Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Insight From Another Imprisoned Jesuit

Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. was executed by the Nazis. Since the charges against him were hard to substantiate, in the end it became clear that he was basically killed for being a Jesuit and a priest. I've been reading and reflecting on his writings from prison. Here's an observation which seemed especially prescient:

The Church faces the same tasks that nations and states and the western world in general have to face--the problem of human beings, how they are to be housed and fed and how they can be employed in order to support themselves. In other words we need social and economic regeneration. And then humans also must be made aware of their true nature--in other words we need intellectual and religious regeneration. These are problems for the world, for individual states and nations, and they are also problems for the Church--far more so, for instance, than the question of liturgical forms. If these problems are solved without us, or to our disadvantage, then the whole of Europe will be lost to the Church, even if every altar faces the people and Gregorian chant is the rule in every parish . . .

Alfred Delp is not well enough known. You can find out more about him here.


Blogger crystal said...

I read an article about him once in The Way journal - A Symbol Perfected in Death: Rahner's Theology and Alfred Delp. It had excerpts from some of his letters. He was a brave guy.

3:59 AM  

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