sabato 26 ottobre 2013

"Gay Power is the Courage of Creativity, also when you make Love!": Rev. Matthew Fox Revolutionary Spirituality

THEOLOGY of JOY Pastor Matthew Fox and Lele Jandon
at the lecture in Milan where
he has presented his book "Creativity. 
Where the Divine and the Human Meet".

“Enjoy” comes from the word “joy”  and it was created
by the mystical literature. His personal Facebook Page is Dr. Matthew Fox

“Stop self pity, stop shyness, be…gay!” (For the Italian readers: “Basta col vittimismo, siate felici!”, giuoco di parole col doppio senso della parola gay che vuol dire anche “gaio, gioioso”, ndr.)
This is, to use a (very Jewish) play upon words, the core of Matthew Fox’s message to the Italian gay community during his lecture-event at Milan’s Waldensian Temple last October 1st.
The Christian American theologian warned gay people not to indulge to self-commiseration, since it makes the game of the “oppressive powers”. This friendly invitation reminded me the one launched by Gianni Geraci (the historical leader of “Gruppo del Guado”, the gay Christian association where I host my monthly homo-themed Cineforum), when he cried at the end of the latest Milanese gay pride parade: “Either we are HAPPY or we are partners in (hate) crime” (of antigay people). (I strongly agree with this positive spirit and I can give you an example of the bad attitude that we can often see: I happened to read the negative comments of some gay men about an institutional campaign against homophobia showing faces of men and women with written above “gay”, “lesbian”, “redhead”, “left-handed”, “”able to sing in tune”. The sense of this poster is very clear and simple, but they commented: “But people doesn’t mock you for being able to sing in tune, so it’s stupid!!”. The spirit of the campaign was not understood by these persons who have interiorised self-pity as part of their vision of the world).
Instead, Father Fox suggests us the route for “Authentic Life” (if we may use the title of a book by the theologian Vito Mancuso, who published two of Fox's books in Italy): “We should find and use the divine Power inside each of us that is Creativity”, that is also the title of his latest book (Creativity. Where the Divine and the Human Meet": this work in reality is dated 2000, but it was published in Italy with the title of "Creatività" only this year, thanks to Professor Mancuso, a prominent Catholic theologian). 
Creativity -the mystic Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1327) said- makes REJOICE our soul and requires Faith and Courage.
We must rediscover God as Eros playing, feeling Passions and making Feast! We must be creative also in the way we make Love! Creativity is fun and game and "joy" (did you know that "enjoy" is a verb given to English language by the mystical literature?).  We should, for example, learn the tantric erotic tecniques, that involve breathing and postures. I have known many straight and gay couples whose relationships and lives were changed or transformed by Tantra” (see “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy” by Margo Anand). A religiosity like “Jesus is my best friend” or “Jesus saves me” is close to pure projection, whereas Jesus taught people how to save themselves and others, to make works bigger than the ones he did.
A psychological study on creativity by Otto Rank, an Austrian
Christian friendly psychoanalist. Matthew Fox considers him
one of the most important psychologists of the twentieth century.

"God created Us in His image: we are creators
Jesus was an artist: he created parables
Also gay King David, Jonathan's lover, was an artist: he composed sacred music and Psalms"
Diabolic dichotomy btw Art and Spirituality produces neuroses
Psychologist Otto Rank: the essence of humans is Creativity
We can't project into somebody else our creative responsibility

