Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reflection on Bishop Ruiz Garcia's Life by Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, ccvi

I found the following statement to be a key to so much that is happening now in the Church and for the last 40 years:

". . .his remarks against the powerful landlord class were construed by some -- including some at the Vatican -- as originating in Marxist class theory, rather than the Gospel."

It seems strange that a faithful bishop who is inspired by the infallible teachings of the Church in the Second Vatican Council,
especially those that called us to return to the values of our earliest roots in the early Christian communities, should be labeled a suspect Marxist by the Vatican itself. 

Perhaps that is more an indication that the founders of Marxist theory--apart from its atheism--through their concern for exploited children in the coal mines of England or factory workers in newly industrialized countries, and their observation of the alignment of the Christian clergy with the rich and the powerful whose wealth came by these means, have more in common with the heart and values of Jesus and the Gospel than do these "some in the Vatican". 

In that sense, perhaps Marxists more closely represented in their efforts—except for the violence--the values of Jesus and the Early Church in their care for the poor, which is why their success in Latin American became such a point of concern for Pope John XXIII and the bishops of the Council.  Unfortunately, Marxism chose violence as the means for change in such a system.  The way of Jesus and of Vatican II was a call to conversion and justice through Love and Reconciliation.

And perhaps it was the scandal given by Christian factory and farm owners who were (and are) the exploiters of those very children and workers--a living contradiction of the Gospel of Love--that led to the rejection of both God and the Church by the Marxists.  Perhaps some Church representatives will be held more accountable for the loss of faith by the Marxists in the sight of God, for we have received the Holy Spirit and the Gospel of Love and Justice as His witnesses.  It seems that Bishop Ruiz Garcia understood this very well and wanted to be ready to account to God for his position of Shepherd in the Church, as did Bishop Oscar Romero, a brother bishop, as witness.

And perhaps it is this very scandal of injustice and exploitation of the poor that the Second Vatican Council sought to correct.  It seems that it is this precise point that Bishop Ruiz Garcia fully understood and lived.  Perhaps the “some” powerful locked away in the Vatican and in some chancery offices throughout the world have failed to understand and enact these corrections.  Perhaps they are too inclined to listen to the voices of the exploiters whose power stems from their control of money, than to the voices of the exploited.   Perhaps we need all to pray for the gift of understanding, wisdom and fortitude that so filled this man of God, Bishop Ruiz Garcia. Perhaps we all need to examine more closely the teachings of Jesus on servant leadership, which Bishop Ruiz Garcia apparently understood very well.

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