(how can you sacrifice yourself in the name of a myth!)
Fortunately or not men, as rational beings, have always been concerned about regulating the relationship with one another and everything that surround themselves. This does not happen in the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms, where rules are precisely established. Things have repeated themselves for millions of years. There is no need or responsibility to make new rules.
We have the burden and the honour to be rule makers in a situation of mutual distrust.
Survival was the first need and that was linked to strength. Instinctively men do not accept their own kind superiority therefore they are not willing to accept any rules made by someone else, but their own.
In other words, we are willing to accept rules only if we have the feeling or we think we participated in making those rules, and we make them our own, and thus they do we become our own extension, a part of ourselves.
This long and difficult process is still going on and it requires good communication skills and being able to confront with one another. In ancient times the predominant rule was physical strength
In a prehistoric cave the strongest man was in charge and defended the group. As the group became more and more complex the strongest man’s rule was not enough. Someone had to establish what people could or could not do or what was best for the group’s survival and the wellbeing
For thousands of years people have been fighting and they will carry on doing so as they are unable to establish common and accepted rules. As many things and phenomena were inexplicable to people they worked out the idea of the existence of a higher Being, someone who did not belong to the human species and could be feared with inexplicable works. Therefore anyone could feel powerless and compelled to accept his authority and rules. Anyone who could cunningly or slyly show to have a special relationship with this higher Being, would gain unimaginable power and authority and become a rule maker without being questioned
Five thousand years ago sorcerers and wizards used to do that, acting as magicians telling the future. Later on prophets followed suit, falsely claim improbable divine revelations.
Currently, all the churches do the same thing, applying more sophisticated methods, holding the monopoly of knowledge.
It sounds a paradox but in theory there is no difference between sorcerers and shamans who lived five thousand years ago and current bishops. They both pretend to have a special relationship with God, allowing them to decide what is right or what is wrong.
In good faith all the churches are absolute rulers aiming at mind control and therefore people’s essence. Their government is composed of alleged better people and they replaced the category or social class of philosophers in Plato’s Republic with the clergymen.
The trick generated more evil than good. It did allow some form of government and coexistence among people, but it also triggered the past religion wars and the ongoing ones.
A war between human beings is a joke if compared to a war among Gods. Unfortunately we do not realise that the mocked and insulted Olympus is actually reproduced with Yahweh, Allah, Christ, Buddha, Manitou every day ..... etc.. etc..
Once it was an Hellenic issue, every important town had its own God, today the matter has turned into a global one.
Broadly speaking each continent has developed its idea of God, on a macro and global scale and we are in the same condition as Athens was two thousand five hundred years ago with the aggravating circumstance that there is no major God.
I am puzzled when I hear that the Pope encourages dialogue among different religions, as this implies the existence of more Gods, acknowledging other Gods’ authority. The Pope availability is completely fake… He cannot change anything – being the divine law not amendable; the same applies to the Mullah and the Rabbis.
If the Holy Inquisition Court was still in-force the Pope could be accused of polytheism and immediately burnt alive.
In this respect Islamic fundamentalists are much more consistent and they make it clear that they would like to destroy the infidel Christians. I fully understand the Church position in this case, on the other hands peers have to understand one another: dear Rabbis, Mullahs there is not point in fighting as long as these poor ignorant desperate people allow it, we can hold on tight to our privileges.
As learned men we are aware we do not have the slightest idea about God. Everybody made up a charming and attractive about him. We know that God is One and only, and He can be either called Yahweh, Christ, Allah but He is One.
We only have to hope that they do not realise it, and when they do, they will be grateful as we served them a table lavishly set wit a slap-up meal, so they don’t have to think or be held responsible for their existence. The functions of all religions have always been to establish the game’s rules as we are unable to do that for many reasons: ignorance, communication difficulties, laziness, mutual mistrust.
The temptation to get in charge becomes enticing when people get to accept rules for fears, faith, plagiarism or any other reason. This is what all religious leaders have regularly done, departing from spiritual things, to focus more and more on material things i.e. to our private things, to our business, to what we can or cannot eat. Yes because you have to rejoice, but most of all you have to suffer and expiate your sins to gain eternal life, which is something that remains unknown to all religious leaders. If you obey to God’s law, which is the Pope’s and Bishops’ law, you’ll end up in heaven, otherwise you’ll go to hell.
