can receive things on faith against both the one and the other. And I readily and heartily do take on faith these characteristics, words or acts, of this great Doctor of the Universal Church; and think it is not less acceptable to God or to him to give him my religious homage than my human praise.
I suppose the irony is that there are not a few voices in the Church who would have to say the same if/when Newman is raised to the altars.
More on Iraq
Deacon Scott Dodge sends on this link to an article (in English) in 3 Giorni on the plight of Iraqi Christians:
In the Massaken Barzi district, in the small building refitted as a church and dedicated to Saint Abraham of Ur of the Chaldees, father of all believers, the collective tragedy fragments into individual stories of escape. There is Jalal, who worked in a sports center north of Baghdad and had to sell house and car to pay ransom to his daughter’s kidnappers. There is little Martin, who lost the power of speech for two years after they had tortured him so as to tape his screams and send it to his father. There is Nader, a huge man who worked for the oil companies, also kidnapped and released only after handing over 20,000 dollars. «Our money must have whetted the appetite of our neighbors. They kidnap the Christians because they know that many of us have relatives abroad ready to pay the ransom». But it is not only social visibility that stirs envy and criminal hatred. The husband of Sherma, a thirty-year old widow, was killed because he worked as an interpreter for the American companies. And the religious matrix of the invaders has furnished facile pretexts for the fanatical brutality of the Muslims. «They said we were servants of the Crusaders, they made my daughters wear the veil, they sent threatening letters: either you go or we’ll slit your throats», says Alisha. They say that in the last months the peak of new violence came after the Regensburg speech: «They threatened us: nobody goes into church until the Pope apologises to the Muslims. And they said that for us it was over there: get out, ask your Pope for asylum». Word of mouth spoke of some priests and various young Christians being killed in reprisal after Regensburg. Michel, a taxi-driver escaped from Mossul, is not afraid of appearing homesick: «Believe me, friend: before the war we lived in peace. We worked, and went home safely». Nobody raises objections. Almost all of them agree. «Because every war stirred up around these parts is always a war against the Christians, they are always the first to pay», Robert, a Syro-Catholic, an unsentimental tour operator from Aleppo, says bitterly.

No comments: