Pope Francis Confronts the “Idolatry of Money” – RAI with Matthew Fox Pt 7/8
With his criticism of excessive capitalism and of climate change, Pope Francis has become the target of the far-right, and especially of the secretive Opus Dei sect within the Catholic Church, explains former priest Matthew Fox. This is an episode of Reality Asserts Itself, produced August 20, 2019.STORY TRANSCRIPTPAUL JAY: Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself. I’m Paul Jay. We’re in Berkeley, California.Matthew Fox is a former Catholic priest. He’s now an Episcopal priest. But when Pope Francis became pope, he wrote a book called Letters to Pope Francis and here’s a small excerpt from that: “Will you too break,” Matthew addresses to the pope. “Will you too break with the fathers of Wall Street and titans of power who espoused an oligarchy of wealth and power to dominate others by means of economic and political injustice the world over? Those who are hiding $32 trillion in secret offshore accounts to guarantee they and their corporations pay no income taxes.” That book, Letters to Pope Francis, is a series of letters where Matthew challenges the pope to, I guess, rise to the occasion. And now joining us to talk about whether he thinks the pope has, is Matthew Fox. Thanks for joining us.MATTHEW FOX: Thank you. Good to be here, Paul.PAUL JAY: How has the pope done in terms of your expectations? I said earlier in our interviews, you and I interviewed just after he became pope and you didn’t have a lot of expectations for what came. How’s he been doing in terms of standing up to the fathers of Wall Street as you put it? Then let’s talk about those in the church who aren’t very happy with the way he is doing some of that.MATTHEW FOX: Well, I think that his standing up to what he calls “the idolatry of money” has been strong, and you know it’s been strong because of the enemies he’s made like Rush Limbaugh saying he’s a Marxist. As you say, the fire in the right wing to shut him up. I think he’s made many an appeal on behalf of the poor and the oppressed, and of course he comes from a Third World continent, so he knows about that pretty much firsthand. So you really give him credit for that I think.I think his encyclical Laudato Si on the environment is a marvelous bit of work. I think it’s very important. That too has angered the right people, I think. But I think he really lays out a—He doesn’t just talk about the problem, but I think he lays out in a very positive way how we can find our way through this number one moral issue really of our time.I did an article on that encyclical, and one thing I learned was he uses the word beauty like 27 times. So, he’s really developing – it’s a very, to me it’s a very creation spirituality encyclical. One fellow who’s in his eighties, a very wise man, said to me, “Well, this is a coming of age of creation spirituality.” I say, “Yes, true. The previous two popes called my work dangerous and deviant for 34 years, and this pope is plagiarizing my work, so I’ve lived to pretty [crosstalk]—PAUL JAY: He hasn’t reached to you at all, has he?MATTHEW FOX: Not explicitly, but the fellow who wrote that encyclical, 85% of it, is a former student of mine, actually, so he certainly knows what we’ve been about, so I like that. Now, I would give very bad grades on his Canonizing of Junípero Serra, the Franciscan missionary out here in California who set up the mission system, which was really nothing but concentration camps and slave camps for the Indigenous people. This is proven. There’ve been a lot of scholarly studies the last 10 or 15 years, laying out what really went on in the missions. I worked with California Indians here to stop that canonization of Serra, and we failed at that. One of them, a leader in the Native American community, said that if he goes through with this, canonize Serra, he’ll be making war on Indigenous people all over the world. So that was a terrible mistake on his part.But, you know, we’ve all got clay feet. He’s a human being like the rest of us and he’s made mistakes, but I think that I would give him good grades. Now, I see his role today as a lot like the Dalai Lama. I don’t see his role really as so much saving the Catholic church. I think it’s beyond redemption today. I think it’s dying in front of our faces and there’s too much weight of dogmas— such as the sexual teachings that we alluded to earlier— that just aren’t going to go away, or the dogma that women can’t be ordained and so forth, you know? I don’t think he’s really here to do that. I think he’s here to do what the Dalai Lama is doing, to try to get human beings to start thinking in more ways together again and debating.In fact, I told him, I think in my book there, why don’t you and the Dalai Lama go on a tour together to five different continents and talk about five important issues like work, and education, and women, and youth, and of course economics that works for everyone—by everyone I mean all the species on the planet, not just the human