Lent (Day 27) — Breslin, “The Church that Forgot Christ”

Well, as I continue reading Breslin’s book, his anger very much comes to the fore.  He is clearly quite angry at what he sees as the inconsistency of the Church, often framed in ways that suggest ultimate consistency.  For instance, the injunction against married priests, and for only male priests, and the distinction between chastity and celibacy is one area he discusses.  The Church did not forbid married priests until Benedict VIII did so in the 11th c.  There had been some discussion earlier, but it all came down to who got church property.  And the argument on male priests — it was always done that way.  Jesus was a guy and so were his apostles.  But the apostles would be male, generally, as it was the male culture of the Middle East of the 1st c. AD, which didn’t allow male-female friend groups.  And in making the distinction between chastity and celibacy, there is an out for priests who have sex — which doesn’t deal with the whole matter of how healthy such suppression of desire is.  

One matter I found interesting was that Breslin speaks of meeting a street person whom he considers to be “Christ.”  And he does talk about how that worried him as he was writing the book, as it would make him seem like some crazy old guy.  Though, as I was reading it, I did think of the Joan Osborne song, “What if God was one of us?”

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