Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jesuit On Pagan Saint Mohandas

.......Third, he (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) is a saint, and we should honor the saints. Our Catholic observance of saints’ birth and death anniversaries need not be entirely limited to Catholic saints. 
Without undue harm to anyone's theological sensitivities, we might very well join other Christian communities in adding figures like Gandhi to our calendar, mentioning him at Mass, and praying in his memory for peace and nonviolence. 
We can do this because, from a moderative Catholic perspective, he is obviously a figure radiant with the grace of God, grace that loses nothing of its splendor because it radiates in the life, work, personality of this man who deeply respected Jesus yet chose not to become a Christian.
Link (here) to the full blog post by Fr. Francis Xavier Clooney, S.J. at America's In All Things.
Gandhi and Communism, 1934-1940 (here)
Gandhi and the caste system (here) and (here)  
Gandhi and Christianity (here) and (here) 

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Jesuit just doesn't get what Catholic faith or worship are. Can he distinguish between acquired and infused virtues? Does he distinguish between natural law and Christian perfection? I suspect not, otherwise he would grasp that to consider an unbaptized person worthy of saintly status is absurd, regardless of how highly developed the unbaptized person's acquired virtues were.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that a certain Jesuit was asleep during Soteriology class.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the impression this Jesuit believes Jesus is God or appreciates the fact that Gandhi did not accept this.

Maria said...

God Bless Fr. Looney. Like I always say where all things Jesuitical are concerned, these days: you simply cannot make this stuff up...

Anonymous said...

Why all the brouhaha?

He makes it clear that Gandhi was NOT a saint in the narrow Catholic sense.

"need not be entirely limited to Catholic saints."

Non-Catholics are routinely mentioned during mass, particularly in homilies.

Why should mentioning him as an example in prayers be wrong, either?

Anonymous said...

While I do think Ghandi is a hero and is most likely in heaven, I don't think we can honor him with feasts or as a Catholic saint. Besides the fact that he wasn't Catholic - how does he inspire me to have a closer relationship with Christ - whom he didn't believe in?
Therefore, other than mentioning him in a homily or praying for him or peace(perhaps on an anniversary), how does officially honoring him in a Catholic way make any sense? A feast day is usually associated with a Mass which is about praising God through the merits of Jesus. Did Ghandi do this? No, he didn't believe. Shared virtues are not shared faith and Mass is about faith. Secularizing feasts is another sure fire way of forgetting who and what we are.

Anonymous said...

Again, it comes down to Catholic beliefs regarding salvation (soteriology).

Without God's grace, which is mediated to all through Jesus Christ, we cannot be saved.

This is achieved through the 'ordinary' means of salvation, belief in Christ and baptism.

It may also be achieved through 'extraordinary' means without an explicit acknowledgment of Christ - but the efficacy of this means is subtle and known to God alone.

Holding up Gandhi as an example of faith is misplaced, precisely because it misunderstands the nature of God's grace, as revealed & mediated by Jesus Christ.

To hold otherwise is Pelagianism.

Anonymous said...

I admire Gandhi because of his leadership in the non violent Indian struggle for independence. But that is not sufficient to be saved. Salvation comes from Christ, not us.

We know about Gandhi's public persona, nothing else. For all we know he may have had grave sins, apart from not accepting Christ. Why then is he being held up as an example of sainthood for Catholics, in whatever sense?

The Church recognizes Catholic Saints, no other. So in whose name is this Jesuit calling Gandhi a saint? Certainly not the Church's.

Furthermore, given that Gandhi did not accept and thereby honor Christ, he should not be honored in a Catholic homily. What was the real reason he didn't accept Christ? Christians sinning? Didn't Hindus sin? His pride? Or both?

Anonymous said...

For another take on Gandhi's, ahem, sanctity, go here: http://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt

Anonymous said...

To all those who can't read:

This Jesuit made it clear that he does NOT consider Gandhi a saint in CATHOLIC sense of the world, but rather in the wider SECULAR sense.

In countries like India, using Ghandi to explain to non-Catholics what a Catholic saint is similar to, does not seem like a dumb idea (his private foibles notwithstanding.)

Anonymous said...

To "Anonymous 12:13", who accused prior posters of not being able to read: the Jesuit stated that the Catholic Church should add Gandhi to our calendar. That can only mean the liturgical calendar, which can only mean having a memorial in honor of Gandhi, which would mean celebrating a Mass whose collect beseeches grace from Christ through the example of Gandhi. The Jesuit is attempting to dilute the Church's faith and worship by secularizing them. We understand his intent and meaning correctly, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous who can't reason (12:46):

One can add Ghandi to "a calendar" or "our calendar" without according him the honors due ONLY to Catholic saints.

