Virgin Mary Weeps
Posted by Theodora Ranelli on October 5, 2009
After seeing a story that believers sighted the Virgin Mary statue in Ireland weeping, I again wonder – what is the place in the post-post Vatican II church for such miracles? And where do I fit on the macro scale of Catholicism?
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, it’s hard for me to consider myself a progressive Catholic. This is partially because I am very old-fashioned about rituals and holy matter. Part of me even likes Mass in Latin – except for the not integrating community part. Socially, I subscribe to a lot of tenets that progressive Catholics hold dear.
I actually think that medieval Catholic thinkers had a lot more figured out about gender, sexuality, and identity than us modern or post-modern Catholics. Medieval Catholics did not shy away from writing about Heaven as a sexual experience that is well within Church theology.
I think many modern or progressive minded Catholics have gotten all rational Muslim over our asses (God bless rational Muslims, God bless progressive minded Catholics). In playing down central tenets of Catholic faith and Catholic folk life – Virgin Mary tears (you mean it’s not just about sexism?), transubstantiation (no, it doesn’t just mean community! Although community is good!), apparitions, blood relics,
Oh, the blood relics – as just trappings and baggage that have held the Church down.
As we look for new metaphors to express our frustrations with the Church, let’s not knock conservative Catholics or so-called conservative practices. Because then we get into this mind warp of thinking like secular folks – oh, the only way to be is progressive Catholic. And this can get in the way of dealing with other religions, especially Islam, because progressive Catholics tend to romanticize progressive Muslims as the “right” way to be.
And yes, medieval Catholics had those rather big problems with Islamophobia and crusades. But really, progressive Catholic community, are we any better?