The Chair of Peter and Christ—Who is More in Alignment?

The Chair of Peter and Christ—Who is More in Alignment? April 29, 2023

As I witness the current events continue to unfold, I ask myself as a Catholic, who is more in alignment with Christ and the Chair of Peter,  those who detest Pope Francis and invoke suffering, hatred, harsh judgement, and even extermination of “the other” on one extreme or those who don’t believe in God at all but love their neighbor as themselves through action?   I would have to say that those who love their neighbor as themselves, do not believe in God, and have a basic respect for humanity are more of a Christian than those who wish ill on the Holy Father and those who “don’t measure up” in their eyes.  I am absolutely convinced that atheists, agnostics, and even Satanists, etc……who love people unconditionally and commit good deeds for the betterment of humanity are more in alignment with the Chair of Peter and Jesus Christ than those who inflict and wish pain, suffering, and even death upon those who are not “white, straight, Christian, Republican, and neurotypical.”

A liberal Catholic theologian, dear friend, Catholic convert (like me), and fellow Parkinson’s patient named Dr. Clarence White has accompanied me in much of my spiritual journey.  As a parent LGBTQ+ young adults, serving in LGBTQ+ religious trauma recovery for Catholic mothers, and absorbing just how much LGBTQ+ people and their families are hated mostly by fundamentalist religious people, the realities of “othering the other” have turned violent and deadly.  Any major world religion, including Christianity, teaches to love our neighbor as ourselves as core and center to the faith.

We have now entered the outer rim of a fascist state in America, just as other nations like Poland and Russia are well endowed in fascism.  Would Jesus of Nazareth condone a fascist state in the name of upholding “Christofascism?”  Not a chance!  Historically, when the Church becomes bedfellows with the empire, it reaps treacherous consequences.  When we place the vulnerable, the widow, the orphan, the stranger, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised at the bottom and the privileged and the elite and the at the top, we are portraying that some people are more valuable than other people.

Due to all of the above, The German Catholic Church is looking more and more appealing to me.  With the history of Nazism and the Holocaust in Germany, the country and the German Catholic Church lean in a strong anti-fascist direction. They actually give aid to the marginalized of all historically oppressed groups. In much (not all) of the US Catholic Church, the exact opposite is true, including most (not all) of our local diocese.    Tonight after our daughter’s graduation, I contacted the German Catholic Church by email to see if I can join them. I know I live on the other side of the world, but I am thinking it would be healing to participate with a Church that doesn’t mess around with fascism and also has the power to combat it, not with military force but with the radical and inclusive love of Christ.

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