Thursday, January 10, 2008

RBCU Professor Interviewed on "Solidarity"

Prof. Ramon Tulio of the Theology department at RBCU* graciously visited The Ironic Catholic offices at her request, to enlighten the world on some of the finer points of Catholic social ethics, more commonly called Catholic Social Teaching. Today's topic: solidarity.

(Previous interview may be found here.)

IC: Good morning, Prof. Tulio, and welcome back. I am looking forward to our conversation about solidarity.

Tulio: Thank you. It's good to be here. Solidarity is a beautiful traditional teaching of our relationship with each other as brothers and sisters.

IC: Righto. OK, first thing. When do we get to kick out the heretics?

Tulio: Excuse me?

IC: You know, in the pants. Out of Holy Mother Church.

Tulio: I don't quite follow.

IC: Well, solidarity is the virtue that doctrine needs to be solid and certain, and I think there are a bunch of folks not measuring up.

Tulio: Uh. No...solidarity is the teaching that we are bound in love to each other as one human family in Christ, and that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

IC: I'm a keeper?

Tulio: In a sense.

IC: Oh. (long pause) So I can still "keep" my heretic brothers out, right?

Tulio: Look, this doesn't have to do with doctrinal heresy. Let me read here: John Paul II defined solidarity in Solicitudo Rei Socialis as "a Christian virtue. It seeks to go beyond itself to total gratuity, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It leads to a new vision of the unity of humankind, a reflection of God's triune intimate life...."

IC: So we--you and me--are in solidarity with each other? (a weak nod) How does that work?

Tulio: It means that we need to recognize each other's dignity as a child of God through concrete acts of love, through prayer, charity, and work for justice, and that we are one Body in Christ.

IC: OK, but love doesn't seem very "solid" to me. I know 'cause I got dumped a couple of times.

Tulio: Eros isn't very solid, you're right. But God's love is more solid than anything on earth.

IC: Whoa, that's deep. And very orthodox! Thanks for coming by--I'm happy to be solid with you, Professor Tulio!

Tulio: Thanks, I think.
(sheds a tear, walks quickly back to ivory tower)


(Solidarity is the rule at


Tim said...

Funny and educational, all at the same time! How do you do it!?!

By the way, I have a question concerning your interview. After reading this post images of Lech Wolesa keep popping into my head to a soundtrack of Ashford and Simpson singing "Solid As A Rock". Do I have major problems or is this just the Holy Spirit messing with me?

Ray from MN said...

Reading that should be a requirement for graduation at every Catholic college.

Many of us, including me, spend an inordinate amount of time judging and evaluating, forgetting about the "lest ye be judged" part.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Tim, now you have ME singing that in my head!

Yes, the Spirit is always messing with you. It's called grace.

Ray, gracias for your kind compliment. :)

PraiseDivineMercy said...

After laughingly throwing out a theology-based riddle on a secular online group, I came here, for people who also ironically enjoy holy things... Thank you for ever matching up to my expectations.

Seriously, that was funny. I would love to see it dramatized. Somehow I imagine a vein throbbing on the poor guy's forehead

Intrepid Mother of the Front Pew Crew said...

RBCU Prof:

Having read Sr. Mary Martha's bit about holding hands during the Our Father shortly before this post, and finding that there seems to be a general agreement (i.e. solidarity)that none of us particularly likes it, I am wondering if we can let go of that oft awkward, sometimes downright sticky modern custom (as well as the hand of the person next to us) for "solidarity's sake."

The Ironic Catholic said...

Intrepid--actually, I kind of like the holding hands thing. I recall a older woman living alone attending our church, and when someone suggested dropping that, she began to cry and say "Please don't. It's the only time anyone ever touches me."

PDM--thanks. :) The vein throb is a good idea. Why don't you dramatize it on YouTube? :)

PraiseDivineMercy said...

I don't have the talent I'm afraid...


I found this: