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Letters - PDF 7

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 2

Speaking of suffering; waxing on bees HISTORY & THE CRUCIFIXION Thank you for Peter Manseau's penetrating critique of Christian theodicies that too facilely appropriate the suffering of others ("Catholics & the Shoah/' March 13), and Matthew Boudway's careful rejoinder ("Suffering, Silence & Holy Week/' April 1 0), one of the best exchanges on the subject I have read in a very long time. With deepest respect for the silence that must hover over Auschwitz - not least from Christian theologians, including the pope - the Cross presses us toward a realization that "does change the meaning of history, and not only Christian history," as Boudway argues.

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									                                                                                        letters
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                                                   Editor		
                                            Paul	Baumann
                                            Managing Editor		
                                            Patrick	Jordan
                                                                                        Speaking of suffering; waxing on bees
                                            Associate Editors	
                              Grant	Gallicho,	Matthew	Boudway
                                                                                        HisTory	&	THe	CruCifixion	                      ily dismisses, something in which we are
                                                                                        Thank you for Peter Manseau’s penetrat-         all complicit. It is not incidental that dur-
                                             Assistant Editor	
                                       Mollie	Wilson	O’Reilly                           ing critique of Christian theodicies that       ing the liturgical remembrance of Jesus’
                                   Production Editor & Webmaster		                      too facilely appropriate the suffering of       death, the whole assembly, from the
                                             Tiina	Aleman                               others (“Catholics & the Shoah,” March          youngest child to the most revered elder,
                                               Copy Editor		                            13), and Matthew Boudway’s careful re-          is meant to shout in one voice, “Crucify
                                         Susanne	Washburn
                                                                                        joinder (“Suffering, Silence & Holy Week,”      him!” From this dangerous locus “inside”
                                           Editorial Assistant		
                                       Christopher	Cimorelli
                                                                                        April 10), one of the best exchanges on         the paschal narrative, Catholics should re-
                                                                                        the subject I have read in a very long time.    alize their own complicity in the world’s vi-
                                           Business Manager		
                                           Sandra	J.	Taylor                             Citing Pope Benedict’s claim (which gave        olence, thus our radical need for conver-
                                              Development	                              me a shudder) that the Nazis, by destroy-       sion, mercy, forgiveness.
                                          Christa	A.	Kerber                             ing Israel, “ultimately wanted to tear              With deepest respect for the silence
                                                   Intern		                             up the taproot of Christian faith,” Man-        that must hover over Auschwitz—not least
                                            Colleen	Gibson
                                                                                        seau justly asks, “Who becomes the vic-         from Christian theologians, including the
                                                  Poetry		
                                            Rosemary	Deen
                                                                                        tim in this kind of remembrance?” Yet           pope—the Cross presses us toward a re-
                                                                                        something in me resisted his sweeping           alization that “does change the meaning
                                                  Screen		
                            Richard	Alleva,	Rand	Richards	Cooper                        conclusions: “it does little good to treat      of history, and not only Christian history,”
                                               Stage/Media		                            Auschwitz as another stage in an endless        as Boudway argues. Is God with us in the
                                               Celia	Wren                               Passion Play. To do so subjects brutal reali-   valley of death’s shadow (see Psalms 22
                                                Columnists	                             ties to the theological imagination, where      and 23) or not? Is God with us even in our
                                E.	J.	Dionne	Jr.,	John	Garvey,		
                           Melinda	Henneberger,	Cathleen	Kaveny,	                       meaning holds sway over facts.”                 guilt? Is ours a faith that alternates wild-
                                 Jo	McGowan,	William	Pfaff                                  For some weeks I tried, and failed, to      ly between the breezy affirmation of God’s
                                        Marketing Coordinator	                          conceive a half-credible response to Man-       presence in all things and the mute aporia
                                          Nicole	Benevenia                              seau’s empathetic logic that would vindi-       of God’s absence? Here, indeed, Christi-
                                         Advertising Manager		                          cate, if not the unfortunate revisionism of     anity stands or falls on the Resurrection, a
                                           Roth	Advertising
                                                                                        the pope, then theologians like Jon Sobri-      truth-in-faith that reaches from within his-
                           Commonweal,	[ISSN	0010-3330]	A Review of                     no and contemplatives like Thomas Mer-          tory to embrace and transform the silence
                           Public Affairs, Religion, Lit
								
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