亚洲为方济各的辩护 / Asian Apologia for Francis


vita della Chiesa

Chinese version below

Behind the many reproaches to Francis about this or that choice, there is a red thread uncovered or covered, as the case may be, but always present. The pope is accused of not dealing with the transcendent, the specific space of religions including catholicis. That is, it is said: he is turning catholicis into an NGO, but this is not so, this is not what religion and the Church do.

The accusation is, therefore, very serious: dismantling the Church and its essence, the contact with God.

A different perspective

Perhaps, however, things should be seen differently.

Looking at the world from Asia, everything seems clearer. Existence is an endless cycle of eating and being eaten. Plants, animals and even humans are within a cycle that eats life to get life, seeks death to get life. It is a ruthless food chain in which plants compete with each other and draw nourishment from the earth, so do animals with plants and with each other, and so do humans.

The modern fascination with Dracula and zombies is the literary exemplification of a profound perception. Men must give death in order to live, but in order to ‘live’ like thise, they become living dead, Dracula (without a shadow, i.e. without a soul) or zombies (even without the ability to reason, only with feral instincts).

Dracula and the zombies seem to represent today’s humanity, which, in the last century and a half, has broken the traditional life cycle, leading to an explosion of the earth’s population, which has increased tenfold, and doubling of the average lifespan, also an unprecedented feat.

In the past, man could live and reproduce within tiny limits, essentially unchanved for hundreds of thousands of years. It was natural, then, that divinity was also perceived by humans in this context.

In line with this fierce chain, many religions in the past – but also today – present a devouring God, who demands sacrifices or wars, as if he were the supreme apex of a food chain that also passes through us. This process is referred to as ‘sacrifice’, that is, the end of something so that something else can begin.

Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, the ancient Jain movement knew this beastly cycle. There the solution was, and still is, acceptance of the cycle, i.e. one’s own surrender. Christianity, for the first and only time, announced a God who gets eaten but does not eat, who gets killed but does not kill. Christianity is a religion of God-eaters, of theophagi, deeply scandalous but equally liberating. God does not eat, but allows himself to be eaten in the Eucharist.

This is realised in the effort to slow down, to reduce the cycle of continual devouring. o be good, to love, is to oppose the ruthlessness of impending death. Love ideally and concretely breaks that cycle of life that gives death.

Non c’è nulla di più spirituale di questo. Ci collega con un mondo senza morte, che non conosciamo, e che è al di là della nostra vita.

What Church

Pope Francis’ ‘field hospital’ Church puts us back on track with this tradition all the more necessary today when the multi-millennial cycle of survival of the human race has changed and is changing radically. In other words, the Gospel message is almost more understandable today, in this world, than it was yesterday.

In fact, a ‘monarchical’, ‘princely’ Church would bring Catholicism in line with the many death-hungry ancient religions. But those religions do not make us touch the infinite, rather they push us away from it.

But even those that seek the infinite detached from concrete life only confirm the cycle of the perennial search for death.

It is in everyday life that Christianity offers an answer to the ancient human drama that is even stronger in the modern world.

It is the infinity in the Eucharist, in the gesture of feeding on the body of Christ and doing good that breaks death twice over, feeding on God and giving to others. Here the gift for others, the offering instead of demanding, is the embodiment of the divine gesture of giving oneself as nourishment and conscious sacrifice.

From the outside, the gesture of the gift can exist without the rite of the Eucharist. But if there is only the rite without the gesture of the gift then everything becomes non-empty, worse, it is the reproduction of a gesture of blood of a divinity that wants human and non-human sacrifices.

Against this, Pope Francis warns us with extreme caution, because in any case the life of the Church, the world’s largest unified religion, is a testament to the strength not only of the message but of the practice of this religion in history.






现代人对德古拉和僵尸的迷恋是一种深刻认识的文学例证。人为了活着,必须强加死亡,但为了像他们那样 “活着”,他们变成了活死人,德古拉(没有影子,即没有灵魂)或僵尸(甚至没有理性能力,只有野性的本能)。



根据这一凶猛的链条,许多宗教在过去–但也在今天–提出了一个需要牺牲或战争的吞噬之神,就好像他是食物链的最高顶点,而食物链也穿过我们。这个过程被称为 “牺牲”,即结束某件事情,以便开始另一件事。

佛教、道教、印度教、古代耆那教运动都知道这种恶性循环。在那里,解决的办法过去是,现在仍然是,接受这个循环,即自己投降。基督宗教第一次,也是唯一一次,宣布了一个被吃却不吃、被杀却不杀的天主。基督宗教是一个食神的宗教,是一个 “theophagi “的宗教。天主不吃人,却允许自己在圣体圣事中被吃掉。




教宗方济各的 “野战医院式 “教会使我们回到了这一传统的轨道上来,在人类生存的多千年周期已经改变并正在发生根本性变化的今天,这一传统显得更加必要。换句话说,在这个世界上,今天的福音信息几乎比昨天更容易理解。

事实上,一个 “君主制”、”亲王制 “的教会将使天主教与许多渴求死亡的古代宗教保持一致。但是,这些宗教并没有让我们触摸到无限,而是把我们推离了无限。






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