Let's start from the Third Path (of the four ones): the Via Creativa, that is the topic of the book he presented in his Milanese lecture. As Genesis says (1, 27), Creator created us  "in His own image", and therefore we are co-creator together with Him: our dignity and our responsibility. Therefore nobody has the right to project his own CREATIVE RESPONSIBILITY into somebody else.
The Jewish anthropologist Ernst Becker (1924 – 1974) says “Guilt is better, is easier to accept than Responsibility”: no, we must find inside ourselves Creativity and take the responsibility of it. Against his master Freud, Otto Rank (1884 - 1939)", that Rev. Fox considers one of the most important psychologist of the twentieth century, said it is not “reproduction” but “production” (in every sense, namely also creativity) our human essence. (Freud was an atheist who despised faith, whereas Rank recognized that Jesus' preaching was the greatest revolution.) Here Mr Fox is referring to the human fecundity, like the gay philosopher Socrates at the end of Plato’s “Symposium: “There are those who are creative at the level of their souls, and create laws, work of arts, and so on”: like gay people, said the Master of Plato at the end of the dialogue that every gay man should read. "Augustine (354 - 430) theorised that Adam’s sin was a pride sin. I disagree! That sin the Genesis talks about generated from this human need of being creative, the real “original sin” is the fear of our creativity! The neurotic person is an “artiste manqué”, a failed artist: this is the real sin of our species! We’ll find Salvation in Creativity, that comes from our hearts!”
As Vito Mancuso’s concept of Passion (in his latest book published in Italy "Il Principio Passione"), also Fox’s concept of Creativity is ambiguous can be used by human beings either for biophilia (Love for Life) or for nechrophilia (sadism, the pleasure of making evil, think, recently, to how it was used against the WTC in the City of New York on 9/11”, he exemplifies). Mr Fox goes on: “Otto Rank (again) connects this biblical myth with the ancient Greek myth of PROMETHEUS: he was punished by Zeus (by making eat his liver by an eagle every night) for imposing his own personality in Creation through an egoistic projection, his creativity was lacking of Love. We can see this misuse also today with the ecological crisis: next generations will see fish only in the school text pictures!! The image of THE EAGLE eating Prometheus’ liver is the symbol of the hard work of the authentic artists. Self-discipline is the price to pay for creativity."
from Pastor Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968).
Here Father Fox makes me remember Simone Weil’s words about art in her essay “Réflections sur les causes de la liberté et de l’oppression sociale”, 1955, I translate here from the Italian translation: “Also the activities that are apparently freer, science, art, sport, have value only in the measure as they imitate, the accuracy, the rigour and the scrupulousness of hard work”, my own translation from the Italian edition of “Riflessioni sulle cause della libertà e dell’oppressione sociale”, Rizzoli, Milano 2010, attached to the Italian daily paper “Corriere della Sera” in the series “I Classici del Pensiero Libero”.) The dicotomy between art and spirituality created neuroses, Otto Rank says. A society without a spiritual vision can create only entertainment, not art.
GAY KING. Michelangelo's "David" (1501 - 1504).
Carrara marble, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence (Italy). 
The greatness of an artist, the Jewish philosopher Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) wrote, is the construction of an interior world, and the ability of reconcile it with the external world.
We must recoup an aesthetical spirituality of discipline, instead of a spirituality of ascetism (or a pseudospirituality that fears the fatigue).
Mr Fox says that our civilization must re-discover the role of arts by starting from schools programs. According to Otto Rank, Roman Empire fell due to hyper-rationalism that tends to remove our pre-rational side: music, drama, dance, painting, sculpture, comedy, humor, rituals, Nature (sea, birds, animals), sexuality, the beauty of human body. 
And we can save ourselves and our planet from the ecological crisis thanks to our creativity. Whereas, both anti-intellectualism and iper-rationalism contributed to make us ignorant of the ancient Jewish teaching according to which STUDY is a form of prayer, and learning is a spiritual experience. Without study (in Italian we would say “approfondimento”), artists are lacking of the contents to convey and of the instruments to express them. Creativity is the essence of our nature and is essential for our spirituality, to create responsible cultures. For example, Mr Fox says referring to my gay themed cineclub, gay advocacy and organization of cultural events is properly a creative way (that is extremely important) to inspire self-consciousness and create moments of sharing within the gay community
Above, the painting "David and Me", by the gay
Canadian painter Steve Walker (1962 - 2012).
He was a self taught artist, and his works are
very large (always measuring 36" by 48").
"It's very rare to find success as an artist
 in your lifetime. My work will be around
long after me, but seeing it affect people,
at the time I am creating it, is  very rewarding."
He also said once: "I hope that in its silence,
the body of my work has given a voice to my
life, the lives of others, and in doing so, the dignity
of all people."
Creativity is desire of immortality, sometimes: artists are aware they will die and therefore they want to leave us a gift, dedicated to Life.  But the fear of death is also a possible cause that prevents us to be creative, like timidity, fear of our own homosexuality and the effects that this can be suggested by our creativity, and the fear of the moral solitude of the artists (for instance, Martin Luther King, 1929 - 1968, had the courage to oppose Vietnam war even if he was the only one in his committee to be intentioned to be openly against). (I add that shyness is not a characteristic of personality, but is a mental disturb that prevents us to do a lot of thing, and can be cured with a proper psychotherapy). In fact, when we create, we disturb the “peace”: let's think, for example, to Otto Rank who was the most brilliant among the first Sigmund Freud’s students, and he had the courage to abandon the circle when his master gave a reductionist and reductive view on artists’ psychology (for example when he reduced the genius of Leonardo to his alleged Oedipus complex). So, the Artist knows that he or she must pay dearly his freedom to create. Think, for example, to Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226) who was expelled by his order, or think to the mother whose baby dies. Other possible causes of the renunciation to Creativity is workaholism and lack of spare time. (And we know it very well, we also talked about the sense of Shabbat as a recreation of oneself during the "Days of Jewish Culture" here in Milan). “In our consumer society of stay-at-home persons, creative people suffer envy and incomprehension. The popular Greek mythology expressed that through the myths about the envy of the gods against human Creativity. But God is Life, so if we fear creativity we fear God. 

