Ex-priest critique of my book

 

This is a critique of my political-religious thriller, BETRAYAL OF FATHER GARZA, by an ex-priest and a person I know and respect. His perspective:

Subject: pure fiction

The whole thesis of your “betrayal” is that if the more than 400
“Christian” denominations “discovered” the teachings of Jesus Christ they
would all unite as one church. I regard this thesis as an incredible
dream. Why? The major denominations all have two things in common
and neither of the two things is Christian. First, they all are willing
and, sometimes, eager to get money. They use lots of excuses for the
use of the money– a bigger church, a TV network, professional musicians
for their “worship romp and stomp”, publications that show
support for certain political strains, executive salaries for their leaders,
etc. The multiplicity of denominations means that many more
buildings and leaders. To get all this money they have to “adjust”
their message to suit the wants of the rich.

The second factor is the quest for power. You hit the nail on the head
when you singled out Constantine as the guy who wrecked the Christian message. Ever since that day the leadership of the Catholic Church has
stood hand in hand with the political leaders. For several centuries
the Church was the political leader. It is no accident that whenever a
preacher said something the king or duke or local bishop didn’t like
there was heresy trial. After Luther the leaders of the “split offs”
copied the success story of the Catholics. They had to justify a lot of
unsavory practices that the political leaders wanted. So they
“evangelized” the Indians in South America (Catholic), they
internationalized banking (Catholic, Calvinists), they sanctioned
slavery of any people of color and any people who were debtors. The list
of grievances goes on and on. The point is that if these similarities
in their human rights violations did not bring them together, a call to
live Christ’s message would not. St. Francis of Assisi preached the
message. So did Vincent DePaul. Each was responsible for a movement
within the Catholic Church that was outstandingly good, but it never
took over. The current Pope, Francis, tries to deal with the dichotomy
in the Catholic Church and he is admired for it. But most of the rank
and file won’t change.

For your next book have a fictional leader of a truly good movement and
the fate he or she faces because of stepping on sensitive toes. Take
some simple things like a priest pastor who tries to remove the statues
from his church. And then the Pastor prohibits worship of Mary (no May
festival, no rosary).

AFTERLIFE: Eben Alexander vs. Woody Allen

LEITER WRITING TIPS #4 — AFTERLIFE: Eben Alexander vs. Woody Allen
[Suggestions, observations, and advice, writing as Ben Leiter]

from PROOF OF HEAVEN by Dr. Eben Alexander, who experienced a significant near-death experience:
[“And particles are made up of …Well, quite frankly, physicists don’t really know. But one thing we do know about particles is that each one is connected to every other one in the universe. They are all, at the deepest level, interconnected.”
“This other, vastly grander universe isn’t ‘far away’ at all. In fact, it’s right here — right here where I am, typing this sentence, and right there where you are, reading it. It’s not far away physically but simply exists on a different frequency. It’s right here, right now, but we’re unaware of it because we are for the most part closed to those frequencies on which it manifests. We live in the dimensions of familiar space and time, hemmed in by the peculiar limitations of our sensory organs and by our perceptual scaling within the spectrum from subatomic quantum up through the entire universe. Those dimensions, while they have many things going for them, also shut us out from the other dimensions that exist as well.”
“The universe has no beginning or end, and God is entirely present within every particle of it.”]

But Woody Allen says: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen. I would rather live in my apartment.

###

 

Greeley and Catholicism

A couple of thoughtful quotes from Andrew Greeley in THE CATHOLIC MYTH.

Catholicism is a religious tradition that is enthralled by metaphors that it finds itself using. …
Grace in the broad sense of that word is nothing more than the self-disclosure of God in the world. …
…Unlike the socialist, the Catholic is profoundly skeptical about remaking basic traits of the human personality.

###

JESUS AND THE DONALD

Ben Leiter, worked for 19 years in Washington, D.C. and knows people who know people.

He likes Jesus. The Donald — not so much.

He says both Jesus and The Donald have one thing in common. They both messed with THE MONEY. They crucified one for turning over the money tables in the Temple.
The Donald just sent the stock market plunging with no end in site with tariff wars and the threat of real war with Neo-fascist Bolton. You don’t mess with THE MONEY!

BetrayalGarzaCVRfrontJPEG.jpg

And Ben also reminded me that both hung out with prostitutes, to the distress of the public. But it wasn’t the same thing, was it. Each had a different agenda.

Somehow, I don’t think The Donald was trying to redeem anyone.