species— and of course the climate. So I think that would be a very good use of his time actually.PAUL JAY: He’s been pretty strong on economic inequalities.MATTHEW FOX: Definitely.PAUL JAY: He condemns the excesses of capitalism.MATTHEW FOX: Yes.PAUL JAY: Like a lot of people imagines, there could be a capitalism without the excessism. I personally think that horse has left the barn. But he’s taken a lot of flak for it, and both on climate and his issues of inequality have aroused the opposition of people like Steve Bannon, who was in the White House until recently and is still, I think a lot of people think, in Trump’s ear.Opus Dei, the essentially fascist organization within the Catholic Church and represents a lot of bishops and a lot of the hierarchy. If they’re not directly Opus Dei, and maybe they are, but as you’ve pointed out earlier, they’re secret, so it’s hard to know who is and who isn’t, but the American Cardinal Burke, who now claims apparently not to have met Bannon, which I find beyond belief. Yeah, he said this. There’s a New York Times piece about Burke and Bannon, and Burke says he’s never met Bannon, which I don’t understand because Bannon did a Skype speech to a meeting at the Vatican. I forget the name of the organization, but it’s some institute of the family of some kind, which seems to have Opus Dei connections.Burke is on the — he’s a Rameritas or is on the board of advisors of that group that Bannon spoke to, and Bannon’s picture was up on their website for the longest time. So there is a cabal of the far right that sees—I mean, I should add, there’s 1.2 at least billion Catholics in the world. And the moral authority of the church, maybe it wasn’t what it was, but it’s still significant in many parts of the world, so it matters. And to have a pope that comes out quite strongly in many ways, against the Opus Dei, Bannon, Trump, and others’ agenda they don’t like. Talk about who Opus Dei is, and this real fascist trend with in the church and what it means in terms of Pope Francis.MATTHEW FOX: Well, the founder of Opus Dei was a Spanish priest named Escrivá. In the 1920s, he founded it.PAUL JAY: In Spain?MATTHEW FOX: In Spain, yes. It played very much into Franco’s hands. So much so that Franco, the dictator of Spain, had Opus Dei members on his cabinet for generations. So, they played a tremendous role in the right-wing, fascist politics under Franco. Of course, there was a lot of division in Spain. When Franco was finally overturned, and the socialists took over, of course our Opus Dei was diminished, but they had had a tremendous impact through religion, but also through politics. They have their own university and so forth. Of course, they found a lot of followers, if you will, in America, both South and North America.The greatest, actually the greatest treason subject in America was this fellow. He’s in my book. He gave away more secrets than any other of our spies in our history, and he got lots and lots of our spies murdered and so forth because he was giving – he was a counterintelligence guy working with the FBI for over 20 years until they found him. In fact the head of FBI at the time was Opus Dei and there’s been a movie done on Hannon as well by Hollywood. He’s now in jail, but it took them so long to catch him, et cetera. He was this rigorous Catholic, went to Mass every morning and sold his country out every afternoon. It’s not pretty. Opus Dei has these tentacles to go where their power is. So they’re very big in the media and they’re very big in finance.I was in Germany several years ago. I was with a journalist there in downtown Frankfurt. He said, “What do you see looking out the window?” We were having tea. I said, “Well, I see a lot of skyscrapers going up.” He said, “Yes,” and he said, “All those skyscrapers are about finance, because—Because of the Euro, finance is moving from Switzerland to Frankfurt,” and he said “The top of every one of those skyscrapers will be Opus Dei. They are the final word on most of the finance in Europe.”It amazed me, but they go where the power is, so they go to financing. They could go to the media for sure, at the university, journalism is one of their biggest majors. Of course, they go to the Supreme Court. They go to the Pentagon and the CIA. I think it’s one reason you have so many far-right Catholics on the Supreme Court since the first President Bush.Remember he was in the CIA. He was the head of the CIA, and I think he got to know a lot of Opus Dei, far right-wing Catholics there, and they can be relied on for certain things, certain notions of loyalty. It’s important to blow the whistle on these things. Now, Pope Francis, I don’t see him really combating Opus Dei head on. He’s hired some of them for his journalistic purposes and so forth, but I’m sure he’s somewhat wary because he comes from South America, and down there, of course, things are less subtle.There are not so many layers of subterfuge down there. Things are just clearer. Certainly he knows, for example, how the previous