Also Jesus was an artist: a creator of parables, a form of literature who give us the opportunity to discover by ourselves the human truths. Also the Jewish gay King David, Jonathan’s lover, was an artist: a composer of Psalms, of music and of religious poetry (see 2 Samuel, 23, 1). “Christianity was an explosion of imagination, as Burton Mack said, 85% of Gospels are words that Jesus didn’t pronounce but this is not a scandal. Jesus was creative: he invented his personal strategy of making eat together people of different social classes since he had faith in human nature. As (the Christian American Biblical scholar) Marcus Borg said, this Jewish master attacked family, sense of honor, purity and religiousness and proposed a positive, constructive alternative, that was a work of Art.” “Therefore – Father Fox suggests during his speech- religions must invent the techniques to make retun joy in cases of working-through a bereavement, for example, with the help of beating a drum, that reproduces the heart beat (taught to me by a shaman). Whereas, at the funerals, priests have very few to say to people who are in mourning, unfortunately!"
Now let's connect this book with the systematic theology of Rev. Fox: Creativity corresponds to Via Creativa, so it is one of the four “Viae” (ways) of his Theology (see his book “Original Blessing”, in Italian “In principio era la gioia", Fazi editions, Rome 2011; published in the US in 1983, it was honored, in occasion of the 25th anniversary, by 65 authors with the collection of contributions “Originally Blessed” (see”; the  term “Via” derives from Thomas Aquinas (who gave demonstration of the existence of God through the “Five Viae”, namely "paths").


"Be astonished by the Beauty of Universe and share this wonder!": from Plato to Aristotle 
to Thomas Aquinas to Matthew Fox
The starting point of Philosophy, Theology, Art
"In the Beginning There Was Joy", not "original sin"!

The first step is to rediscover the Beauty of Creation. As Meister Eckhart says, Creation is a book on God, and therefore is a Bible.  “Existence itself is God”. 
NATURAL WONDER. Two boyfriends admiring the view of a Canyon
in this work by the American gay artist Michael Breyette. 

LOVE FOR LIFE. A declaration by the British
writer Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976) reveals a sentiment of wonder for Life
("just to be alive is a grand thing"). 

