Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Even the stoned are welcome

Stephen Hawking, the respected scientist who has made a science of promoting books, indicates in “The Grand Design” that he has no personal knowledge of God and therefore God does not exist. Little kids still cover their eyes and shout, “You can’t see me!”

An application form for an important church activity asks candidates whether they have ever done anything that might embarrass the church. The form does not ask about anything the church might have done to embarrass believers. There’s a tension between the healing love of Jesus and the institutional cover treasured by human pillars of the church. Jesus, who was excommunicated by the temple staff, challenges everyone poised to throw stones at sinners and invites them all into his church, even the stoned.

A bishop declares that a woman religious is excommunicated by virtue of a hospital decision she okayed. Christians pray for the bishop and the nun, aware that excommunication is a failure of the church. The church pronounces itself divorced from a person with whom there is a sacramental bond, as though baptism can be annulled.

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