Letter to the Editor – “Stop being a Church of Constantine ! A Church That is Poor?”
What an admirable garland studded with priceless, unparalleld gems of glitter and glory, typically in the footsteps of Voltaire, LONG DEAD but still, his favourite and mine too, he has deigned to adorn me, a colourless fast-fading ‘know-nothing’.
I owe him (Varghese Pamplanil who wrote the letter mentioned below) gratitude and offer it in immense measure! I accept it with my sincere THANKS, I pray, because it makes me happier beyond measure!
Pearls of Wisdom from Pamplanil!
Here are some of his pearls of wisdom: “Jesus and Christ are as different as cheese from chalk; He TURNED OUT TO BE A FAILURE. That is the harsh reality; no more relevant..today; What happened in a bygone time and place does not influence me even remotely; BLOTTING PAPER LIFE OF ACCUMULATED EXPERIENCES”; Very few of us may find it difficult to get rid of the hangover;
“Jesus fixation and admiration of Pope Francis; Science gallops, religion move with the speed of a tortoise; Out goes from my psyche, Jesus, Pauline-Constantinity, monarch Pope and Cardinal princes and other fat cats, for good; the superstitious swim in their own excreta for all I care; the ignorant and the superstitious, Good luck to all of them; May devil, if any, take care of them!”
Word of appreciation!
I wish I could add a word of appreciation on my friend Pamplanil’s comment. That would make the sermon much longer than the text, so I confine to making a few general comments.
We are all products of our environments, from birth to the present; We are all ‘rear-mirror drivers’ to learn from the past, not to repeat past mistakes; we cannot get rid of what we absorbed from our mothers’ milk part of our very being; similarly from other greats of history like Voltaire, Rousau, Socrates, Aristotle, Jesus,Tagore, Vivekananda and Narayana Guru.
So are the “miracle of humility in an era of vanity” (Elton John on Pope Francis) and many living wonders we wish but cannot hope to equal. But none of the greats, dead or living, we can copy fully, nor possible. So we are condemned to be connected to the “dead past,” only partially.
Connected to Jesus the Jew, Francis….
Yes I for one am inseparably connected to Jesus the Jew, Francis who regularly edits the gospels to suit his idea of an all merciful God wbo cannot and will not condemn any, not even the wickedest and atheists (Scalfari) but saves all! I cannot and will not accept a Jesus who wants to be KING and would slaughter those who oppose his lordship.
Finally I wish every one imitates my good friend Pamplanil to help me reduce the ocean of ignorance and help me trying to float and not drown during the short span of life left here. james kottoor, editor ccv.
The relevance of Roman Catholicism in today’s world
This is with reference to Dr. James Kottoor’s well- analysed and erudite presentation “Stop being a Church of Constantine ! A Church That is Poor?” May I offer my
congrats for his efforts.
Let me reiterate my position. I am a secular-minded person, trying to be a humanist in my own way. I admire Jesus from what I have read about him. According to my knowledge, the person touted by the Church as Jesus is a “make-believe artificial one”, could be an amalgamation of many messiahs of his time. The miracle stories of Mark and others had better be evaluated critically.
Jesus and Christ are as different as cheese is from chalk. Jesus of Nazareth is real; Christ “the anointed” is Paul’s fiction. The person of Jesus, who lived two thousand years ago in Galilee breathed air could be just like you and me; drank water when thirsty and ate food when hungry. To my understanding, he can only be human. The “resurrected Christ of Paul” is an amorphous entity. De-robed priest S. Kappen’s book “Akraisthavanaya Yesu" (“The Non-Christian Jesus”) describes the transformation of Jesus to Christ, an object of worship. The son of Mary was a descendant of forcefully converted Jews belonging to the stock of freedom loving “Gentile Galileans”, by Alexander Jannaeus, the Maccabean king, just a hundred years prior to his birth. The linking of his lineage to the house of David may be viewed as a terminological inexactitude.
Dominic Crossan and others have come have come to the conclusion that Jesus was a wandering preacher, an exorcist, social activist, a rebel who fought for the liberation of his fellow Galileans from the tyranny of Rome and also from the clutches of money-greedy avaricious and exploitative Jewish priesthood. He forfeited his life in a horrible and ignominious manner. IN MY ASSESSMENT HIS MISSION COULD BE DEEMED AS A FAILURE. That seems to be the harsh reality. At any rate, in my view Jesus, has out lived his relevance for the world of today.
Under no circumstance, I intend to engage in self-flagellation for the so-called sin emanating out of his horrible crucifixion and tragic death. The Jewish people have already paid the price by their blood and tears for centuries of life as pariahs in the Western world; Pontius Pilate is long dead and gone; even his bones have rotted and are untraceable. This is the story of dead past, long gone. Even the ghosts of the past have disappeared, no more haunting normal people.
I would like to live for the day in this land far away from Israel of Jesus' time. Also from the maddening Syro-Malabar crowd beseeching the God of Israel. The way of life of the Palestine sheepherders does not impinge on my life – I happen to live in the land engaged in agriculture, in any manner. What happened in a bygone time and place does not influence me even remotely. I strive to survive in another environment.
Dear James, I can understand your predicament, you studied Catholic theology for a number of years in Rome and have been a Catholic priest for many years. As Desmond Morris, zoologist, observes: “ Much of what we do as adults are BASED ON THE IMITATIVE ABSORPTION DURING OUR CHILDHOOD YEARS…..EVEN WHEN FACED WITH EXITING BRILLIANTLY RATIONAL NEW IDEAS, BASED ON THE APPLICATION OF PURE OBJECTIVE INTELLIGENCE, SOME OF US WILL CLING TO OUR OLD HOME-BASED HABITATS AND PREJUDICES. THIS IS THE CROSS WE HAVE TO BEAR THROUGH OUR JUVENILE “BLOTTING PAPER LIFE OF ACCUMULATED EXPERIENCES”. Very few of us may find it difficult to get rid of the hangover. We are living in the 21st century, in the AGE OF SCIENCE. Path-breaking discoveries: artificial intelligence, robotics and inter-planetary travel. Science gallops, while religion moves with the speed of a tortoise. The latter will be way behind the former; will never pace with the latter. Out goes from my psyche, Jesus, Pauline-Constantinity, monarch Pope and Cardinal princes and other fat cats, for good. I am not duty-bound to fund their opulent lifestyles.
The affliction of the Catholic religion, in my limited understanding, is negation of human nature, infested with inbuilt hatred of human life, suppression of human instincts, death wish and the mad craving for a never realisable LIFE AFTER DEATH, in short, the never ending chase of mirages.
Let the Italians, Americans,Timbuktuians, the religious obsessed, the superstitious and similar people swim in their own excreta for all I care. Some mentally retarded children may be super happy in wallowing in their urine and defecations. Let them have their perverted joys.
The cunning shamans heading the Church built on Mystery, Miracle, Magic —Mary added— make their cushy lives on the predilections of the ignorant and the superstitious. Good luck to all of them. May devil, if any, take care of them.