Matthew Fox Confessions

Matthew Fox has edited and updated his Confessions ( I appreciate the new book because it brings a lot of things together. Matt reflects his beliefs in original blessing and mysticism.
I have read this and all of Matt’s books over time. I have attended seminars and sessions with Matt where I danced even when I did not want to dance. He introduced me to the concept of original blessings which has prepared me so well for understanding the new cosmology which sees no fall from original grace in the evolutionary cycle. Two years ago Matt was the lead presenter at The Gladdening Light Conference in Winter Park, FL. The final session was the cosmic mass and we did a circle dance at the end. It was a powerful experience. Matt has used the cosmic dance as a vehicle for renewing the liturgy for younger people.
The other important part of confessions Matt dealing with the church. He delineates his struggles which finally led him to becoming a persona non grata in the Roman Church. He became a priest in the Episcopal tradition. I too left the Catholic Church. Having been deeply involved in church renewal efforts, I had an epiphany of sorts. I one day realized that the church was not going to change in my lifetime. There would still be homophobia, patriarchy which denies priesthood to women, and decrees such as the New Missal handed down from on high.
In conclusion, Matt has been one of my mentors along with Thomas Merton, John Dear, and Daniel Berrigan. Matt, keep on keeping on.

Hildegard–Justice and Compassion

I am reading Matthew Fox’s new book, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times and I highly recommend it.  Hildegard (b. 1098) now joins Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux as a doctor in the church. I agree with Matt Fox. If the pope and his curia really understood Hildegard, they never would have elevated her to sainthood—maybe this is why it took eight centuries!

Hildegard wrote, drew mandalas, composed beautiful music (Listen to her Spiritus Sanctus, and spoke truth to power, both secular and ecclesiastical leaders. Her writings indicate that she is indeed a saint for our time, truly a saint for our nation in 2012 amid the turmoil of a hotly contested election. Continue reading

The Impact of 1968 on The Church

[I had signed up for a class in the Institute for Continuing Learning at nearby Young Harris College; however, with other commitments that have emerged, I will not be able to attend. I prepared the following to share with the professor and the class.]

The Impact of 1968 on the Roman Catholic Church

J. Patrick Mahon

Matthew Fox in his book, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s  Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church And How It can Be Saved, clearly delineates the events of 1968 which were to have  a lasting impact on the world and on the Roman catholic Church:

The year 1968 was a tumultuous one around the globe. In the United States two assassinations roiled the country—the of the Reverend Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. in April, which set off riots all through urban America, and then the shooting of Senator Robert RF. Kennedy  on the day of his presidential primary victory in California. The war raged in Vietnam, and so did students marching in opposition to it in Europe as well as the United states. In the spring of 1968, student rioters in Paris dug up stones on the Boulevard Saint Michel and used them as weapons to hurl at the police. Tear gas was everywhere. Students created barriers from felled trees and cars to defend themselves from the police. With strikes freezing public transportation, gasoline stations, grocery stores, and more shut down; businesses closed and the student uprising brought down the government of Charles de Gaulle. I was there. I lived through the powerful dynamics of it all.

I was also receiving letters from friends in Chicago who were beaten up in Grant Park by the police at the tumultuous Democratic National Convention, which took the Democrats decades to get over and gave the 1968 election to Richard Nixon. My Dominican [Order of priests in the Church] provincial was sitting in Mayor Daly’s box at the convention while his police were beating up protestors, including my brother Dominican activists, in Grant park. Turmoil was in the air. Vietnam was an issue that split fathers from sons. But so too was education itself.

In the Catholic Church, 1968 will be remembered as the year of Pope Pail VI’s notorious encyclical that reinforced birth control prohibitions, Humanae Vitae [in spite of the fact that the majority of the papal commission voted to relax the prohibitions]. . . .

Students were protesting in Germany as well as in Berkeley, Madison and Paris.[1] Continue reading