Until you adduce black on white evidence that he wants Gandhi to be accorded honors incompatible with the rubrics of mass, you should not makes such claims.

I remind you that it was stupid, narrow-minded people whose stupid, narrow-minded insistence that the Jesuits not adopt Chinese and the Chinese tradition of ancestor veneration cost the church the opportunity to convert China, and millions of souls their chance to know Jesus.

It is a sin to say nasty things about people unnecessarily, and especially when one is not sure if they are true.

You gandu!

Maria said...

"To all those who can't read"

Hmmmmmmmmm. Dear Padre Anonymous: How come I have the sneakin suspicions that your are a Jesuit?

Maria said...

Anonymous said...
To "Anonymous 12:13", who accused prior posters of not being able to read: the Jesuit stated that the Catholic Church should add Gandhi to our calendar. That can only mean the liturgical calendar, which can only mean having a memorial in honor of Gandhi, which would mean celebrating a Mass whose collect beseeches grace from Christ through the example of Gandhi. The Jesuit is attempting to dilute the Church's faith and worship by secularizing them. We understand his intent and meaning correctly, thank you very much.
WHOEVER YOU ARE? GOD LOVE YOU

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:31 -- Perhaps you are referring Matteo Ricci S.J. in China. If so. to my knowledge he did not refer to any followers of Confucius, Buddha or Lao Tse in China as 'saints'. As I understand it, he clarified for their sake, who the Lord of Heaven really was, since they believed in him. He clarified te real meaning of the term in order to convert them to Christianity, not to honor Chinese gods.

More here: "A Ratzinger from Four Centuries Ago, in Beijing"
http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1344985?eng=y

Anonymous said...

Maria,

I am not a padre; the Jesuits are one of the 6 Catholic orders who educated me.

What I do not like are people who make false accusations.

You have offered no evidence at all for your claims such as that he wants Gandhi mentioned in the collects, and what it can only mean.

Could one not, if one wished to abide by the Church's teachings, include Gandhi on a calendar, as a reminder that he be mentioned during the homily?

Are you claiming that this Jesuit is going to hold a gun to the head of celebrants to see that they do as you CLAIM that he wishes.

Bring the evidence, or keep your peace, please.

By the way, you have yet to answer the last question I put to you, after I asked you it TWICE.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:36:

This is the giveaway statement:

"from a moderative Catholic perspective, he is obviously a figure radiant with the grace of God, grace that loses nothing of its splendor because it radiates in the life, work, personality of this man who deeply respected Jesus yet chose not to become a Christian."

Grace that loses nothing of its splendor because... this man... chose not to become a Christian?

In the Jesuit's mixed-up ecclesiology and soteriology, faith in Christ has no more splendor than a man who developed acquired virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance to an admirable level.

Anonymous said...

Sorry,

I can't agree. And even worse, I don't think your argument holds water.

What this Jesuit wrote, was that the graces Gandhi received, (ignoring the skepticism others have professed for the moment) were not diminished by the graces he did not receive.

In having to argue that the graces NOT RECEIVED do not diminish those received, he's very clearly delineating what Gandhi was, and what Gandhi WASN'T.

Now WHERE, exactly, does he write that Gandhi was a CATHOLIC SAINT? If you cannot produce an exact quote, it is you who is "mixed up."

I spent more than a decade living among Indians. Christian and Catholic Indians are discriminated against every day, and even MURDERED for their faith, in no small part because bigoted Indians consider Christians to be unIndian. (In no small part because many Indian Christians come from the lowest castes, and were the first to convert because they were tired of being everybody's whipping boy.)

Mentioning Gandhi, and pointing out his similarities to (but NOT exact overlap with) the Catholic saints during the mass is a very eloquent way of explaining to Indians what a Catholic saint is, what Catholics are supposed to be, and why Christians are not to be hated. How can Indian bigots rail against people who pointedly respect Gandhi?

Might this deviation from the path of rectitude as you define it not be worth it, if it results in less Christians being MURDERED for nothing?

I found the Jesuits who taught me to generally have very subtle minds, the subtlety of whose thought sometimes eluded others.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous defender of the Jesuit:

The subtlety of the Jesuits is often a deliberately cultivated ambiguity in order to promote heresy while maintaining appearances of being in conformity with the faith.

You have apparently drunk too much of the Jesuit Kool-Aid, and your snide put downs of the rest of us do not badger us into bowing to your self-implied intellectual superiority which grasps the "subtleties" of Jesuit thinking.

