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Transcript : Former Catholic Priest Matthew Fox on Ratzinger, Opus Dei and the Broken Catholic Church

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Look at Penn State, look what happened at Penn State.  Within two years they fired everyone, they took down the statue of this icon, this hero football coach, and they got moving.  But here, it's been thirty [30] years since the horrible news abut Father Maciel, this Priest that Pope John Paul II was so close to that he took him on his plane with him when he went places.  This Father Maciel had abused twenty [20] of the seminarians, sexually abused them.  He had two wives and four children, and he sexually abused them, all of the rest of it.  And Ratzinger knew about this and did nothing.  After he was Pope he finally did something, but he knew about it well beforehand.  That's absolute fact.  And it was his job as head of the congregation, doctrine, and faith, to do something, and the Pope knew about it and did nothing. 

And, you know, what's more horrible than abuse of Children?  Jesus talks about that, doesn't he, in the Gospels?  You put a millstone around your neck and throw yourself in the water, he said.  Tough language!  And so, I think it's impossible to bring the structure back.  It's lost all credibility.  It has nothing to do with Jesus anyway.  By that I mean: Jesus was on the side of the poor, he took on the Empire.  This whole idea of "The Church is here to organize Empires and give it religious legitimacy" is contrary the Gospels, and contrary to History. 

So, I think the Holy Spirit is at work deconstructing the Church as we know it, and that's why the last third of my book on the Pope is "Where do we go from here?"  Hey, it's wide open!  Since the Vatican is in Schism, we're free to ordain women, ordain gays, bring back married Priests; just start things over again, keep it simple.  Don't travel with basilicas on your back, a backpack is enough; the Gospels, the Prophets, the martyrs, the mystics, we are all part of that story, and we can move forward now, much, much, much, much lighter.  And I think that's what the younger generation is looking for:  a much lighter version.  As I say: spirituality?   Yes.  Religion?  I don't think we need so much of that.

Rob Kall:   This is the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM, reaching South Jersey and metro Philly out of Washington Township, sponsored by . If you want Liberal news, Progressive opinion, is the place to go.  Don't ask me.  Check with Google.  Put in the search terms "Liberal news" or "Progressive opinion," you don't even need to remember the name .  If you Google those terms, will come up at the top. 

My guest tonight is Matthew Fox.  He's the author of thirty [30] books on culture and spirituality, and he's co-directing a three-year workshop series on The Cosmic Christ with Andrew Harvey.  He's got a book that he published last year called The Pope's War; and we're talking about Pope Ratzinger, and Pope John Paul II, and Liberation Theology, and the idea that the Catholic Church is going through some major changes.  Now, Matthew, you talk about some big changes, but are they really possible with the powerful hierarchy that exists right now that is used so effectively to silence anybody that speaks out?

Matthew Fox:   Well, that's why I have very, very little optimism about the next Pope, because they've sacked the Cardinals, the people who vote for Popes.  All the men they've appointed the last forty [40] years think like themselves, which means they'll do nothing new there.  So that's why I think the Holy Spirit has asked us to step beyond the structure that we know as the Catholic Church.  I think that it's run it's course. 

And I'm not alone in this at all.  A very great Saint, a Father Bede Griffiths was a monk in Southern India for fifty years, a Benedictine monk, and he said to me shortly before he died a few years ago, "Don't worry about the Vatican, don't look over your shoulder, don't even think about them."  He said, "Continue to 'plant shoots' for the new Christianity, because one day it's all going to come tumbling down, just like the Berlin Wall."  And I think we're living through that day. 

Every day these revelations - just this week they finally printed the documents from the L.A. Diocese.  Of course, Mahony sat on them, got high priced lawyers to sit on these documents for seven years (I believe it was).  And the documents just absolutely reveal that Benedict XVI knew about this, Cardinal Mahony knew about it, they did nothing about the pedophile Priests; they passed them from parish to parish, diocese to diocese, even country to country, instead of protecting the young people.  The credibility is gone, and the structure has run out of steam.  So I just don't think we should be putting a lot of energy into electing Popes and all the rest, I think we have to, like your program says, start at the grass roots.  There are a lot of wonderful grass roots Christians and Catholics, and Priests and Sisters, who know about the essential teachings of Jesus. 

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It's about justice and compassion, as of course is the essence of any religion, when you get it down to it's essence.  So let's move on that.  There's plenty of beauty and richness to bring along.  As I say, "What to take from the burning building?"  There's a lot there in the Christian tradition and in the Catholic tradition, and I've honored that.  That's why I've written thirty [30] books. 

One book I wrote recently is on Christian Mystics.  There's just great stuff in the teachings over the centuries, and we bring that along.  But as I say, in a backpack, not as a basilica.  Let them have the basilicas and the big buildings.  Religion is renewed at the grass roots; small communities, there are more and more of these springing up now, and they're ordaining women and all the rest, they're not waiting for permission from, what can I say, from an institution that's proven it's immorality from the way it's mishandled the horrible cases of priestly pedophilia.

You know, in Ireland fifteen years ago, ninety percent [90%] of Irish went to church on Sunday.  Today it's down to about four percent [4%].  In ten years, it's dropped from 90 to 4, and they're not coming back, the young are not coming back, because they've been so put off by the revelations of the cover-up by the hierarchy of these horrible sexual abuse situations.

Rob Kall:  There's an article today in the Wall Street Journal that has a graph, "Empty pews."  It looks like Poland has the highest weekly Mass attendance with the least drop-off, but Italy dropped from forty-eight to thirty six percent [48% - 36%], Germany from twenty-seven to twenty-two [27% - 22%], Spain from thirty to nineteen [30% - 19%], Switzerland from twenty-three to seventeen [23% - 17%], France stayed steady at twelve percent [12%], and the Netherlands dropped from nineteen to seven percent [19% - 7%].  Big drops all around! 

Matthew Fox:   All Across Europe.

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Rob Kall:  But again, yes, and the article is about how they're having problems with Europe, that Europe is a challenge, and that the baptism rate in Europe /

Matthew Fox:   Well, it's happening in America too. I tell you, I did a retreat a few years ago in upstate New York, and Friday night about a hundred and fifty there said what traditions they were from.  A hundred were Catholic, "How many are practicing?"  About 60 percent.  Then I said "How many of your children are practicing?"  Every hand went down.  Zero percent of the children of these Catholics were practicing, and that was three or four years ago.  I find this everywhere, that again, the revelation of pedophilia and the way it's been handled, plus the other teachings against birth control, against gays, the preoccupation with sex as the apparent primary teaching of Christianity.  All this is turning off many, many people, as it should.

Rob Kall:   Now, there's an Oped in the Wall Street Journal today that says "Catholics needed a Pope for the new evangelization."  What does that mean, "New evangelization?" 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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