two popes in effect fired liberation bishops and cardinals and started making all those Opus Dei bishops and cardinals. Now, in San Francisco, you have an Opus Dei Archbishop, and you have an Opus Dei Archbishop in Los Angeles. So here are the two biggest dioceses on the West coast and one of them is the biggest dioceses traps in the country run by an Opus Dei bishop. These, of course, were appointed by previous popes. I don’t think Pope Francis has appointed any Opus Dei cardinals or bishops since he’s come out.PAUL JAY: How would you describe the Opus Dei belief system? What do they advocate?MATTHEW FOX: It’s all about obedience, and it’s very rigid and very strict, and it’s very patriarchal. Women play very subservient roles. Escrivá himself was an absolute sexist. He would scream at women and when his eggs weren’t cooked right or something like that. Now, another dimension of this is that they canonized Escrivá in the fastest canonization ever in history.PAUL JAY: That was JP II.MATTHEW FOX: They rushed him through under JP II. Obviously, a lot of money was involved in that. They actually changed the entire canonization process. Beginning with Escrivá, they throw out the devil’s advocate. At his canonization process, no one was allowed to speak who knew his dark side, and he had these tremendous dark sides, like the way he treated women, but other things too.PAUL JAY: A fascist.MATTHEW FOX: Right. It’s fascism. It’s about power and control. It’s very secretive. That’s why it’s very hard to find out who is and isn’t Opus Dei. I know one quick story about Opus Dei. Sergeant Shriver, who was a very practicing Catholic, as you may know from Notre Dame. After Notre Dame. He went to mass almost daily. He was invited into Opus Dei, and he actually stepped in, joined for a little bit, and then he got the hell out of this real – as soon as he figured it all out, but it’s interesting, see.They’ve now, they’ve set up camps if you will, or recruits, on a lot of Catholic college campuses in this country. They go after the younger generation and they say, “You know, we can promise you a sense of community and look at how much success our people have. They’re hard workers and they get good degrees and they make it in journalism, they make it in banking, they make it in politics, they make it in the church. We have a lot to offer you,” kind of a thing. They’ve done this not just in North America, but in Europe too. I know in England they’ve done this too.PAUL JAY: How much do we know about whether Steve Bannon is directly Opus Dei, or just shares values with Opus Dei?MATTHEW FOX: I don’t know the answer to that. I would guess he’s not Opus Dei because there’s nothing particularly religious about him except that he hangs onto this mythology and ideology of the Christian. He likes to talk about Christian Europe.PAUL JAY: Well, that’s his mission. He says, “In defense of Western Christian civilization.”MATTHEW FOX: Right.PAUL JAY: Anti-Islam, anti-China.MATTHEW FOX: Exactly. Yeah, he’s taken that upon himself.PAUL JAY: Comes from finance.MATTHEW FOX: Right. He’s taken that upon himself. Yeah, sometimes our media leaves us ignorant of how the right-wing movement that you have embodied in Trump and Bannon is alive and well in many parts of the world today. What’s happened in Hungary, what’s happened in Poland, of course, what’s happening in Russia, and other places, including some countries in Africa. There’s this bigger thing going on and we should realize that we can over obsess, I think, about Trump. Of course, Trump didn’t just drop out of the sky. Trump really represents, I think, the dark side of the Republican Party in the last 30 years. The whole Southern strategy and so forth is—And the whole Koch thing. The whole Koch ideology began in Virginia with—PAUL JAY: Which ideology?MATTHEW FOX: The Koch brothers.PAUL JAY: Koch.MATTHEW FOX: Yeah, the Koch brothers. It began in Virginia with the rejection of the Brown v. Education decision. So it’s about racism at its origins and all these dog whistles are about that. Then finally getting a current Secretary of Education, who wants to cut money for public schools and put it all in private schools, that goes way, way back. The Koch brothers themselves said this is amazing phrase they use, that our capitalism has to trump democracy. That’s their goal. You have to admit they’ve been very successful. They’ve been training judges in this country for decades. All these right-wing judges that now Trump is appointing at all levels of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, they come out of these Koch schools. They did a lot of training of lawyers to get them to think in this particular way.PAUL JAY: Okay. In the next segment of our interview, we’re going to talk about American Cardinal Burke, targeting not only Pope Francis, but trying to encourage a rise of far-right movements in Europe and here, and right into the White House. Please join us for the continuation of Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.
