[Disclaimer: Rules 7-9] "Well, this is awkward, isn't it? Now Maureen Mullarkey is pulling punches, and being one degree more polite. Yet the dame's criticisms still sting. Damn. What to do." Thus Guy Noir comments on Maureen Mullarkey's "Leonardo Boff & Backdoor Polytheism" (First Things, February 23, 2015), in which she writes:
The line between the crackpot and the mystical is not at all narrow. It is broad and deep. But the chasm can be obscured with rational-sounding phrases (e.g. “crisis of the social paradigm”) and magpie assemblages of scientific and scholarly references woven together with christological language. Doubtless, it is camouflaged most significantly—and insidiously—by incontestable concern for the poor.(Read more of Mullarkey's blistering critique of Boff HERE.)
You will decide for yourself whether to welcome Boff’s environmental counsel to Francis of Rome. Or dread it.
Noir continues his comments:
The uncomfortable problem is that Mullarkey is a laywoman, a faithful one who respects tradition yet can think and talk in terms of the modern world, and yet is not at all enthralled with the theological revisionists who have usurped plum positions in the hierarchy and take for granted the theological naiveté of Yes-men sheeple. Instead, she has a brain, and is not afraid to point out exactly where it is that things most emphatically do not make sense -- Boff or De Lubac or anyone else to the contrary. She is not trying to compromise or find loop holes or argue, but simply to discern consistency. And she doesn't find it. Because she sees just what the words and the arguments propose at their face value. In fact, only an obtuse and overly verbose theologian COULD miss what she sees, or the fallout of the past several decades.
Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot:
As a communication scholar, for me it is screamingly apparent that all those phrases mean nothing more than enthusiams of branding. Because each represents a fundamental break with Tradition, Living, Dead, or In Between. And only scholars afraid to make a break from the Body Politic can even begin to pretend to disagree.
This inconvenient state of affairs was impossible back in the day when Xavier Rynne was the lone pressman for Vatican II. But today, when the hierarchy's New Theological Clothes are on full display for everyone -- with easy cross-referencing for anyone who knows the web -- what is impossible is the Let's Pretend Game that nothing has changed, and these more recent clerics are in continuity with previous centuries. They are not. Quite apparently.
And one has to be wilfully ignorant to think otherwise. It is as embarrassing as watching Mormons insist on the veracity of the translation of the Book of Abraham. Sorry, but even regular Joes can read and connect the dots, despite the usual apologists' noble hermeneutics of charity, and they are also thankfully less prone to swallow party nonsense.... Who really cares what the bona fides of these clerics are when the facts speak for themselves for anyone willing to take off their The Church Never Contradicts Itself goggles. It may be true that the Church's dogmatic teaching doesn't contradict itself, but what we are hearing from some of our leading clerics now is not Catholicism, unless that word has no meaning....
Don't even ask why Evangelicalism grows in Latin America. For once can we just be honest instead of ultramontane cheerleaders? Just look at the theology of those advising the Latin American who sits on the throne of Peter right now.