Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DaVinci Code Wisdom From My Long-Lost Cousin

For those of you caught up in the craziness surrounding the DaVinci Code, there's an interesting editorial at Commonweal which cites my "long-lost cousin" with whom I'm often confused, Mark Massa, S.J.:

At a recent forum sponsored by Fordham University’s Center for Religion and Culture, Mark Massa, SJ, proposed an explanation for why people find The Da Vinci Code compelling. Catholicism, Massa argued, “represents a corporate culture which is perplexing or dismissed, or even feared, by many Americans, even by many American Catholics.” In its sacramental, hierarchical, and communal commitments, Catholicism challenges the pragmatic individualism that pervades American life. “In the story of salvation, in a very un-American sense, the community is more important than the individual,” Massa said. “We are saved as individuals in and through the community.” In Catholic teaching, the encounter with God is always a mediated experience. Yet for most Americans, the ideal encounter between self and God is an individual and unmediated one. Moreover, Massa notes, “mediation means trusting people who may be wrong.” That entails a respect, even reverence, for institutions, something many of us resist.

There is also a discussion of the editorial at DotCommonweal.

(really, there's no relation at all--he's Massa, I'm Mossa--but to further confuse things, we also share the same middle name!)


Anonymous Dave Lucas said...

CRAZINESS certainly applies to this Da Vinci Code nonsense! It's just a NOVEL! I've blogged about it too! Feel free to stop by and leave your post's URL in my comments!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

...this, too, shall pass.



10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification about your cousin. I was wondering how Commonweal get a spelling wrong, that too of a person, in the editorial. It is sacrilege in journalism.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous "omis" said...

Have you guys ever met and hung out?

3:28 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...


Yes, in fact I'm working on a study that's being conducted by the Fordham Center for American Catholic Studies, of which Mark is the director. And, I studied at Fordham for 3 years.

At one of the meals at our last meeting I sat with Mark and another participant in the study whose name is Massa! It was quite funny!

8:56 PM  

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