George Weigel as Postmodernist

15 07 2009

g_weigel

A post from the Vox Nova blog that I found both enlightening and amusing:

Weigel effectively theorizes towards a post-structural approach to Church literature; where we do not take authorship at face value but look into the power/knowledge relations that constitute the thing in question and assume that the (competing) motives involved are steeped in structurations of conflict that create the Foucauldian notion of “governmentality.”

It may seem too ironic, but Weigel is right precisely because he takes into account the possibility of the impossible. And he does so based on a largely accurate understanding of Church (and papal) authority: Namely, that, a hermeneutic of suspicion is not heterodox to Catholic devotion, on the contrary, a simplistic or superstitious reliance on the intervention of the Holy Spirit as the norm in Vatican affairs is not necessarily orthodox at all, in fact, it can be downright dangerous.

For me, such talk goes both ways. If Weigel can read encyclicals from the point of view of machinations of the Curia, I can read Vatican II from the point of view of the machinations of questionable theologians who usurped a mantle that was not theirs to take up. (Read the book, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber). To quote Dei Verbum as if it were “inspired by God” is sort of like quoting the script from Leave It to Beaver, except the latter is older and a lot clearer. The Vatican is not the bullhorn of the Holy Ghost.





San Miguel y Santa Muerte

15 07 2009

AG was listening to my CD of Crisotbal Morales’ Requiem (see video above), when it hit me that St. Michael is mentioned in the text of the old Requiem Mass, at the Offeretory:

sed signifer sanctus Michæl
repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,
quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus.

but may the sign-bearer, Saint Michael,
lead them into the holy light
which you promised to Abraham and his seed.

Of course, this image also came to mind:

Notice the ancient scales of Maat, signifying judgment over souls. I suppose that is why some people say that it is St. Michael that comes to retrieve souls at the point of death.

Like many traditions, however, this one seems to not have been passed down, except in the garbled, early morning prayers of a priest at Low Mass. So it is no wonder that in Mexico at least, the Angel of Death morphed into this:

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