Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rooting for Religion

In Chicago it is not uncommon to see a Cubs fans clad in blue, white and red appareal screaming anathemas toward a White Sox fan. Within workplaces across Chicago this rivalry continues; co-workers mock one another for their misplaced allegiances. To suggest that both are essentially baseball franchise teams that have little difference except logo, roster, and stadium would be blasphemy. To be a White Sox fan is categorically different than being a Cubs fan, each would assert. It would surely be suggested that if you didn’t see a difference between the teams you necessarily couldn’t be a fan of either. And all of this sports hoopla and franchise worshiping is pretty common practice.

So, why can’t someone rout with the same fervor for their religion as they do for their baseball team?

This brings us to the Catholic Church. On July 7th Pope Benedict XVI authorized the use of Latin services. However, it is not the lingua franca issue that caused concern. Instead, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League protested the also reinstated Good Friday prayer calling for the conversion of Jews.

On July 10, the Pope restated language in a document issued in 2000 that essentially proclaimed the primacy of the Catholic Church and it the sole salvific mediator.

On Friday, the Cubs will be playing at home against Houston with nearly 40,000 loyal fans in attendance. All of them will be sharing two beliefs: More Cubs fans are good, and the Cubs are the best baseball team ever.

The Pope was merely suggesting a similar sentiment for his Church: More Catholics are good, and the Catholic Church is the best religion ever.

So what is so surprisingly about such developments?

Cubs and Sox fans would never agree to disagree as to which team is the best. It would be disloyal even to suggest another perspective was possible. So why can't one share the same fervor for their religion?

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