Today we have our second guest from the Stranded Panda Podcast network and host of the Star Wars Universe Podcast and the Superhero Ethics podcast, Matthew Fox (AKA the ethical panda); and we're discussing a very important album to them, Weezer's 1994 debut album. Originally just untitled, it quickly became known as "Blue Album", as they continued on the untitled mono colored albums thing for a while, and it was a breath of fresh air. Following the popularity of grunge and nihilistic early 90s, everyone was listening to the Nirvanas and Pearl Jams of the day and happy-go-lucky pop tunes were extremely out of fashion. There was definitely pop punk occurring at the same time, but it was not the pop heavy dynamos of the late 90s/00s like Blink 182 and New Found Glory. In 1994 grunge was going through a tough time. In April, Kurt Cobain violently took his own life, and in June, Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff succumbed to a heroin overdose. But in the middle all of this tragedy and chaos (Blue album came out in May) in rock music, grunge was collapsing under its own weight, and there was one band that would take the baton and run with it. The guys in Weezer were anything but grunge. Sure they had some grungy guitar sounds, but they were influenced by Beach Boys more than Pixies... and could make a song like both. They were a group of nerds proud of their nerdiness and up front about how cringey love could be. They had the depth that grunge had, but with more of a sense of humor about themselves, which was incredibly important at the time. It's an amazingly well formed album for their first outing and (mostly) stands the test of time. Links from ep: For all Stranded Panda Podcasts: https://strandedpanda.com Superhero Ethics episode "The Ethics of Thirst": https://open.spotify.com/episode/008tOOeaG2JeWPHb3RvThU?si=6363b303ce684760 What's With These Homies Talking About Weezer podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/4SxCwRF7YHGuS8n9P8UAtT?si=hsERjSgCQJia4FAl12M6dA&dl_branch=1 "Only In Dreams" Cowboy Bebop AMV: https://youtu.be/DW7fNAKk6oc Other Links: OUR DISCORD: https://discord.gg/2stA2P7pTC TACHP Desert Island Discord Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4wNErQHfrAYgSsIZlLJ6ym?si=dtrMJCuqQwa1Zt7RtwrXNg (YouTube Playlist): https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4Uk6UBPMYEs3BtK1HwWJMyXlKwPH93Qx (for local listeners) Under the Covers is Wednesday mornings from 6 to 8am on 91.7 WSUM FM, 92.5 WISY FM Sunday afternoons 1-3pm EVERYTHING ELSE: https://linktr.ee/FlyoverStatePark --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/albumconcepthour/support
“One With the Divine” with Michael B. Beckwith, Panache Desai, Gary Zukav, and Matthew Fox
Humanity's Team Podcast with Steve Farrell
Michael Bernard Beckwith is an author, meditation teacher, conference speaker, and seminar leader, and is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center. Panache Desai is a contemporary thought leader, bestselling author, and a highly sought-after speaker, Gary Zukav is a spiritual wayfarer, master teacher, and bestselling author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers. Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, author, and activist for gender justice and eco-justice. In this podcast, "One With the Divine," these four brilliant modern-day thought leaders join Steve Farrell in a discussion about the mystical corridors of our soul, aligning our ego with the soul, and moving out of contemporary religious and spiritual confusion into a new clarity of mind and peace of soul. Tune in to "One With the Divine," to hear more from Michael B, Panache, Gary, Michael F., and Steve about how to... Become a greater instrument of love, peace, and healing Align personality/ego with soul Meet oneself without judgment Change the world by changing “me” Get the fire going to recreate our institutions And so much more Note: this is a special rebroadcast and any websites, links, programs, or events mentioned may no longer be active (or dates may have been changed). Thank you! Explore Humanity’s Team and the timeless truth that We Are All One. Learn more about the Humanity’s Team free education programs. Explore Humanity Stream Plus, our streaming subscription service now available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Play, and more! Enjoy 24/7 access to our most popular Masterclasses, complimentary certificates of completion, invitations to Live Events including Masterclass Mentoring, as well as additional inspiring conscious programming, providing you with 550+ hours of total content, plus a 7-Day Free Trial!
Matthew Fox: Julian of Norwich - Prophets, Pandemics & Patriarchy (N240)
Matthew Fox is an American priest and spiritual theologian and an activist for gender and eco-justice. His work on creation spirituality and mysticism has given him the reputation of being one of the most challenging religious-spiritual teachers in America. It’s also got him into trouble with the Catholic Church, most notably for rubbing two popes up the wrong way, which eventually got him excommunicated. We speak with Matthew about his latest book Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-And Beyond, and ask him what this 14th Century mystic can teach us about what it means to live well in the midst of a global pandemic and climate meltdown. Interview starts at 15m 47s Nomad can only host conversations like these because a small group of faithful listeners help us pay the bills. Our supporters gain access to the Nomad community - which manifests as Nomad Book Club and The Beloved Listener Lounge - and bonus episodes, such as Nomad Contemplations, Nomad Devotionals and Nomad Revisited. And you may find yourself the proud owner of a Beloved Listener mug! Head over to our Patreon page and our own members page to donate. You might also want to have a look at our blog, which we use to share the stories of the evolving faith of our podcast listeners. And if you're looking for other people to share this journey with, then register on our Listener Map and our Nomad Gathering Facebook page, and see if any other nomads are in your area.