Original Blessing” was published in 1983, 
and was honored, in occasion of the 25th
 anniversary, by 65 authors with  the 
collection of contributions  “Originally 
Blessed” (see

Creation is not, as the fundamentalists say, in a far past, it’s a continual creation, always in progress (creatio continua) like us. It’s the first of sacraments.  “Nature is a Temple”, the poet Baudelaire (1821 - 1867) wrote in a poem. The astonishment is the starting point of Philosophy and Wisdom. We should find God in each creature (in philosophical term is called panentheism, from the Greek πᾶν (pân) "all", ἐν (en) "in", and θεός (theós) "God" and that means that “each thing is in God” and that “God is in every thing”), and a new sense of Time (eternity is here, now): we should find the original Energy of the “dabhar”, as it is called in Hebrew. This is salvation: when you are astonished in front of the beauty of Creation, Meister Eckhart says. To sum it up, these are the steps of his Via Positiva:

- pay attention.
- be astonished by the beauty of universe and of little things, "like children", as Jesus suggests.
- SHARE your own astonishment (“Thauma”, namely "wonder", the Greek philosopher Aristotle says in the Metaphysics, echoing his master Plato's dialogue Thaetetus, 155 d, the starting point of Philosophy).
This attitude is clearly inspired to him (who was a former Dominican priest) by the great Italian theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) and it was suggested to Thomas by Aristotle“Religion – Mr Fox says- must be a celebration of the JOY of living. As Thomas said, JOY is the noblest act of human being. (And I add: Aristotle (IVth century BC), that the "Doctor Angelicus" called “The Philosopher”, wrote that the aim of Politics is citizens' happiness). (I would like to add that eudaimonia, in the Greek Aristotelian sense, is not simply the emotion of happiness, but is a self-realisation (of our qualities and charismas), as the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentihalyi explained in his latest books.)
The false Augustinian myth of the "original sin" is alien
to Jewish Tradition. Here above, two Jewish husbands
with their babies. 
It is not an alleged original sin that exposes us to grief; it is Love that makes us vulnerable to sorrow. Thus, we must be creative also in cults: many youth are attracted by drugs since they don’t live trascendental experiences in cults, school and families. "In the Beginning There Was Joy", is the title of a writing by Father Fox of 1995, against the official Vatican theology according to which there is an "original sin" told by GenesisJesus was a Jew: therefore, he never heard of “original sin”! Irenaeus (2nd century - 202 AD), two centuries before Augustine did not believe in original sin simply because nobody believed in it before Augustine (a “fetish” of both Ratzinger and Wojtyla, 1920 - 2005)!  As the Swiss Catholic theologian Herbert Haag (1915 - 2001) wrote in his book “Is Original Sin in Scripture?” (Sheed & Ward, New York 1969), we don’t find this doctrine neither in the three chapters of the Genesis nor in the entire Bible!!

The Jewish Nobel Prize for Peace Elie Wiesel, a Modern Profet and moral authority of Judaism, confirms: “the concept of original sin is alien to the Jewish Tradition”. As Timothy Ware says, we do not inherit Adam’s guilt (sin), but we can be sinner if we imitate his guilt. The French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913 - 2005) has written that we can never say enough about how much evil was produced by this doctrine.

Augustine was not interested in Nature, as the philosopher R. A. Markus wrote in the voice “St. Augustine” in “The Enciclopedia of Philosophy” (edited by Paul Edward, Macmillan New York 1967). His introspection doesn’t bring to correct relationships. According to Michael Polanyi (1891 - 1286), this African thinker destroyed the interest for science all over Europe for one thousand years. Due to the Vatican violent imposition of his subjective (and anti-biblical) theory (that was generated by his personal and sexual neuroses), Christians were robbed of this rich Tradition of Life as a Blessing (Berakah, in Hebrew, from “bara”, to create).
But there must be a reason for which a religion is founded on a theory invented four centuries after his founder: according to Father Fox this is a political reason (the “divide et impera” technique, to produce a diabolic division inside the hearts and minds and bodies of men and women, the thoughts with sentiments, to make the masses obedient to her Power).

