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Abstractions Have No Need of Mothers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 11 July 2008 11:31

In the midst of everything else, I am very slowly working my way through Leon Joseph Caridinal Suenens' memoirs: "Memories and Hopes.

Suenens was one of the 4 moderators of the Second Vatican Council and played a pivotal role in the drafting of Lumen Gentium, in the debate on the apostolate of the laity and the charisms, and later was given the role (by Pope Paul Vi) of championing (and reigning in where necessary) the spontaneous grass fire of the charismatic renewal.

It is fascinating to read of a world before the divisions we now take as normative existed. When "it was possible to see Fr. Dhanis of the Holy Office (now the Congregation for Defense of the Faith) sitting at a small restaurant table, engaged in private conversation with Hans Kung."

Perhaps it is because he was formed in the era before the Council that Suenens does not fit our current polarizations very well. He was a leader of the "progressive" side during the Council but also had a deep, life-long Marian devotion which he saw as an expression of the charismatic dimension of the Church and was the great champion of the Legion of Mary.

I loved this:

"I mentioned that I had once asked (Karl) Rahner why trendy Christians are so indifferent to Mary, and I quoted his reply: 'For too many people, Christianity has become another "ism", an ideology, an abstraction - and abstractions have no need of mothers.'

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