Rise of the Bastards: On Jon Snow and Class Consciousness (ft. Matthew Fox & Paul Christopher Hoppe)
Focused on Infinity with Logan Grendel
A rare media driven episode in which old friends Matthew Fox (host of Superhero Ethics) & Paul Christopher Hoppe drop in to discuss the shared experience of growing up between the classes, using the seemingly unlikely lens of Game of Thrones character Jon Snow. Mixing the personal, the historical, and the fantastical, this one is a ride through many worlds. Find Matthew Fox at: StrandedPanda.com Twitter: @SuperheroEthics Find Paul Hoppe at: Twitch.tv/zenmadman Twitter: @zenmadman Join my Patreon for early access, pictures, videos, music and more: Patreon.com/focusedoninfinity Mastodon: email@example.com IG: @focusedoninfinity Twitter: @WatcherInfinite Twitch: twitch.tv/focusedoninfinity Elsewhere: linktr.ee/FoILG --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/focusedoninfinity/support
Matthew Fox -- Fidelity vs Faith: Bowing to the Heart Over Authority
“Our self-expression is meant to be the manifestation of the silence of our hearts.”Matthew Fox is a pioneering spiritual theologian, author, and perhaps the only man alive who has had this theology systematically singled out and denounced by two successive Popes, only to see a third Pope incorporate it into Church doctrine. His courageous stance on issues like the sacredness of our relationship to the environment, the divine feminine, gay rights, and other controversial issues have sparked a spiritual revolution in the United States and around the world. Fox is the leading exponent of Creation Spirituality, a more expansive and inclusive perspective on Christian doctrine that brings it closer to the mystical foundations underpinning all religious traditions, and which traces its inspiration back to Catholic visionaries like St Francis of Assisi and Meister Eckhart. His forthcoming book, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic--and Beyond, is about a medieval mystic woman who lived through the plague of the Black Death, and draws out insights and principles relevant to our modern COVID-19 era. "A theologian way ahead of her time," he writes, "Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness."While Matthew’s life has been full of innovation in work, worship, and education, his heart has been anchored firmly in fidelity to service and reconnection, even in the face of opposition and resistance from prevailing Church dogma. Along the journey, he’s been consistently regarded as one of the most spiritually influential living people, and received numerous awards and accolades, including the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award, whose other recipients include Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, and The Dalai Lama. Matthew began his religious training in the Catholic Dominican Order pursuing a Doctorate of Spiritual Theology in Paris at the suggestion of Thomas Merton, the groundbreaking Trappist monk known for his extensive interfaith studies and explorations of mysticism across traditions. This openness to a diversity of views and emphasis on direct experience perhaps set the stage for the first conflicts with the Catholic Church, when Fox later taught a holistic pedagogy in collaboration with a feminist theologian, a Jungian psychologist, and a physicist. Some time later, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) had Fox’s work and writings investigated for heresy -- an investigation that turned up empty after examination by a team of Dominican theologians. When Fox questioned the doctrine of “original sin”, Ratzinger banned Fox from teaching for a year. When Fox failed to condemn homosexuality, embraced feminist theology, and worked “too closely” with Native Americans, the conflict culminated in his expulsion from the Dominican order for “disobedience” several years later.Matthew was received into the Episcopal Church where his innovative outreach and instincts for interconnectedness drew inspiration from rave parties as a vehicle to bring liturgy and church worship back into the lives of young people. He created a series of “Cosmic Masses” where he consciously reinvigorated Western ritual through ecstatic and visceral celebration over music and pre-modern dancing. These worship parties continue to this day and have been held in well over a hundred venues, including the Parliament of World Religions, and touched tens of thousands of participants through a spectrum of themes, including “The Black Diaspora”, “Rumi and Sufi Wisdom”, and “Economic Justice” among many others.One of his greatest contributions has been to clarify and amplify the principles of Creation Spirituality, a paradigm shift brought out in his book Original Blessing that upgrades and reformulates prevailing dogma with broad, positive, and inclusive principles. Fox’s conception draws on a close reading of Biblical sources, early medieval Christian mystics, and modern science, even as it seeks common ground with faiths and spiritual traditions from around the world. Many highly regarded spiritual figures have proclaimed that this work represents a rescue and recovery of a form of spirituality from within the depths of Christian heritage that has profound relevance for our modern times.Matthew is the author of 38 books, including Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic -- and Beyond (forthcoming), Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations, and the The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet. His books have been translated into 68 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Join Rahul Brown and Aryae Coopersmith in conversation with this powerful voice of faith and conscience.