The Church, in fact, exactly four centuries after Christ inherited the Roman Empire, and producing self-pity is very useful to impose your "moral" authority on people.
This pessimistic faith is in contradiction with an adult vision: as William Eckhardt shew in his study “Compassion: Toward a Science of Value” (CPRI Press, Oakville, Ont. 1972),  every compassionate adult has faith in Human Nature.
This is a risk for the homosexual Christians: to believe that their homosexuality is an "original sin" (or "stain"), and, I add on this point, as another gay friendly priest Father John McNeill has shown by studying the psychological effects of the Vatican homophobia, this ill doctrine produces an unconscious tendency to find sexual transmitted diseases as a form of self destruction.


Do not avoid grief: letting go, it's creative

It makes us appreciate the authentic pleasure
Meister Eckhart: God is (also) Nothingness
Homophobia is a projection and a sin

A scene from the beautiful movie
"Silver Linings Playbook",
starring the Academy Award Winner
Jennifer Lawrence.
The second path is called Via Negativa, and it's the experience of grief and evil: the negativity of Life. The British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947) distinguished between a “tragic evil” (that is redempted by beauty) and a “gross evil”. Now we are just talking about tragedy. A spirituality dominated only by light (Via Positiva, like the Enlightenment or the atheist religion of Positivism) is superficial. Most part of the space is in the dark. The great German mystic Matilde of Magdeburg (1207 - 1283) wrote that God gave us two types of wine: the white one (of blessing, harmony and ecstasy), and the red one (of grief). To live fully, we should drink both. Another mystic, Meister Eckhart, wrote: “God is Nothingness, and neverthless is.” And he also adds: “Outside God there is nothing but Nothingness”. So, Via Negativa corresponds to the experience of kénosis, that in ancient Greek means "emptying out", and means "letting go": to let the grief be, let the silence be, "making the void", as the psychologist C.G. Jung (1875 - 1961) suggested, and, last but not least, let the others be (different: A sin against Via Negativa is the projection, for example homophobia, the fear of people with homosexual orientation). The American writer Barry Holstun Lopez calls it “tolerance for mystery”. It also means to forgive ourselves and to accept the irrational and the incomprehensible in Life, simply because it happens, C.G. Jung says (apud “Commentary”, in “The Secret of the Golden Flower”, edited by Richard Wihlelm, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York 1962).  
DANCE THERAPY. Another scene from the 2012
movie starring Bradley Cooper.
In Italy it was translated as "Il lato positivo"
 ("The positive side"). Art has the power to heal:
Professor Fox knows it very well, since he directed
many art workshops.

The ill Vatican's asceticism kills creativity because it prevents us from experiencing Via Negativa, and it's "the abortion of Imagination". 
In this sense, as Wolfgang Hildesheimer wrote in his book on Mozart (1756 - 1791), psychical sufference can be creative. The Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa (1896 - 1933) wrote that we must burn grief as fuel for our travel. Moreover, grief helps us to comprehend pleasure in a critical way. Every movement to change society (from Black to Gay Movement) was born from grief. So, some griefs, that bring to a fruit, are a blessingThe Jewish faith teaches us that God makes be  everything, also Nothingness. Jesus was an example of this experience, with his personal grief and by abandoning his middle-class origin for his own choice, and identifying with the marginalized men and women. Differently from the Christian denominations of Quakers, Moravian Brothers and Mennonites (who do not recognize the Fathers of the Church as authorities), the Christians of the Catholic Church were deprived of Via Negativa: the Vatican preached an ill asceticism, the idea that we can control our sentiments by means of our will: this attitude is called “voluntarism” (from the Latin "voluntas"), and it’s a form of mortification and humiliation that is not worth of human dignity (everybody of us is like an aristocratic king, the Bible says, since we are all sons of God who "created mankind in His own image", see Genesis 1, 27). Let’s think, for example, to the failure of the antigay reparative or conversion therapies: (that aim to change homosexual orientation to heterosexual): his American leader declared they were totally unuseful and dangerous, and they were banned in California. Next step is to abandon the abandon itself, and turn grief into beauty, by being creative (see above the Third Path). 


