Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Vatican Declares "The Blues Brothers" A "Catholic Classic"

L'Osservatore Romano has declared 'The Blues Brothers' a "Catholic Classic"

Alan: The greatness of the Catholic Church - rarely recognized by non-Catholics -- is that "The Roman Church" is really the "Roman" church.

Oscar Wilde, who converted to Catholicism on his death bed, offered this revelation:
"The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. 
For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.”
Oscar Wilde

My best essay as a University of Toronto undergraduate (1965-1970) incorporated the lyrics of "Well Respected Man." I wrote it for Rev. J. Edgar Bruns' "Comparative Religions" class.
Well Respected Man
The Kinks

Since antiquity, Rome has championed lofty principles - albeit civic virtues in pagan time.

It is also true that "Rome" -- whether sacred or secular -- has never forgotten that humans are flawed creatures and that backsliding will continue as long as we live.


Bank on it.

Distrust anyone -- Savonarola comes to mind -- who argues that humans are perfectable.

Unbeknownest to "those who presume perfection," they persistently "pave the road to Hell with good intentions."
Is Perfectionism A Curse?
Paul Ryan Tells The Truth

Authoritarian Absolutism Is So Noose-Taut That It Ends By Strangling Itself

"Santorum, Savonarola And The Pending Apocalypse Of The Republican Party"

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton
More Merton Quotes

Make no mistake.

Mercy and forgiveness are The Transcendent Virtues whereas the self-righteousness born of "perfection" is deadly - religiously, psychologically, politically and sociologically. 

"Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” 
Matthew 9:13

Yeshua Excoriates Fellow Pharisees: "The Woe Passages"

"Twelve Steps For The Recovering Pharisee (Like Me)" By John Fischer

"Love Your Enemies. Do Good To Those Who Hate You," Luke 6: 27-42

"Do You Know What You're Doing To Me?"
Jesus of Nazareth

Pax on both houses: Pope Francis: "Mercy Makes The World More Just"

Abraham Lincoln And Pope Francis Agree On The Roles Of Mercy And Justice

Pope Francis: "There Are Two Ways Of Having Faith: We Can Fear To Lose The Saved." Or...

Pope Francis Raises Not-So-Invisible Hand: "Stop In The Name Of Love!"

"Pope Francis Links"

Pope Francis: Quotations On Finance, Economics, Capitalism And Inequality

Bill McKibben: "The Christian paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong"

Pope Francis: What Christianity Looks Like When Believers Realize "God Is Love"

In the English language New Testament, the word "sin" derives from the Greek "hamartia," an archer's term for "missing the mark." 

Eventually budding marksmen learn to hit the bulls eye by correcting their mistakes. 

Without mistakes, there is no learning.

This routinely overlooked truth cannot be overemphasized.

Not only does it reveal an essential truth (and a wellspring of fruitful experience), it forfends the fatal smarm of self-righteousness.

Admittedly, it is seldom advisable to commit mistakes deliberately - although my daughter, on a painfully short visit to Venice, chose to spend her handful of hours "getting lost" on purpose, giving no thought whatsoever to "seeing the sights." 

During that all too brief afternoon, Maria had the time of her life

No expectations, no disappointment. 

Just resolute determination to "take it as it came." 

Go girl!

You da "blues sister."

On the 30th anniversary of the cult film's release, the official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has declared it a "Catholic classic".
It points out that Jake and Elwood Blues battled police, a psychotic ex-girlfriend, country and western fans and neo-Nazis in order to raise enough money to prevent the closure of the church-run orphanage in which they grew up.
The newspaper, once a dour publication devoted to weighty matters of theology and Vatican appointments, has recently embraced popular culture and devotes an entire page to consider the movie's meaning and legacy.
It praises the film as an "incredibly shrewd" work which is "rich with ideas", and recalls "the unforgettable John Belushi's sneer which remains, three decades after the movie's release, an icon of cinematography".
Its approval of the 1980 film, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, is all the more surprising given some of the much-quoted lines from the film, including: "Curtis, I don't want to listen to no jive-ass preacher talking to me about Heaven and Hell."
At one point in the film they are told: "Boys, you got to learn not to talk to nuns that way."
The plot revolves around a chaotic road trip involving spectacular pile-ups and police chases as the brothers try to reform their band and raise enough money to stop the orphanage from closing down.
The editor, Gian Maria Vian, who discerns a strong Catholic subtext in the comic caper, said: "For them, this Catholic institution is their only family – and they decide to save it at any cost."
He points out that a framed photograph of the young John Paul II appears in one scene.
The paper's attempts to throw off its dusty image have not been welcomed by all Catholics. The Catholic National Register said that to an "increasing number" of Catholics, the newspaper's new-found enthusiasm for popular culture "appears to trivialise the Vatican and, ultimately, the Church".
Here is The New Post's "take" on this same story"

Mission accomplished: Vatican blesses Blues Brothers

June 19, 2010
They really were “on a mission from God.”
In a stunning move by the Vatican, the classic Dan Aykroyd-John Belushi comedy film “The Blues Brothers” was declared a “Catholic classic” alongside more pious films such as “The Ten Commandments” and “The Passion of the Christ.”
The announcement was made in the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, corresponding with 30th anniversary of the release of the film.
“As a former altar boy from age 6 . . . but a somewhat lapsed Catholic, I was delighted with the endorsement,” Aykroyd said in a message to The Post yesterday.
“My local monsignor will immediately be receiving a check for parish needs.”
L’Osservatore editor Gian Maria Vian praised the flick for its plot, in which Jake Blues (Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Aykroyd) battle cops, neo-Nazis and crazed country fans in a bid to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised.
“For them, this Catholic institution is their only family,” Vian wrote. “And they decide to save it at any cost.”
L’Osservatore’s editorial lavishes praise on the 1980 comic romp, in which Aykroyd and Belushi say that they’re “on a mission from God.” The writers call it “incredibly shrewd” noting that in one scene a picture of Pope John Paul II could clearly be seen.

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