On the other hand Muslims find themselves in the same conditions as the Catholic church was at the time of the Holy Inquisition.
Likewise God’s law is the Koran’s law that is the Ulema’s Council, for those who disobey or for some reason they want to change their beliefs are sentenced to death on earth and to damnation in hell in the other world, exactly what the Church did, torturing and burning witches and heretical people.
Nowadays Catholics, who are troubled by the clash of civilisation, are often oblivious that they set a master example on this procedure. If this is true current religions appear like a virtual world holding an uncertain and approximate idea based on the magic word faith. On the whole we are told: you will never be able to know what God is, but we are very close to Him indeed, therefore you have to trust us, you need to have faith. In fact to be faithful or rather to have faith is exclusively used as referred to God. You have no faith! Anyone who is asked this question assumes that the subject is God and not his wife! Your soul, (I mean your mind) has to struggle between the Pope and the Devil, obviously for your own good, but another possibility exists, you can keep your soul for yourself, in spite of the Pope and the Devil and perhaps to obey something that is more down to earth: “the Rule”.
The shared rule does not have any divine link, and with no arrogance it acknowledges its limitations its and nature. It is necessary to comply or rather to have faith in the Rule as long as it is in-force. In the ancient time a very well know person drank hemlock-based liquid and preferred to die to be faithful to “the Rule” even if he did not agree with it….but it was “the Rule”.
This rule is not an absolute one, if it was it could be claimed as God’s rule, God only can be absolute and final we can only be relative to something. Nowadays there are a lot of discussions about relativism, which is our natural condition, even if we are often unaware of it.
The term relativism evokes sin, licentiousness, lack of principles. The Pope, the Italian Conference of Bishops and Mr Pera criticise relativists on a daily basis, and they do not realise that relativism is an act of modesty, of being aware we cannot fully grasp God’s supreme law.
Secular religion is sometimes seen with a negative connotation as opposed to Catholic religion, exclusive repository of true morals and ethics. Laymen are sometimes seen as disbelievers with no God and principles; people who make their own rules at their own convenience.
I am a layman and I believe in God and my idea about the Lord does not coincide with Pope Ratzinger’s. My frame of reference is the Natural Order of things from which I infer my morals (the relationship with myself and my body) and my ethics (the relationship with other people).
If this is secular religion I am glad to be a layman and I rejoice to see that the only possible and intelligible truth revealed to us is Nature with its laws understood in a dynamic and not a static sense. I cannot stand all terms ending in “ism”: fundamentalism, communism and so, but if the Church is so determined to speak about secularism and relativism, sooner or later we’ll have to talk about Catholicism and absolutism.
If you get rid of the absolute (principles) you’ll find out a world surprisingly made of balance, serenity and tolerance. It is a pleasant sensation, you feel master of yourself, fear disappears, even fear of death vanishes and death reveals itself as an act of life, birth and death are the first and the last act of life.
As a broken spell our absolute (rulers) (cardinals, mullah, rabbis and others), who are alleged defenders of life and indeed death lovers, reveal their true face of baroque puppeteers as decorated as Sicilian carts. They are caught up in their shaman business in the name of the revealed truth. You realise that they do not have anything to give, but their presumption and unconscious ferocity, you see them the way they are: ridiculous individuals who dare claim themselves God representatives on earth.
I believe in God, but I don’t have the arrogance of being his representative on earth. I think this is the only condition upon which we can worship God and acknowledge His endless wisdom and not the Pope’s or Mullah’s or Rabbis’.
The rule of Relativism proceeds for successive approximations, it can last a life span of one week or one hundred years, but then it will change, it will get better. God needs neither our faith nor our “absolute principles”, but a challenge (in the best sense of the term) aimed at getting close to God’s perfection, yet aware that God’s perfection can never be reached.
To have faith in someone means to sacrifice oneself, cancel oneself completely. Are we sure this is what God wants? Are we sure that God wants our submission? I do not like this idea and I am sure He does not like it either. He can incinerate us whenever he wants, why would he needs to humiliate us to that extent. I think that God only expects respect and gratitude. To believe in someone for any reason, even the most trivial one, is very different than having faith in someone. Much in history was played on this subtle difference: in the former case we remain ourselves with our own dignity, in the latter we become slaves.
