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Cdl. Francis George: I'm Religious But Not Spiritual

Turning it on its head:

It’s somewhat fashionable these days to describe oneself as “spiritual but not religious.” This is supposed to mean that one is open to an experience beyond the commercial or the political but not tied to “institutional” religion. One claims an experience of transcendence that is bound by no one else’s rules. People can always make claims to any kind of experience. The question is always: Who cares? Why should anyone care where someone else gets a spiritual high? Because no one really cares, the claim to be spiritual but not religious is always safe. It’s never a threat and can be dismissed quite easily. The claim to be religious is different. It is a claim that God himself has taken the initiative to reveal himself to us and tell us who he is and who we are. Religion binds us to God according to his will, not ours, in a community of faith that he has brought into existence. Being religious can therefore be threatening.
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Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Cdl. George, the fundamental problem with Catholicism is that it's neither "religous" (as you define that term) nor "spiritual." Catholicism is very, very secular, more than you would care to admit. Just look at the behavior of your "brother bishops" regarding clerical sex-abuse, abortion, and Canon Law (does Wuerl and Canon 915 ring any bells for you?).

Moreover look at the behavior of JPII, who arbitrarily changed centuries of Catholic teaching on capital punishment to fit his abolitionist sympathies, and Benedict who not only has refused to discipline Wuerl but also to rebuke the president of the German bishops' conference, who denied the doctrine of propitiation on German television.

Catholicism has done a great job of "binding" people not to God or to a faith community, but to an ecclesiological caste system whose leaders demand blind deference and take liberties with their spiritual patrimony -- which they've sacrificed on the altar of power, prestige, secular influence and monarchistic arrogance. The whole stinking, termite-infested ediface is going to come down quicker than you all think, as judgement from a holy, righteous God!

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