The alleged subtlety of the Jesuit's mind does not elude me: to the contrary, I can see through the smoke and mirrors to what he is actually trying to communicate and accomplish.

If you prefer it in the fun house, be my guest. And have another sip of Kool Aid while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

It is telling (and dishonest) that you do NOT answer the questions I posed you, in the spirit of dialectical learning, but speak about wholly unrelated things.

A bonmot among lawyers; if you can, argue the facts. If you can't, argue the law. And if you can't argue the law, pound on the table!

Anonymous said...

By the way the following contradicts itself, and as such is nonsense:

"The subtlety of the Jesuits is often a deliberately cultivated ambiguity in order to promote heresy while maintaining appearances of being in conformity with the faith."

As long as something is not in contradiction to the faith, i.e. does not "appear" to contradict the faith in your terms, it cannot be not heresy.

What you seem to imply is that it's not what is said and done that counts, but that motives, what has not been said, and what has not been done, that is unacceptable to you. This is the (malign) thinking of which witch hunts are made.

Might I remind you that the Church is governed by Canon Law, and due process.

Anonymous said...

"How can Indian bigots rail against people who pointedly respect Gandhi?"

Why can't this Jesuit (or any Catholic) show his respect for Gandhi without calling him a saint, and thereby confusing the matter greatly?

It confuses it because Hindus (and others) will then see little reason to convert to Christ. That is the goal, remember?

Instead they will think:
Gandhi is enough and even the Christians imply it.

Anon 10:19

Anonymous said...

""How can Indian bigots rail against people who pointedly respect Gandhi?""

This question goes unanswered.

"Why can't this Jesuit (or any Catholic) show his respect for Gandhi without calling him a saint, and thereby confusing the matter greatly?"

I did not find this confusing at all; after all, he explicitly makes clear that he is NOT a Catholic saint.

"It confuses it because Hindus (and others) will then see little reason to convert to Christ. That is the goal, remember?"

There is no proof for this. One can plausibly argue that by underlining what it is common, it will draw them nearer. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep, after all. Missionaries the world over try to spread the Catholic faith, and accept the local culture. Trying to force people to change their culture does not work very well. Reverence for Gandhi is a part of Indian culture.

"Instead they will think:
Gandhi is enough and even the Christians imply it."

This is possible, but FAR from certain; one can also argue the exact opposite. I happen to know an Indian religious who, out of reverence for Gandhi AND for Mother Theresa, devoted his life to caring for some of India's truly destitute. I hardly believe that mentioning Gandhi would turn him away from Christianity.

Anonymous said...

"How can Indian bigots rail against people who pointedly respect Gandhi?"

Christians should not make decisions out of fear of abuse and persecution, let alone call
a non Christian a saint to avoid it. We need to help Christ convert bigots too and this will
not happen if we nurture their delusion that Christ is not necessary for salvation.

"I did not find this confusing at all; after all, he explicitly makes clear that he is NOT a Catholic saint."

He implies that one can be a Saint without Christ, which is false.


"Trying to force people to change their culture does not work very well. Reverence for Gandhi is a part of Indian culture."

No one is trying to change anyone's culture or forbid them from respecting Gandhi for his
astonishing and exceptional
non-violent political leadership. Just don't jump into the supernatural and call him a
saint. I am not Palestinian or Jew (and neither were the Greek
or Roman gentiles) and yet I believe in Christ while my culture remains.


"I happen to know an Indian religious who, out of reverence for Gandhi AND for Mother
Theresa, devoted his life to caring for some of India's
truly destitute. I hardly believe that mentioning Gandhi would turn him away from
Christianity."

We are debating about the appropriateness of calling Gandhi a saint or reverencing him in a homily, not merely 'mentioning' him. Furthermore, this is ambiguous and confusing. Are you saying he did it equally out of reverence for Gandhi and Christ and compassion for the destitute?

You claim he's a Christian; thus, he believes Christ is God, but Gandhi is not. Does he therefore adore Christ or Gandhi, neither or both, or do you think
this is also irrelevant? Do you think that one can be a Christian and polytheistic simultaneously, like a misinformed Hindu might?

Anonymous said...

You do not use reason in your responses:

"He implies that one can be a Saint without Christ, which is false."

We had already established that there are multiple senses in which saint can be used, among them Catholic, Christian, and secular.

If you can't use reason, it would be charitable for you to stop sharing your opinions.

"Christians should not make decisions out of fear of abuse and persecution,"

When Christians are persecuted they sure as hell take into their calculations! What planet do you live on?