Rabbis, Mullah, Bishops do not ask you to believe but to have faith…but faith in what? Obviously they ask you to have faith in them, guardians and interpreters of the Holy Scriptures and of God. This gentlemen’s presumption is preposterous,
They made such blunders referred to religion interpretations and to their hierarchies’ behaviour to make even the most naïve man turn pale. I am sure blunders were made in good faith, but as we all know…the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Their the whole thing becomes even more unbearable as it is skilfully seasoned by the vast majority of church-goers through behaviour of self-sacrifice, altruism, charity, dedication to others through intercession of all saints, spirit of sacrifice and so on in a genuine and participatory manner.
Religion hierarchies are obviously the point of reference, they are master of this behaviour, they give everything to people without asking for anything in return, but one tiny detail: in return they ask for your “soul” and that is “everything”.
These gentlemen, in conscience or in good faith, are technically the slave owners of the worst kind: if you want to go to heaven you have to give them your Soul, that is the most precious thing you have .. Your Mind, almost all yourself!
The other night I had a dream .... "I found myself in the July 14, 2048 ....... I was dead!
The 14 July is an important date, is seizure of the Bastille, and I was born on that day, well .., not just that day, but 259 years later.
I have a hundred years, as my great-grandmother, I went to bed and never woke up, or rather, I woke up but I was very light and at the thought floated into the ether with a pleasant sensation of weightlessness. It was not like yesterday morning, where getting out of bed came my nephew to help me out. Being a pilot, I had that feeling before, but here is something else!
I thougth to meet the four horsemen of the apocalypse, all blacks, very angry, that would take me to San Peter. I teased alone, because with what I had done on earth, surely I would be accompanied to Lucifer, who rubbed his hands already, thinking in what circle of Hell had to wear!
To my surprise, instead ,was waiting for me, a beautiful woman who looked a lot like Monalisa, that of Leonardo, and that had nothing to do with Mrs. Death, the black one ... faceless and with the scythe.
With trepidation I asked! But ... where is He? When can I see Him? You know, I've waited a hundred years, and I can not wait! "Dear Antonio, as you are naive! He rarely comes here, it is always around her Galaxies and especially on Earth. You've always had close but not you noticed. "
You're right, now that I think about it, I saw Him. One day I was sitting between the coastal dunes of Sabaudia, a light breeze was blowing and the sea was as smooth as glass. The sun was near the horizon, I could feel his apparent motion through the filter of thebatmosfere ,because I was not allowed to see It in all its splendor ... it was HIM ..! A mullet is splashing out of the water, it must be chased by an amberjack or a bluefish; I am waiting a bit concerned, I cannot spot the bluefish reaching the surface again, I like to think that it could make it, but who knows? Around me there were many cyclamens, one, lonely, it was between my legs, I looked, and I realized that it was bigger and majestic then St. Peter's, Mecca and the Temple of Solomon put together. The pleasant breeze made me realize that I was friends with Him and that the only law that I was given to know, was that of '"Natural Order of Things".
But where are the Hell, Purgatory and Paradise?
"Dear Antonio, purgatory and hell do not exist, are an invention of the Prophets. To tell the truth, He was very angry with these gentlemen, to the point that he wanted to delete them from its creation by making them disappear into a black hole. What is unbearable is that they went around to say, and still go around, to say that He has revealed Himself to them and that gave them his Laws. In this the Jews, Christians and Muslims are the real artists, in fact, some of the latter, even came up with the Party of God, as if He could be a Party. The offense could not be bigger! But, as you know, He is immensely good and instead of deleting them, built a large Center for Mental Health to treat all the prophets, bishops, popes, mullahs and rabbis. Hippocrates directs it, with the assistance of Socrates, that together with its Greek friends has demolished the myth of Olympus. He admires him a lot because he preferred to die, to meet the "Rule", even if not shared, but ..... it was the Rule.
