Whose Version of the Gospel?

My little letter to the editor of The Age re Pope Benedict’s Curia address (still not available in English on the Vatican Website) has been published (see the very end of this page) at the very end of the main letters section. The only other letter on the matter was from one “Pat James” of “North Balwyn” (that would be Fr Hodgen’s old parish, no?) which read:

If the Pope wants people to listen to him he should preach the Gospel of Jesus, not his version of it.”

Which surely raises an interesting question – in fact THE “interesting question” with which much of the discussion on this blog is concerned: What is the authentic Gospel of Jesus and what is simply someone else’s “version of it”?

If we concede the fact than any expression of “the Gospel of Jesus” is going to be someone’s “version of it”, surely it is not unreasonable to expect that the Pope would preach the Catholic “version of it”?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Whose Version of the Gospel?

  1. Paul

    Hi David, congratulation on getting a letter pubished. Here in the Sydney SMH we have 2 more letters, one against Pope Benedict and one (sort of) for. That makes a total so far of 2 feature articles and 5 letters against Pope B and one letter and no features in support.
    The letter today is really strange, quoting a completely irrelevant paragraph in the Catechism, so I’m send in a letter in response and see how I go.
    The letters today are at
    http://www.smh.com.au/letters/?page=5

  2. Schütz

    Thanks, Paul. Sorry your letter didn’t make it.

    Here are the two letters to which Paul has referred us:

    “I’m Catholic but not gay, and yet still I’m angry. Angry for the way the church continues to deny its responsibility to all humans, including the gay community and females. It does so in apparent open defiance of its own catechism that says at paras 1202 and 1204: “The church is catholic, capable of integrating into her unity, while purifying them, all the authentic riches of cultures … in such a way that they themselves are not abolished by it, but redeemed and fulfilled.” Unfortunately the crew at the helm of the church do nothing for redemption and fulfilment; but their perhaps more enlightened successors just might. One can only hope and pray.”

    Fred Jansohn Rose Bay

    “I am neither Catholic nor gay but I can see the consistency in the tradition upheld by the Pope concerning homosexuality. It is a dogmatic contradiction for someone to proclaim themselves as gay and also as Catholic (“It’s time to sing out if you’re gay, Catholic … and angry”, December 27-28). Adele Horin wants a religion that reflects social changes in morality, but the Christian faith is not here to conform to people’s behaviour or to condone their views.”

    James A. Athanasou Maroubra

    The quotation from the Catechism in the first letter by Fred from Rose Bay is indeed strange – although not wholly irrelevant. Fred seems, however, to overlook the lines about “purifying them” and “all the authentic riches of cultures”.

  3. Paul

    Hi David, below is the letter I just submitted to the SMH. I hope I understood the Cathechism correctly, but anyway, we need to get away from this nitpicking and acknowledge the Pope for the loving pastor that I hear in his talks. Of course, being a loving pastor sometimes means you have to tell people things they don’t want to hear.

    My letter was:
    Fred Jansohn (letters, 29th December), says Pope Benedict is defying the catechism and he quotes 2 paragraphs from it. If you read the references he gives, they are not at all relevant to the point Mr Jansohn is trying to make. Paragraphs 1202 and 1204 are talking about liturgical practices based on symbolism and the social organisation of the surrounding culture. I would be amazed if Mr Jansohn intends to say that the gay community has arisen from a cultural practice in some specific region. Of course there are many other texts in the Catechism which are really relevant to the Pope’s recent speech in Rome, but we need to get away from legalistic arguments. I have read Pope Benedict’s speech, which covers many subjects. The couple of paragraphs in his speech which people are talking about are a thoughtful and charitable statement of his reasons for believing that the nature of men and women are different in some aspects. If you disagree, that’s fine, lets have the discussion, but after reading the Pope’s speech, I don’t see any justification for anger and resentment.

  4. Cardinal Pole

    Readers interested in defending the Holy Father against assorted positivists, constructivists and nihilists might care to join me at the following two secularist blogs:

    http://crystalgaze2.blogspot.com/2008/12/dear-pope-ratz.html

    http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2008/12/todays-battles_27.html