The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Miscelaneous Thoughts - Faith


Probably a brief (and unexpected) post on Sunday.  My friend AC has made a few comments relating to my post on the Pope's apology to the Indigenous People of Canada regarding the Church's role in the devastatingly wrong boarding schools that were widely conscripted to for close to 100 years.

* * * * *

The first comment I am replying to is in regard to an article AC provided about the Indigenous People's anger at the Pope for not denouncing what is called the "Doctrine of Discovery".  

The Doctrine of Discovery is a concept of public international law that was promulgated by European leaders promoting a "legitimate" reason the colonization of lands outside Europe was "appropriate". Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities of various sorts to seize lands inhabited by Indigenous peoples under the guise of "discovering new land", meaning land not already inhabited by Europeans or other recognized nations.

Obviously, this doctrine is both anti-native peoples and also was extremely significant in terms of the entire current development of all of North America, and much of Central and South America as well, and this doctrine was utilized by many different European nations, including England, Spain and France as well as others, including the Vatican City.   

In regards to the Vatican's role. it did address the doctrine in a statement to the United Nations Ninth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in April 2010. The doctrine, the Vatican stated, had been "abrogated" (meaning repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement)) by the Roman Catholic Church as early as 1494 and that "circumstances have changed so much that to attribute any juridical value to such a document is completely out of place."

So, I am of the opinion that while Pope Francis can/could/and potentially should offer (or more accurately reiterate) another apology for the Church's role in this doctrine, that there have been a variety of instances where Roman Catholic teaching HAS denounced this doctrine.  

I also feel that the Indigenous People of Canada requesting/demanding an apology is acceptable and potentially appropriate.... but at the same time I believe it should be requested/demanded of ALL the different European bodies that participated in this doctrine.  It is my opinion that to specifically only do so from the Roman Catholic Church at this time.... is basically the Indigenous People of Canada's effort to utilize the Pope's visit to keep their issues in the forefront of the media.  This is perhaps logical as it is important for the Indigenous People of Canada to continue to argue for and promote their rights and also to remind others of the historical wrongs they suffered.  However, I also believe that it is a bit short-sighted in that the rancor and media attention they are creating is pointed at only the Roman Catholic Church's historical role in this issue and is not also outlining the changes in Papal edicts and theology that have been very much promoting the rights/values/culture of the Indigenous peoples since that time.  I am of the opinion that if the Indigenous People of Canada were to work to promote harmony with the Roman Catholic Church and its stance now, a more friendly, supportive, and mutually beneficial result would occur for both the Indigenous People of Canada and the Roman Catholic Church.  

* * * * *

The second comment I am replying to from AC is from his comment:

"As a Protestant boy I remember being called out by a Catholic on a skating rink: “We shall see when we get up there.” Every religion seems to hold that it is the right one, and they’re all wrong IMO."

 In regards to the above, first, I would like to state that the above Catholic person who belittled you with the above comment was wholly and irrecoverably rude, incorrect, and wrong.  In regards to what this person said, it is not a true aspect of Roman Catholic theology or teaching and does not represent the actual RCC faith.  

What is beautiful and important for me from my own RCC faith/philosophy is that it is a "framework" or a "scaffold" of sorts from which I can contemplate and work to attempt to determine my path here in this life on Earth.  From the actual teachings of my RCC faith, I am guided to be a person who tries to do good, and works to serve others.  My faith helps me to reason through the myriad of decisions I have to make in a given day.  For me, this framework is wholly beautiful, very inspiring for me to keep persevering at trying to do good and to serve even when it seems pointless and harsh.  My faith helps me see that my life is meant to be a time for me to focus on others and to strive to be a mechanism to help others, even when I, myself, have to face hurt, abuse, or abandonment.  The role I am given in life does not change due to the external negative forces I may face, and even though I do falter (you have heard me complain and bemoan frequently the various hurts I have faced), I know that in my heart, my mind, and my soul that what I SHOULD always keep striving to do is to work to be a good person and to serve others.... in other words.... to love.  I do regret that I often fail.  But, I do, also keep pulling myself up with my bootstraps when I fail and know that my role, my mission is to try again and to keep trying all through my life.

In regards to the last part of your statement, 

"Every religion seems to hold that it is the right one, and they’re all wrong IMO."

I tend to view things differently.  I *do not* know that the RCC is the "right" religion.  I do, however, know that the RCC is the right FAITH for ME.  Even though I was born in a family ascribing to the RCC, during college (like many), I studied fairly deeply into the tenets and philosophies of a wide array of different faiths.  I would like to think that I have at least an accurate, basic working knowledge of at least the top 20 (based on practitioners) faiths.  In my own contemplation in college, I had often thought that *IF* I could NOT be Roman Catholic, which faith would I then adopt?  This is of course, only a philosophical exercise, as I can and do remain Roman Catholic.  But, in terms of philosophy, I believe, that if it somehow were impossible for me to be Roman Catholic (say I was in a world where that faith did not exist), I then believe I would then adopt Judaism as my faith. Obviously, there are considerable differences between the two faiths, but the *heart* of much of both of these faiths is associated with doing good and serving others.  

And, in reality, from the reading I have done on various faiths, MOST faiths at their core have many similarities.  Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islamism at their core, for example, all offer beautiful philosophies that are helpful, and are guiding of folks to do good with their lives.  Again, there are of course differences as well, but at the core they have many similarities.  

So, regarding your comment, I would further say that there is likely no "RIGHT" religion... but that there are MANY faiths that at their core have good, kind, "right" concepts on how to BE as a person.  For me, holding and following the faith of the RCC is wholly right for ME.  In my own thoughts on the matter, I often imagine God providing many of the different faiths we have on Earth and their nuances.... because He understands that different people may understand differently from one another, but if folks were to follow the TRUE tenets of most faiths, the world would a much better place.  

I furthermore sadly know and understand that MANY, MANY people do wrongly use their "faith" (mistaken, incorrect application of their "faith" of whatever faith a person may ascribe to) to harm, hurt, belittle, shame, and denigrate others.  However, I want to state categorically.... it is NOT the teachings of the faith that are wrong, but it is the lack of understanding of their faith and the inappropriate actions engaged in of the person who is hurting others that is wrong.

* * * * *

No running today, I met my goal of running at least 55 miles earlier in the week.  I actually ran 55.9 miles this past week (~90 km), so my legs get a bit of a rest today.  But, I will (hopefully) hit the trail again tomorrow morning.

* * * * *

PCS - 6... still at the moderately high level.  It is not seeming to budge much as of late.  It is a struggle, and sometimes the yearnings for my pipes push at me a bit.  

* * * * *

Weighed in today..... 159.8 pounds (~72.5 kg, 11.4 stone).  BMI today is 21.1 (right in "NORMAL").  My resting heart rate overnight was 47 bpm.

Finally, I guess this is NOT a brief post.  Or, perhaps it is for me.  Who knows. :)




Blogger Margaret said...

A well-reasoned post. I'm glad that you have found a spiritual home and one that suits you and encourages you to be a kind and giving person. I wish more would take that lesson from their faiths; it's not what we're (mostly) seeing these days.

Sunday, 31 July, 2022  
Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

All religion messes up.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Sunday, 31 July, 2022  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It is good of you to think and reposing like you do. Thanks.

Tuesday, 02 August, 2022  

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