Another thing He can not stand is that they have saddled the famous quote ... "Be fruitful and multiply," He has never called because He created us with balance, indeed, He is the balance !. Down on the heart have arrived at seven billion people, and there were, for example, only 3,500 tigers left! Humans do not realize that they will pay very dearly for this their attitude towards other beings of creation, not because He will punish them, but because his law is inexorable. "
And the heaven?
"Paradise ..... there he is , on Earth ,with all the galaxies that surround it. From here you can appreciate and enjoy it in all its glory, with your mind, and that is ... with your Soul. It 's the advantage of being dead! From here you can see it in all its magnificence, there is not the past and the future, but only the Present. "
It 's true! I was curious to see my funeral .... and there it was! They respected my will, in fact I have done cremated. The urn with my ashes is on the table in the dining room of the house where I was born, in Campo di Giove, charming little village at the foot of the Maiella Massif; seen from here is even more cute. The table is laid with all local produce, there are very special and then there are many bottles of wine "Primitivo di Manduria" that I liked so much. There are many of my relatives and my friends chatting between a glass and the other in an atmosphere composed but joyful, waiting for the arrival of the country Band that the will accompany me to the place of burial ,that is not the graveyard, but my land just outside the town where I went as a child with my father to mow the grass for the cows that we had in the house. At the corner to the east there is a large rock that will be my resting place ground. He faced the whole chain of the Maiella Mussif ,and every morning I will see the sun tick the Guado di Coccia, there are not crosses and strange symbols...., but only a marble plaque that read:
"Here lies a layman believer in other ...."
When I was a kid my parents often took me to my grandfather’s farm, which was in a little village behind Mt Porrara in the Council of Palena. The farm was located half way up on a small plateau hidden in the woods. It could only be reached on foot, walking down a path from the main road to Palena. A Sanctuary – St Maria dell’Altare was and still is located near the farm. When I passed by –as a good altar boy – I did the sign of the cross, but at the time I was interested in other things. It was July and it was wheat threshing time. It was hard work for grown ups, but for me it was a feast.
I was impatient to see mares jog-trotting in circle, expertly led by my grandfather, and I hoped I could ride one at the end of the day. Sheep and goats were frightened as kids kept bothering them and did not leave them alone for one minute.
Later I found out that back in 1235 a certain guy named Peter from Morrone went there to live in absolute solitude. He spent three years in a cave dug in the rock by himself.
Who was Peter from Morrone? Why did his name disappear from books and archives and he is only known as “the man who made from cowardice the great refusa9l”?
“Peter from Morrone was born in 1209 in Terra di Lavoro, as state in the Papal Bull by Clemente V, dating back to 1306. When he was 20 he left the Benedictine Monastery of S. Maria in Faifoli where he spent a short and unhappy time and looked for absolute solitude, led by deep religious feelings. There is very little information about his childhood. In his autobiography he appears to be a bizarre, solitary and lazy boy, his brothers did not like him and they did not want to waste money to send him to school.
He was constantly haunted by nightmares and visions and he left his village in 1230-1235 and never went back. First he lived inside a cave in Scontrone in Castel di Sangro for a short time. Then he reached Mt Polleno (today Mt Porrara) where he spent three years in a cave, dug in the rocks by himself. Later a Sanctuary - S. Maria dell’Altare – was built there. He postponed his plan to go to Rome, he stayed here for a long time, living in an absolute solitude. This was a very fruitful period for his spiritual maturity, he developed the first part of a long and deep relationship with God, without go-betweens. Later he decided to go to Rome encouraged by local people to take the holy orders, and to avoid noisy pilgrims who regularly went to visit him. There is little information about this experience, he stayed at the Lateran and diligently studied until he took the holy orders.
In 1241 he left Rome, but instead of going back to Mt Polleno, he went to Sulmona and he retired in a cave, near the church of S. Maria di Segezzano, at the foot of Mt Morrone. Later the monastery of S Spirito was built upon it.
Here many people (later his disciples) were attracted to Peter.
As word of his sanctity spread, hundreds of people from the local villages i.e. Bucchianico, Caramanico, Salle, Roccamorice, Pratola, were attracted to the pious man eager to share penitence and hermitage privations.
