Saturday, April 21, 2012

Inquisition Redux – A Latin Proof

How much is a nun worth? This is the subject of our spoof... er, proof.

Since the Vatican likes it best when English wording of something is very close to (tortured) Latin, first we need to get some terms straight:

Redux: From the Latin, reducere, which means to lead back.

Nun: From the (late) Latin, nonna, a woman belonging to a religious order; especially : one under solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Inquisition: From the Latin, inquirere, to inquire; (a) Tribunal for the discovery and punishment of heresy; (b) an investigation conducted with little regard for individual rights.

Working backward from modern English (nun), we find that the Latin nonna was first translated into Middle English as nonne. Now, notice that if we reduce (see Redux above) the word nonne, we get none. Which means nothing! From which we get the formula: Nun = 0. Which is actually very close to the English, when you say it aloud ("nun" equals "zero")! Thus, via two methods (visual and auditory) we arrive at the same formula from which the Vatican seems to be working!

One nun. Multiple nuns. The Vatican formula remains the same. Because no matter how many nuns they have, the result is always 0. The math is very simple! One nun = zero. Twenty nuns, forty nuns... you name it, 20 x 0 = 0 … 40 x 0 = 0 … and so on. Therefore the two formulas could be expressed best as:

Nun(s) = 0

Now, for those US nuns who accept the formula (Nun = 0), life is easy: Pray and Obey. No need to think. Just follow the Latin Leader (Papa), whose infallibility (infallibillis) is a principle of Vatican dogma, or Dog-pa (the more patriarchal equivalent).

To recap:   Nun(s) = 0.    Papa rules!

Moving right along... Some US nuns are now daring to think for themselves. Questioning. Doubting their worthlessness. Consulting their own consciences for answers. Asking: To whom do I owe my allegiance? As in: To whom were their vows really made?

Ah, now there is the crux of it! (Crux, from the Latin cross or torture.) Which brings us to Inquisition (inquirere), an entity (now renamed but responsible for the nun-crackdown).  

The Papa-Endorsed Dog-pa Crackdown,  a form of Inquisition, whose principle method of investigation used to be torture, is now in full swing, going after God-Loving "sisters" who refuse to be Vatican zeros!

Today the torture is not physical. But no matter... they're still making use of methods Jesus SURELY would have frowned on!
The nuns view themselves as living out the Gospel at the margins. Which, in my view, is the authentic living-out of one's Baptismal call to spiritual priesthood (deification). And what does this entail?

I think it means living at a crossroads.  Between time and eternity.  Between Creation and our origin in Holy Mystery.  Internalizing a sense of solidarity with all humanity, especially those who suffer or are marginalized, disenfranchised, victimized in whatever ways. Identifying with them.  Lifting up their concerns and the entire cosmos to Christ, who will ultimately bring all things to the Father.  And mediating the Inspiration of Holy Mystery back into the cosmos.  In all we do.  In all we are.  In our limitations.  In our creativity.

...  [as] current events [signs of the times] or sacred writings call to us, speak to us of our common solidarity within the Cosmos and our common plight as human beings, our common dignity, our potential for transformation, indeed for transfiguration.

Now I ask you: Isn't this exactly what these courageous sisters in Christ are doing?