Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday morning reflections...

The Scribes and Pharisees.
Somehow in grade school, a few of us rebels got the idea that the nuns were the scribes and pharisees of modern times - they widened their phylacteries (veils and habits), sat up in the front row for Mass, and laid impossible burdens upon 7th and 8th graders. That notion stuck with many Catholics into adulthood to include the hierarchy, traditional priests and religious as the new scribes and pharisees. Therefore it turned out to be the institutional Church who places impossible burdens upon the more enlightened 21st century Catholic; forbidding divorce, contraception, abortion, gay marriage, and all the other emergent civil rights contemporary culture demands.
But I think that is grossly misleading, a great deception. The scribes and pharisees and teachers of the Law Christ calls out were laymen. Not unlike the college professors and theologians of today. Of course some of these are priests and religious as well, yet in the context of academia, their most valued credentials happen to be based upon the level and number of their academic degrees, publications, tenure and so on.
Think about it. Think about all the so-called Catholic dissident theologians and professors, along with the politicians and social activists who are influenced by them and rely upon their teachings. Many of these may fit the profile of the ancient scribes and pharisees more accurately than the hierarchy. In our day they happen to be the ones who teach as doctrine human precepts, disregarding God's commandments, clinging to human tradition, based upon exciting new, albeit dubious, research, studies, scientific developments, and novel legislation protecting civil rights.
Of course any of us can fit that profile, which is why Christ warned his disciples to beware the leaven of the scribes and pharisees.

1 comment:

  1. Carol1:35 PM

    I don't think it was schoolkids' fault.

    I don't know any dissidents, only priests --since they are whom laypeople are supposed to listen to. Anything beyond that is gravy.

    The only folks I've met that approach the Pharisaic burdeners / sly horrors that sold out Christ along with Judas the layperson are Traditionalist lay (and clergy and Religious) who sell out his Popes first, as if doing Him a favor.

    There's a cackle in hell over it.


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