An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year’s Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is “a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist”.
[. . .]
Cardinal Biffi said that Christianity stood for “absolute values, such as goodness, truth, beauty”. If “relative values” such as “solidarity, love of peace and respect for nature” became absolute, they would encourage “idolatry” and “put obstacles in the way of salvation”.
I’m not really sure what to do with this one. I can barely get my brain wrapped around that second set of “absolute” vs. “relative” values. It makes no sense. I think the world could sure use an ecumenist, pacifist, and ecologist, though, and it doesn’t surprise me that entrenched institutions would see that as a threat. Bring it on.
In less wacky news, the Washington Post’s excellent section On Faith has answers from panelists to the question: What does your faith lead you to believe about gay unions and gay clergy? Could you ever change your mind?
Some of the responses are beautiful. For example:
In a society in which traditional marriage is in trouble and God seeks relationships that model covenant love, I welcome relationships that reflect covenant love and a durability that models the fidelity of God. As best I can tell, such traits in a marriage are not limited to heterosexual relationships.
— Rev. C. Welton Gaddy
Why would I form my belief about gay unions and gay clergy from my faith?
That is not where one goes for the knowledge that is the catalyst for destroying prejudice.
Historically my faith has taught that sex was evil, that celibacy was the higher path of virtue, that marriage was a compromise with sin, that slavery was a legitimate human institution and that women were created to be second class citizens.
— Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong
And of course, swinging back to the side of WTF? is the great “Jesus Tomb” debate. Beliefnet has some nice coverage of that and other recent archaeological debates on biblical topics.