Peter from Morrone was reserved and quiet, he could not stand the increasing number of noisy visitors. He left his cave at Segezzano and in 1246 he retired on the Majella massif were on the dramatic cliff Parete dell’orso at Ripa Rossa he found his first and inaccessible refuge. Later he found his shelter on one of the most inaccessible cliffs of those mountains. It was called Holy Spirit, where later a Monastery – the seat of Peter’s Order - was built. Peter spent many years on the Majella mountains trying to avoid bothering followers who threatened his solitude.
He searched new and inaccessible caves, hoping to dissuade masses of sick, desperate pilgrims, who in search for comfort and pain relief, reached him anywhere even in the caves of S Bartolomeo di Legio and S Giovanni on Orfento.
Here on the Majella massif Peter’s fame as miracle worker increased above all in the years between 1246-1293.
In 1293 Peter, who was 60 years old, did something almost legendary for those days. In winter he walked to Lyon to avoid that the Pope abolished his Order during the Lyon Council II. Peter’s enterprise was successful, word of his sanctity spread beyond the Alps and the Pope Gregory X did not include Peter in the list of rabble-rousers who belonged to numerous sects, not approved by the Church hierarchies.
Peter from Morrone was a gentle, shy, reserved and extremely humble person, who led a life inspired to early Christianism and pauperism of S. Francesco d’Assisi. Penitence, prayers, silence, strict abstinence, hard and prolonged fasting, mortification of the flesh constantly led Peter throughout his life.
On the other hand a fairy tale orchestrated by some of Peter’s false admirers described him as a man of power, an organised industrious manager dedicated to the construction of castles and palaces, but Peter from Morrone was never like that.
Most of the estates owned by Peter’s Order came from donations and other types of conveyances. Neither the size nor the existence of these properties were known to him. He was compelled to transform the first informal community into a regular Order. He had to accept the demand of hundreds of people, who attracted to his charisma, wanted to become his followers. He reached full spiritual maturity and perfection between 1274 and 1293, his hermitic vocation became stronger than the coenobitic one.
Peter from Morrone was never a community type of man. Nor was he a Church man in stricto senso. He was not leader of assemblies of believers. Nor was he a passive element of a shapeless mass of believers tied by dogmas. He was a Christian individual who deeply believed in the poverty and privation messages proposed by Christ. He was consistent to this messages up to the most extremes consequences.
In June 1293, strongly led by his desire of absolute solitude, Peter called the IV and last meeting of his Order. Despite his disciples consternation, he announced his irrevocable decision to retire on Mt Morrone as his earthly path was almost at the end.
In that cave he spent his last days in the deepest and conscious enjoyment of divine grace. He was fully happy, satisfied and serene. His relationship with God was in order. He was sure of being almost at the end and that the greatest dream of his life was about to come true: be reunited with God and return his soul as pure and immaculate as God had given it to him. He ignored that History prepared an ambush for him and he was about to be caught in his own cave, at S Onofrio, that was Peter’s antechamber of paradise. If he had died before 5th July 1294 he would have been unknown, just like many other hermits and gurus the Abruzzi Apennine ridge was teeming with, but that day was fatal to him. In Perugia eleven surviving Cardinals ended a twenty-seven month quarrel over the vacant Papacy – it started when Nicholas IV’s died - and elected Peter as the new Pope. That day the cardinal-electors, exhausted and unable to resolve the Orsini and Colonna conflict based solely on greed for power, charged Peter with an unwanted burden.
That act was truly irresponsible and it was never adequately criticised by historians. In that business and thus in the affairs of the Conclave) Charles II of Anjou was also involved as he needed a Pope who ratified the agreement concerning Sicily’s return with the Aragonesi. It was precisely in that occasion that the French Charles II measured Benedetto Caetani’s determination, the cardinal who became Boniface VIII, and not very politely invited the king to mind his business and stay away from the Church matters. The king was outraged at the shame suffered, and he was desperate as the effects of the agreement could vanish.
He left Perugia, but instead of going to Naples he went to Sulmona and he played a card which turned out to be a winning one. The king Charles II of Naples persuaded Peter from Morrone, who was in good faith, to write a letter to the cardinals gathered at the Conclave. In that letter Peter urged the election of a new pope, threatening that divine vengeance would fall upon them if they had left the “bride of Christ” as a widow. The cardinals, as struck by a revelation from heaven, identified the poor hermit from Morrone as the lamb to sacrifice. They assigned him that task during one of the most dramatic moments of the clash between temporal power and the church that had touched the bottom of spiritual and moral decency.
