Monday, September 18, 2006

Sins (and Benefits) of Omission

Because the Roman Catholic Church for so long kept the Mass in Latin and effectively discouraged the laity from reading the Bible, native forms in Europe were able to re-emerge during the early Medieval period and afterward. This is in contrast to the other monotheistic religions that have leaked from the Middle East: Judaism, Islam and Christian Protestantism.

Instead, by emphasizing post-Biblical revelation (Saints, Popes, the sacrament of the Mass in the here-and-now) the Roman Catholic Church stood by to allow the flowering of native European cultural forms, first with Medieval Gothic and later with the Renaissance and the revival of pagan art and thought in Florence, Venice, Rome and Antwerp.

Congratulations for a change to Pope Benedict XVI for telling it how it is in relation to the menace of Islam. The Pope recognizes the need for a monocultural Europe (albeit a Catholic culture) as part of a multicultural planet. If the Catholic Church were to drop the Bible completely then it could become a beacon for the future.