Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Opus Dei - Seamless Garment Connection
My bishop drew some notice when he was "outed" as associated with Opus Dei. I was more interested in substance, especially when he mentioned favorably the notion of a "seamless garment" approach to social justice in his homioly last Pentecost at my parish. John Allen reports on a Vienna, Austria meeting hosted by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn to discuss George Weigel's book The Cathedral and the Cube. In the talk about Christian culture in Europe, a "footnote" caught the NPR correspondent's notice: Opus Dei Fr. Martin Rhonheimer, widely recognized as a provocative and unpredictable thinker, argued for a kind of "Christian secularity," by which he meant the capacity of Christians to recognize democratic institutions as legitimate and accept their outcomes even when they contradict Christian religious convictions. As part of this discussion, Rhonheimer got tongues wagging by suggesting that American Catholics have made a mistake by exalting the abortion issue above virtually everything else, neglecting other important human and social rights issues. What is the world coming to? An Opus Dei cleric promoting the seamless garment. A progressive liturgist (who, more than once, has been accused of being outside the Church and salvation as we know it) writes an article that actually promotes chant ("Chant: Pride of place or someplace else?" in Ministry & Liturgy 30:7, September 2003).

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