Immediately however the cardinals could not even lay a hand on their victim, because the new pope was, in fact, abducted and used as a precious political instrument by King Charles II.
From 29th August to 13th December Celestine V was surrounded by hungry hyenas, parasites, scroungers, spongers, hangers-on, bloodsuckers and dishonest people of any sort, who exploited Celestine’s name and misused blank papal bulls for their dirty business.
Celestine V was for forced to leave l’Aquila to follow the king heading for Naples. When he was in the cell built for him at Castelnuovo, he vaguely began to think of resigning, then as struck by a divine revelation he understood why he felt in such a distress.
The people around him were bringing shame and dishonour on the church name, and even if Celestine was normally gentle and submissive, he could not stand such situation.
He was very old and tired, decrepit and with aches and pains caused by his severe penitential practices, but he found the courage and strength to fight against that disaster.
He stood up like an armed warrior, and demanding the dumbstruck cardinals to hold their tongue, Celestine imposed his will, renouncing the papacy. He ignored the threat of the Neapolitan people who, stirred by the king and even by some of Celestine’s disciples, assaulted him and raided his humble shelter.
It was a great day. Celestine, like a wounded giant, rose against those eleven sinners and cursing them in the name of God, he renounced to be a Pope (Celestine was not the man that, out of cowardice, made the grand refusal, as he renounced but did not refuse his role, and Dante knew the difference between the two terms very well). That assignment had the purpose of disgracing the church and the soul. On 13th , 700 years ago, the man labelled as a coward in History left the papacy as a triumphant winner. Neither powerful people’s threat, nor praises managed to keep him stuck in a role that did not give glory to God. Celestine heavily paid for his adamant unwillingness to serve any temporal power. He was slandered, insulted, offended. False admirers and true detractors managed to attribute to him Dante’s obscure cryptogram in which Celestine was accused of being a coward and inept man. Nowadays the defamation is still believed by those who identified Celestine as the one who refused out of cowardice. On 24th December of the same year, only 12 days since his resignation, Benedetto Caetani was elected pope Boniface VIII with the valuable French votes manipulated by king Charles II.
A dirty agreement, reached by the new pope and king Charles II of Naples cleared the previous misunderstanding in Perugia, but drove Celestine V’s followers, the Spirituals and the Fraticelli (little Brethen) in disarray. On 1st January 1295, at night, the abdicating pope escaped from S Gennaro to reach his retreat on Mt Morrone, then Puglia and then Greece. 17 months were left before the end of his martyrdom. He was hunted by the king’s police and by Boniface VIII’s army like a dangerous criminal.
Celestine V was caught at Vieste and delivered to Boniface VIII. After being held at the pope’s dwelling, he was transferred to the horrible tower of Castel Fumone where he spent his last days. His detention, despite numerous fake reports by Boniface VIII’s supporters, was extremely harsh. The extreme severity of that imprisonment was widely revealed by those days chroniclers. After 319 days of hard detention Celestine V’s beautiful soul left the abhorred bone and flesh carcass to reach the ever dreamed end: God.
