Eugene Kennedy

(Eugene Cullen Kennedy)

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  • Born: August 18, 1928
  • Died: June 3, 2015
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Psychologist Religion, Columnist

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Eugene Cullen Kennedy was a psychologist, award-winning writer, public intellectual, syndicated columnist, and professor emeritus of Loyola University Chicago. A laicized Catholic priest and a long-time observer of the Catholic Church, the work of Eugene Cullen Kennedy spans many genres. He has published over 50 books that include 2 biographies, 3 novels, a play, as well as books on psychology, on the Roman Catholic Church and the relationship between psychology and religion. In the early 1970s, inspired by Vatican II, he emerged as a powerful voice for reform and modernization of the Roman Catholic Church.

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9/11 allowed us to witness the ordinary face of goodness in the love that those about to die brought with them to work that day. It is fitting that we refer to a large segment of the church year as Ordinary Time because it describes the look of the true faith that, as we read of the Kingdom, is spread about us. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
9/11 revealed that those about to die do not seem afraid or plead for forgiveness for their sins, if they think about them at all. They all have one thing in mind - those they love - and they all do the same thing: They call them up - spouses, family or friends - to tell them they love them. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
As dutiful bishops soon discover, authoritarianism, or control from the top down, characterizes the hierarchical tradition.
As in the Divine Right of Kings, hierarchies invest those who preside at the top of their pyramidal structure with absolute power to rule over the lesser ranks that spread down like a marble staircase to the broad foundation stones of those with no power at all. Power
Benedict's spending down his energy was a function of his fighting against the Space/Information Age's relentless pressure on the concept of hierarchy, the restoration of which he had, following John Paul II, made a central part of the program that has come to be known as the reform of the reform.
Bishops may often feel but cannot express the sting and throb of submitting themselves to Roman commands because the latter are always presented as tests of their loyalty to the Pope and of their absolute acceptance of his teaching authority, or Magisterium.
Catholicism actually resembles a family that survives because even as it aspires to holiness, it understands and can live with sin and imperfection. Families, Children & Parenting
Facebook may not only propagate cyber-loneliness but exacerbate the pain of loss that estranged family members feel when they hear only indirectly, through a third-party posting, news of a child or parent with whom they have not spoken in years. Families, Children & Parenting
Francis seems familiar because Catholics have already known him in the Vatican II priests who have been their pastors and sacramental ministers over the years since that council brought new life to an old church. Catholics have known him in the bishops and priests who brought the spirit of the council to their dioceses and parishes. Life
Friendship is something whose depth fits human aspirations and fulfills human possibilities. It has heft to it, as a gold-piece does and a gambling chip does not. Friendship
From his first hours as pope, Francis has re-enacted or spoken of the great pastoral transformation of Vatican II as his own agenda.
Good priests never look for awards and, perversely enough in the clerical culture universe, do not receive many. Like the aged nuns who taught selflessly and nearly anonymously all their lives, these servants of the People of God only get into the papers when their obituaries are printed. Religion & God
Hierarchical formulations died because their wedding cake levels posited a multiply fractured cosmos that does not match the Space Age revelation of a unified universe in which the earth is clearly in, rather than separated from, the heavens. Hierarchical representations do not reflect what either the world or we are like. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Human experience resembles the battered moon that tracks us in cycles of light and darkness, of life and death, now seeking out and now stealing away from the sun that gives it light and symbolizes eternity. Life ;Death
If you ask people what attracted them to the person they love, they never tell you of some perfect feature that focused them on sheer surfaces but rather an imperfection that allowed them to see into their uncharted depths. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
In April, God speaks to us in the seas whose rhythmic murmuring fills our ears from a long way off. It was in April that the Titanic went down into the deep to lie like a slasher's victim, bleeding the 'debris field' - its passengers' personal possessions, the everyday things of everyman and everywoman - across the ocean's floor. Religion & God