"Does he therefore adore Christ or Gandhi, neither or both, or do you think this is also irrelevant?"

He takes Gandhi as an example.

"Do you think that one can be a Christian and polytheistic simultaneously, like a misinformed Hindu might?"

You are asking the wrong question. Of course not.

The right question is: can one be a Christian, and simultaneously be shaped by the Hindu culture?

Of course you can, and many are.

Anonymous said...

"We had already established that there are multiple senses in which saint can be used, among them Catholic, Christian, and secular."

We certainly did not establish that. It's precisely what we have been debating.

"When Christians are persecuted they sure as hell take into their calculations! What planet do you live on?"

Christians should not make decisions out of fear of abuse and persecution. They should not look for abuse or conflict but if that's what preaching the truth brings, so be it.

------

I had asked you if your so called Christian friend adored Gandhi or Christ and you responded that he takes Gandhi as an example. If he does not adore Christ, he's not a Christian and your example is thus meaningless. What deity does your friend adore, if any?

Anonymous said...

""We had already established that there are multiple senses in which saint can be used, among them Catholic, Christian, and secular."

We certainly did not establish that. It's precisely what we have been debating."

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saint

Dictionaries are very clear that I am right. Nothing can be gained by trying to reason with people who are rabidly opposed to reason. Good luck with life!

Anonymous said...

You didn't tell us who your friend adored. Obviously it's not Christ. Yet you presented him to us as a Christian. Shame on you.

Forget Mirriam Webster; it doesn't claim to be Christian. According to the Catholic Catechism:

946 "...The communion of saints is the Church.

947 "Since all the faithful form one body...But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head....

960 The Church is a "communion of saints": this expression refers first to the "holy things" (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which "the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about" (LG 3).

961 "The term "communion of saints" refers also to the communion of "holy persons" (sancti) IN CHRIST who "died for all," so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all."

The Catholic Church belongs to Jesus Christ and is therefore right. This is what the Jesuit priest should be talking about when referring to saints, not Gandhi, who refused Christ.

If you are a Christian you should reconsider your disobedience of the First Commandment. If you are not, you should understand that Catholics believe you have only one chance to be eternally saved and that there is no salvation except through Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

My friend is monk, in one of the well known orders of the Catholic church. I have not met many Catholic monks who were not Christians, though one never knows. Incidentally, he has a doctorate to his name.

And you sir / madam, are an incorrigible fool. You do not second guess this Jesuit's writings because you are capable of superior insight, but because you are his intellectual inferior, and know it all too well.

Shame on you for spewing such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"My friend is monk, in one of the well known orders of the Catholic church."

Being a Catholic monk isn't a guarantee of anything any longer. The Catholic Church is fully infiltrated by those intent on destroying it. But please tell us if you know that this monk (and also you and your Jesuit friend) believe one must adore Christ above all things. Just answer the question if you want us to know your position, will you please?

"And you sir / madam, are an incorrigible fool."

Ouch. OK, I see. That's your last argument. But why? Because while you steer souls to Gandhi I've warned that salvation is only through Jesus Christ?

"You do not second guess this Jesuit's writings because you are capable of superior insight, but because you are his intellectual inferior, and know it all too well."

Somehow I'm not surprised you would think so nor would I be surprised if I indeed was. There are surely millions who are more intelligent than me.

From Saint Ignatius I learned that the purpose of my intelligence is exclusively to serve Christ. With the little I'm gifted with, I will continue trying and hope your Jesuit friend and you will also try.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Jesuits are NOT monks.

You clearly understand next to nothing about Catholic religious.

And my friend happens to be in an abbey known for its orthodoxy and the sanctity of its members.

If you really love the Catholic church, the time has come that you go post on a bulletin board - and spread your confusion - about Muslim or Protestant religious matters.

Anonymous said...

"FYI: Jesuits are NOT monks."

Please read what I wrote more carefully: "But please tell us if you know that this monk (and also you and your Jesuit friend) believe one must adore Christ above all things."

1.'this monk'
2. 'you'
3. 'your Jesuit friend'

That's 3 persons.

Now,will you please answer or will we just have to presume that your answer to the question is no? It's your chance to give testimony for Christ, that is, that you and your 2 friends believe that Christ and the Blessed Trinity should be adored above all.

Maria said...

Father Hardon on India and Ghandi

IIndia) is a " country controlled by what I consider the most intellectual culture in the world -of India -where the great Mahatma Ghandi made sure when India became freed from Great Britain that Christian missionaries from outside of India would be forbidden to evangelize in his nation".

Oh, yes, let's add him to the calendar. Pray, pray, pray for the Society of Jesus...