Four hundred years later Lelio Marini, the most informed biographer of Celestine V, accurately examined numerous historical documents to give evidence that Peter from Morrone was barbarically murdered by Boniface VIII. Since that evidence, gathered in 1630, silence fell upon that event, and the enigma of his death – among others – was added to that extraordinary episode occurred in the late Middle Age. Everybody knows that the end of Peter’s life was not natural, yet his story was marginally perceived, it did not reach our conscience and it did not stir our emotions: it is simply not there
The truth is that, even today Peter from Morrone is a loose cannon for some secular and religious powers. He is still the odd one out for some Catholic rearguards who never forgave him his brave renounce That showed that the power is not everything in a man’s life. Celestine’s action was not forgiven as it was an insubordination act. That is not all. The humble hermit from Morrone is still ostracised today, because he is accused of having established a direct relationship with God without ecclesiastic hierarchies of being formally a Benedictine, but substantially a Franciscan. Celestine V’s message is devastating, because if it was revealed and understood it would shatter the weak bearing frame built by those who sell happiness at cheap rates. It is no coincidence that Peter from Morrone’s figure and work were removed from history books. It is not accident that search for documents concerning this Medieval hero is almost forbidding as to wear out the most stubborn scholars. It is also redundant to add that if news concerning Celestine V’s life was removed, silence has fallen upon his death. His death is evidently still a delicate issue. Evidently someone is afraid that Celestine V’s truth can upset certain religious-political balances. That truth cannot be concealed because is hanging over us. On top of everything the alleged instigator of that murderer was Boniface VIII, the one who instituted the Christian Jubilee. To do justice (or at least make an attempt) to all, to the victim, to the alleged murderer is now possible and necessary. The brief abstract of Peter from Morrone’s life, quoted from the excellent work by Antonio Grano “Celestine V, study and research centre” is only a minor example of the crimes perpetrated by Catholic hierarchies. To apologise and to remove everything that happened in history is not enough. Peter made a fatal error: in his search for God he realised he did not need Ecclesiastic hierarchies between him and God. They represented a hurdle as they were only interested in temporal power.
In this respect Peter from Morrone’s life and behaviour are currently a hot topic. He appears as the layman archetypal who believes in other things but power and wealth. Most of all he showed that the relationship with God is private and has little to do with earthly matters. His renounce to papacy questioned all churches bearing frames, their bureaucracies, big and little sorcerers who appointed themselves God representatives on earth.
Recently we have witnessed a more significant interference of the Church in temporal power. This happens even in the Muslim world, where there would be no need, as the State is identified with the Koran. Ministers of religion have begun to feel under pressure as they may loose the power to dictate the game’s rules.
In the Western world this uncertainty has led to conservative behaviour, whilst in the Islamic world it has triggered Holy-Inquisition-style behaviour. In the globalised world it is impossible to live isolated. Exchanges between different cultures and religions are inevitable. We rely on an efficient real time communication system. Information is the bugbear of all Churches and dictatorships. To survive they need to keep people ignorant and this is particularly apparent in the school system of the vast majority of countries. Subjects taught at school are: scientific subjects, Catholic religion, Islamic religion etc. Nobody ever thinks that it would be better to teach history of religions, everybody is focused on scientific knowledge, but access to the codes and tools of Logic remains the prerogative of a chosen few.
Otherwise we would not explain (with only a few exceptions) the lack of subjects such as philosophy and logical thinking.
It is dangerous to inform people that in the past many men were asked about God, about a higher being. They gave different explanations and solutions, some of them could be shared some could not.
We, Catholic, have to accept blindly what the Pope has to offer. The same thing apply to Muslims and the Mullah.
It is dangerous to study logical thinking. We, ordinary people would simply burst out laughing listening to the vast majority of politicians and ecclesiastic hierarchies. Their speeches are crammed with errors: emotional appeals, false analogy, improper generalisation, confusion among terms, logical fallacy, omission of the thesis statement, circular reasoning, tautology, fake dilemma, argumentum ad hominem (argument to the person), authoritative opinions and illogical conclusion etc.
The only two subjects that should be compulsory after primary education are virtually not taught at all. If any idea about God developed by these gentlemen was analytically examined by any philosophy student it would miserably fail. But…there is the magic word faith…. It sticks it all together. We have to keep being ignorant. We cannot be independent thinkers. Thinking is hard work! Some people are – very unselfishly – doing it for us!
Thinking, meditating generate doubts and fear of changing. Taking into account new ideas and new elements in our brain leads to confusion (“mentropy”).
Some certainties fall, other – perhaps – can develop better than the previous ones. It seems odd, but fear of something new and different leads us to use our brain (our mind) to the least of its capabilities and potential.
I have the feeling that things cannot be unchanged forever. The Olympus collapsed. It is a matter of time but also the Holy See, Mecca, the Wailing Wall will inevitably fall. What shall we do without churches, without mosques?