Most ecclesiastical relics are fixed in time at the moment of their manufacture. That is why they are offered for veneration in casings that resemble pocket watches. They have lost their claim to mystery because they are so clearly the products of time. Time
Our human experience, like the World War II Ultra code-breaking machine, catches the heavy traffic of messages about what we really do and what is done to us every day. War & Peace
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is big on buzz but is not the stunning surprise claimed by many pundits. It is rather a further example of the German theology professor's style that informed his years as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his term as pope, and the formation of his legacy to the church. Religion & God
Pope Francis has aimed a blow at what the whole hierarchical system is built on: a graded system with the higher clergy in the skyboxes, the devoted religious in festival seating, as they say of the crowds at rock concerts, and, on the bottom, the laity in standing room only.
Pope Francis reminds us of Pope John XXIII because both men share the same lack of self-consciousness, and neither needs to keep his guard up through the use of psychological defenses such as rationalization, projection or intellectualization.
St. Pope John XXIII called for the Second Vatican Council because he understood, as no Holy Father had in a long time, religion spoke to and found its language and symbols - its entire sense of the sacramental nature of existence - in the imagination that reveals not just the penalties of living, but the wonder and awe of our existence. Time ;Nature ;Religion & God
The mystery of being human and, certainly, of being a Catholic lies in our embracing together the imperfect state known as the human condition. First and foremost, if we could ever be perfect or do things perfectly, we would eliminate mystery, an essential ingredient in the good life and the spiritual life. Life
The object of religion is the imagination, that deep and inexhaustible font of our understanding and symbolizing our deepest possibilities. Religion & God
The perception of the horizon is an earthbound event; all horizons disappear in space, and we are left shorn of the sweet roots that have held us to the earth, challenged to imagine what is truly present just before us, a unified and seemingly limitless universe.
The priesthood is not dying, but the clerical state is dead. It needs to be buried, preferably with a Viking funeral in Boston Harbor so nobody can miss the spectacle of its passing.
The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple? Life ;Friendship
The seminary of the future must relate itself to flesh-and-blood men, or it provides a framework that only talks about the people of God but never really shares life with them. Life ;Future ;Religion & God
The truth of faith is a slender, glowing element that runs through even the seemingly ordinary and undramatic moments of existence. Even at low intensity, it is a steady source of illumination. Such religious truth is powerful even when it seems faint, even when it seems obscured by the larger events of history. Truth ;History ;Religion & God
The whole world feels that it knows Francis, not so much because he follows Francis of Assisi but because he is always himself. We have seen him pay his own hotel bill and heard that Francis called Buenos Aires for a pair of ordinary black shoes, like John XXIII, who preferred stout peasant shoes to the traditional papal footwear.
The world, more suffering than sinning, turns toward Pope Francis as in a conversation people turn to the person who is making sense of things.
There would be no need for love if perfection were possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness, encouragement and that missing half of ourselves that we are searching for, as the Greek myth tells us, in order to complete ourselves. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Vatican II and the Space/Information Age began in the same eye blink of history, with John XXIII's opening speech of Vatican II on Oct. 11, 1962, following John F. Kennedy's call for a round trip to the moon a month earlier. History
We encounter and enter our richest, most humanly defining experiences by way of a tear in the fabric of things, because we are running late, or because we recognize, across a crowded room, a face whose lack of perfection allows a unique light to shine through and to stir us with uncommon wonder.
We may thank God that we can feel pain and know sadness, for these are the human sentiments that constitute our glory as well as our grief. Religion & God
We not only romanticize the future; we have also made it into a growth industry, a parlor game and a disaster movie all at the same time. Time ;Future
Wherever you find 'men together' - writing the rules, as at exclusive golf or other men's clubs, businesses, and lodges where they wear elaborate robes and funny hats - women are kept completely outside if possible and, when grudgingly admitted, to highly restricted areas or token status. Women ;Humor