Albert Camus and Vaticanese
When I sent out today's reflection on the Holy Rule and table reading, I never dreamed someone would make a connection as wonderful as this reader did and share it with me. Many, many, many thanks!!! Camus was a favorite of my youth. Perhaps I should take another and closer look at him! His words are so concise, succinct and sadly true... How often one longs for the last phrase, especially, to be realized in the Church.
Love and prayers,
From the Reflection [edited slightly]
Sometimes the matter being read is sufficiently boring to make one
chew with incredible speed. (This is as Catch 22, however. The faster
one eats, the more days it will take to finish the pearl of great
price at hand....) When we were recently reading a papal document on
consecrated life rich with Vaticanese, a bureaucratic jargon that
could induce sleep faster than any narcotic known to science.
I am typically bored to tears by such literature read aloud. I can do
it alone, but read it to me? Well, you know the warmth of the
language employed in such officialese! Yeccch!
The reader's response. Enjoy!!
I am reminded of the passionate invitation extended to the
'officialese' Christians by the Algerian-French Philosopher and Writer,
Albert Camus. He was speaking before the Dominicans at the Monastery
of Latour-Maubourg in 1948, for the Vatican's failure to clearly condemn
certain executions that were prevalent during his times:
"I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome. It has been explained to
me since that the condemnation was indeed voiced. But that it was in the
style of the encyclicals, which is not at all clear. The condemnation was
voiced and it was not understood! Who could fail to feel where the true
condemnation lies in this case and to see that this example by itself
gives part of the reply, perhaps the whole reply, that you ask of me. What
the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud
and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way
that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of
the simplest man. That they should get away from abstraction and confront
the blood-stained face history has taken on today. The grouping we need is
a grouping of men resolved to speak out clearly and to pay up personally."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]