I already picture my mom worried because she will not conclude the insurance policy with the priest. That will ensure her a decent after life without suffering. Well….yes it is a virtual insurance policy. In the past there was a one-to-one relationship with sale of indulgences by professional "pardoners". Today only one company exists: the Holy See which takes care of everybody. It is paid through the eight per thousand of the total amount raised by income taxes. Is it so absurd to imagine churches and mosques where at the entrance there are only guards and not religion ministers. Anyone could go in, express one’s feelings and gratitude to God. Religion is a purely personal matter and it does not allow any go-betweens.
Any law, code, Bible are divine only if considered part of the concept of all things. The idea is rather bizarre. God created man and after that He saw the his creation was going to sin and perdition. Thus He was forced to come down to earth and send us His prophets, to save us and give us His law. It is equal to say: God admitted his error. He created man, He did not do it right, and it is not possible!
So…! If in 1800 B.C. God appeared to Abraham at the age of 3. Later God gave Moses two stone slabs containing His laws. 1800 years later, as God saw that things did not work as they should, sent His son. 610 years later God revealed himself to the prophet Muhammad. On top of everything it seems that God is not interested in the other half of the population.
The assumption underlying all three monotheistic religions is the “revealed truth”.
Are you sure that this is possible? The laws we have (law of Nature excluded) are – and I emphasise all of them – the result of human invention. Someone smarter alleges that his law is God’s law. I believe he will not go very far. How dreadful …to face God alone!
We feel lost without ministers of religion as go-betweens, with their rituals, gestures, procedures developed throughout centuries. Sooner or later this is what we should do. It is human…. We hope to be reassured by third persons in the after life, but – let’s face it – it is also a cowardly attitude. The social purpose of all religions was to carry this burden.
It would have been such rewarding work if they had simply given us the tools, symbols and places like churches or mosques to help understand and honour God. The problem is that religions pushed themselves much further and conceitedly claimed to be repository of God’s truth.
This will cause their fall. Hence we’ll just move forward. Sooner or later we’ll wake up like Peter from Morrone and we’ll recognise these people for what they are: they promise hot air and salvation at cheap rates. They did not hesitate to use and abuse God’s name for their personal business and need of power. They have the huge responsibility of providing the basis of a war: not a war among men, but a war among Gods. We must acknowledge that.
I wish I could see the Pope, the Mullah, the Rabbis, the heads of all religions sit at the same table, perhaps chaired by the Dalai Lama.
They could make amend for their pride and presumption. As true spiritual guides, in line with local customs they could offer to help understand and honour the only possible God. The One who has no name and nobody could ever fully understand.
Personally I don’t find it difficult to pray in a mosque or in St Peter’s Basilica.
I prefer to pray on the coastal dunes of Sabaudia when I am in Latina and in one of Peter from Morrone’s shelters when I am in Campo di Giove..
We, humans (bishops, mullah, rabbis, sorcerers, politicians included) have to do what we have always done: set the game’s rules.
We have already done a great deal. We should start from the Declaration of human rights and who knows… Perhaps one day I could smoke hookah with Hamas pleasantly discussing that even if we are labelled as Christian, Jews and Muslim we belong to the same rich yet diverse pack.
I am…. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Orthodox, Buddhist, Baptist, Mormon, Waldensian, Lutheran… and do you know why?
Because they are the same thing !
In the future, I hope not to far from now, Christian Muslim, Jew, Orthodox, Buddhist fellows will pray together at the Vatican, Mecca, Jerusalem, Lhasa, Moscow, Maya temples, on the ice expanses, in the deserts. Everybody will be proud of having built wonderful monuments as a token of gratitude to God who can only be One.
Everybody will enjoy – in their differences – the purpose of unity. There has been no law other than the law of Nature. God is positive, non-avenger and does not punish anyone. The ministers of the three monotheistic religions are alleged guardians of the three “revealed truths” (Torah, Bible, Koran).
Those divine laws are irreconcilable with each other and non amendable. They are co-responsible for the majority of violent conflicts among men. If we do not get over the “reveal truth myth” we will be unable to establish any “shared rule”. To ordinary mortals hell is the inability to use the tools God gave us to live a full life (with our body and mind) based on mutual respect.
P.S. I would never be grateful enough to my son as he let me visit many of the darkest places of human nature. I have learned to appreciate and enjoy many things that are often taken for granted, only because the benevolent fate bestowed them upon us.