The Church must transform herself
Gay Liberation Movement comes from 
grief (Via Negativa) and is work of the Holy Spirit 
A drawing by the American artist
Michael Breyette. Matthew Fox
addresses his message to gay men and women. 

The last path is called Via Transformativa (metanoia is the Greek term used by Paul, c. 5 - c. 67 ) that means to put creativity at service of compassion and JOY, he concludes.

Not every creativity produces Beauty, creativity requires criticism and orientation. We should put our creativity at the service of compassion, that is a fundamental attribute of God, according to Jewish Tradition, and that requires equality. In compassion, Meister Eckhart says, Peace and Justice kiss each other. This attitude requires an "aesthetical intelligence", as the German philosopher Friedrich W. J. Schelling (1775 - 1854) said.

In the Bible, it is not hatred, but the coldness of heart to be the opposite of Love. Prophet is he who can recognize in the modern Liberations Movements of gay & lesbians and of black people (led by Martin Luther King, quoted above) the work of the Holy Spirit. Father Fox has written how the proposal of these four paths helps gay people in a particular way (see “The Spiritual Journey of the Homosexual and Just About Everyone Else”, in “A Challenge to Love: Gay and Lesbian Catholics in the Church”, edited by Robert Nugent, Crossroads, New York 1983, pages 157 – 204). 

The Bible tells us that God is also a Mother (see Isaiah 42, 14; 66, 13, see also Meister Eckhart).  God, the English female mystic Julian of Norwich (1342 - 1416) says, is the real Father and the real Mother of all Nature. God is not only paternal, but also maternal, the German mystic Matilde (1207 - 1283) agrees. We can explain the stakes of the “witches” through this denial of maternity of God, that produces mysoginy. 

The marriage of our two brains: left and right
we need Passion to be complete Persons

The American neurologist Frank Lynn Meshberger has interpreted
the “cloud” in “Creation of Adam” (1508 – 1512) by the Renaissance 
artist Michelangelo (1475 - 1564) as an accurate (hidden) representation of a human brain
in a famous article on the  “Journal of American Medical Association” 
in 1990. God’s right  arm extends to the prefrontal cortex,
 the most creative and most uniquely human region of the brain.
From the Enlightenment on, there was an egemony of the left emisphere (and therefore lack of balance between the twos). We should marry our left and right brain emisphere. Right side is Creativity: imagination, passion, Love, game, affection, the unconscious, the artistic self-expression, and it was excluded for centuries by academic élites. Left emisphere deals with language, knowledge and truth.
To do this, and not to be limited persons, we need an aesthetic education, Whitehead said: he wrote (like the religious philosopher Theodore Richards nowadays, I add) that our Western educational system is too bookish, whereas it should satisfy the irresistible juvenile desire to create something.  In contemporary neuroscientific terms, the education that focuses only on the left emisphere of the brain is violent. 

The key-words: the differences between
Vatican's official theology and Fox's recreation of religion

95 THESES. After the election of the former
Inquisitor Ratzinger as a Pope,
Matthew Fox attached his "95 Theses"
(as Martin Luther did in the main door of
Wittenberg Church in 1517) calling for a
reformation in Catholic Church.
He has written 30 books that have sold
millions of copies. 

Here you have the main points of difference with the Vatican official theology imposed by the Augustinian Wojtyla and Ratzinger: 

- Aesthetic theology vs  ascetical theology

- God, the Bible says, is not only Father, but also Mother and Child Vs Patriarchy (and male chauvinism).

- Grief is necessary for the Continual Creation and Evolution Vs Grief is the punishment for the “original sin” (according to the anti-Semitic Augustine)

- Dialectic (et-et) vs dualism (aut aut, for example body/soul)

- Sensuality vs Abstraction/asceticism

- Panentheism vs theism

- Emphasis on Creativity vs Emphasis on Obedience

- Emphasis on Jesus as an Artist and inventor of stories (parables) vs emphasis on Jesus as son of God

- Emphasis on sapiential books and Profets and Psalms (Judeo-Christian Tradition), the mystics Meister Eckhart-Ildegarda-Matilde, Niccolò Cusano, vs emphasis on the anti-Semite Augustine.

