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Snippet of Another Name for Every Thing: What is the Alternative Orthodoxy

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In this snippet, Fr. Rohr explains what he means by "alternative orthodoxy," which ironically is a return to the most fundamental aspects of religious practice, accessible for all Catholics. This is the opening episode of the 4th season of conversations with Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.
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the docks on. And yet that's exactly the point we wanna make that you can be orthodox and emphasize different things. Eso in my book, eager to love That's where I make the point. It's just about emphasizing different things, which, if he, even the Orthodox tradition, would have to admit that it does that, you know. So we're not heretics. And by the grace of God, we were never declared heretics. But it wasn't in the year 13 18 when a whole bunch of Franciscans were burned at the stake. What we call the spiritual Franciscans. After that, which is only 100 years after the death of Francis, we tightened up the ship to B'more, conformist and you don't sense, for the most part, the Radic ality. Then add onto that the Council of Trent several centuries later, and the Franciscan tradition was largely lost until Vatican two told us all religious orders go back to your founders. Little did they think the can of worms they were opening, and they said, you each must rediscover your founding charism, and so we're only 50 years into it, and largely at the MAWR critical centers of learning places like Canterbury, Berkeley, Washington, D. C. Where we had Franciscan schools of theology, now just Chicago. And with that Richard knowing that you were the story you just told you were trained with that kind of mainland position and the Franciscan opinion. When you first heard that Franciscan opinion that you were calling the alternative orthodoxy, how did that land with you personally? Do you remember your response to that? Having didn't shaped informed on this other mainline position first, I don't think I, like most of my classmates, allowed ourselves to take it too seriously. We were still in the shadow of the pre Vatican two church. Where? Roma Lakota As cows off, Anita asked. You know what that means? I don't. But are you impressed? It sounds lovely way quite a Rome has spoken, the causes closed or the issues closed on that. I think I spoke. There was no more discussion. I think I'm gonna start using that line and every argument E drop that line in the middle of an argument. So there was sort of ah delight in it because there was no forum to talk this way except in our own classroom. I mean, like I was given the C A C. I was given New Jerusalem, so I had a forum or I could talk about such things. But the typical young fryer my own classmates sent toe ST Clement's parish in Cincinnati, Ohio. They couldn't talk this way. So when you don't talk this way for a while, you actually sort of forget it. And I've had some of my confers even say that to him. You know, until I heard your recent I forgot that we were taught that because you fall in line with the main line, it's just easier than answering letters from the bishop. It's almost like you need an alternative community to help their thio shape point. Yeah, well, it also makes me think about the fact that, you know Jesus lived in alternative Jesus. His whole life and ministry was in an alternative. Not I don't want the opposition, but an alternative creative. I should just say a creative alternative to what was the spirituality and religion and also the empire of his time and the way that they were colluding together. So it seems that that word alternative is actually foundational to us, that we need to remember that That's part of our calling. Thank you for hearing them. It really does feel necessary. I don't feel apologetic about teaching it even to larger audiences, you know, and I don't get fought on it either. Which shows how consciousness has evolved. Yeah, Maybe that there's more folks who are ready for another way of looking at it, you know? And it does remind me of that Emily Dickinson line of like, tell the truth, But tell it, Slant. Tell it. Slant. Yes, you know, and I think reading, um, at least myself several Anabaptist based books. They use the term nonviolent atonement. There must be half a dozen different books that have that in the title. And I realized that's what they're saying, but they just come out of a little different angle, but they still are making the same conclusion. And I said we had the philosophical justification for that in the 13th century, a nonviolent atonement theory and the recognition of how, without realizing it, we were validating violence all the way down. Because if there is such a thing as good violence, if violence is sometimes necessary, even in the will of God, which is what? The ANZ L me in a tone of theory is saying, boy, we hardly have Christianity anymore, you know, a t least in my opinion.