                     University Professor expelled from Catholic Church 
by Ratzinger due to his theological theses: like Father John McNeill
His Episcopal Church rang the bells at the news 
of Supreme Court's sentence on Marriage Equality 
GAY FRIENDLY. Washington National Cathedral
is an Episcopal Church that celebrates marriage equality.

Matthew Fox was born in 1940, he is a courageous pastor and mystic who addresses to everybody, and also explicitly to gay and lesbians. Father Fox, by recouping the Tradition of (profoundly Jewish) spirituality of Creation as a blessing, aims to "recreate" religion. The Creation Spirituality Movement is based in ancient Judeo-Christian Tradition. Professor Fox wrote thirty books, that sold millions of copies in the world and in particular he helped a lot the gay people in their psychological problems as another great American priest did, Father John McNeill (the American Jesuit whose life I illustrated at the gay cineclub in the documentary “Taking a Chance on God”, presented in exclusive for the Northern Italy at “Guado”, at the presence of the American director Brendan Fay, the Italian reader can find my article here: Like Father McNeill, he was a Catholic who studied in Europe: He got a PhD summa cum Laude in spirituality in France (McNeill in Belgium). 

He has also been University Professor and he was expelled from the Dominican order by (the Inquisitor) Cardinal Ratzinger in 1988 for opposing the pessimistic fall/redemption doctrine: he answered to the "German shepherd" with an article entitled “Isn’t Catholic Church a dysfunctional family?”. Soon after, Cardinal Ratzinger issued an order forbidding his colleague to teach or lecture for a year. Fox was not alone: The Vatican reduced to silence 115 male and female theologians, Father Fox reminds us.

When Ratzinger was elected Pope, he went to Wittenberg to attach on the main door his 95 Theses, like the German theologian Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) did in 1517, among which: “Jesus never talked about homosexuality”. Homosexuality, Father Fox says, it is present in at least 464 species of animals! “The ignorance of what we should know is a sin”, Thomas Aquinas says. According to Alfred North Whitehead, religion cannot recoup its original force till it won’t be able to face the changes with the same spirit of science, and today science has recognized homosexual orientation as natural. In a recent interview, Father Fox says about the new Pope: "I have hope he can learn on the job including and especially regarding the emerging role of women in society and church and also in applying science instead of catechetical regurgitations to the subject of homosexuality." 
A funny revisitation of the Noah's ark by an American gay artist: "Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise", by Paul Richmond.
During his Milanese lecture, someone asks him which are his feelings now about that expulsion, he answers: “Ratzinger and Wojtyla killed Catholic theology in Europe”. Rev. Fox is a member of the Episcopal church (in California, where he founded the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland) that welcomes gay people: one of her bishops is openly gay. In an interview, the religion journalist David Gibson asked him: “Could you see any scenario under which you would return to the Catholic Church?” And Fox answered: “I never really left it. One contemporary sociologist has said that in these post-modern times we should all write “etc.” after our name because we belong to so many communities at once. I never signed any papers saying “I’m outta here.” I was happy to receive religious asylum from the Anglicans when I most needed it and I think they have some orthopraxis issues (such as ordaining women and lay input) in better shape than the current Roman Catholic Church.” (see As I have told in an article of my Blog (, the splendid Episcopal Cathedral of Washington rang the bells for one hour at the news of the historical sentence of the Supreme Court on Marriage Equality last June, to share the JOY of the gay community: “Here marriages between gays are welcomed”. This is the spirit of Father Fox “Theology of JOY”: this Theology of Happiness is perfectly exemplified by this simple gesture, the bells singing in honor of equality as in occasion of a Feast.

Gay rights advocate 


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