The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

African bishop: Obama election may be “divine sign”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, that notion fits in nicely with those who seem to think of the new president as some sort of messiah:

Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American President of the United States could be interpreted as a “divine sign,” according to a senior African prelate, suggesting that in God’s plan for salvation history, 500 years of slavery and racial oppression may be giving way to a new era of reconciliation. 

 The comments came yesterday afternoon from Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of the Synod of Bishops for Africa meeting in the Vatican Oct. 4-25.
Monsengwo called on the synod and the universal church not to “ignore” the significance of Obama’s election, which he said was the result of much more than “a banal game of political alliances.” 

Monsengwo has long been seen as the more impressive Catholic bishops in Africa, and yesterday delivered a formal report on trends in the church since the last Synod for Africa in 1994.
In that context Monsengwo argued that the election of an Africa-American in the United States could offer a “hermeneutic key” to reading the last five decades of global history, especially the slave trade and its aftermath. 

 “If the election of a black as head of the United States of America was a ‘divine sign’ and ‘a sign from the Holy Spirit for the reconciliation of races and ethnic groups, for peaceful human relations …” Monsengwo said, “this Synod and the universal church would gain from not ignoring this primordial event of contemporary history, which is far from being a banal game of political alliances.”

You can find more at the NCR link.

Comments read comments(8)
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Bryan Healy

posted October 6, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Yeah, the sign of what? the end times, perhaps?

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Ronald King

posted October 7, 2009 at 9:15 am

I agree wholeheartedly with the Bishop. Obama is not the savior, he is the symbol of validation and hope to those who have not had hope and have been the subjects of racial, cultural and gender prejudice and violence. Please read this carefully. It is not Obama who is doing this, nor does he deserve any credit for this accomplishment. He is flawed just like the rest of us. The gifts that God gave him enabled him to win the election. I am not talking about his policies. I am talking about the symbol of hope that God provides to those who have been marginalized and abused.
I was not going to vote in this last election until the day of the election when after much prayer and distress I was given this picture of hope for those who have no hope. Being human we first relate to what we see. Hope then is the result of what is seen in this case. It is now up to the Church to loudly proclaim what Archbishop Pasinya stated in his address and put the proper emphasis on the Holy Spirit working in all of this.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 10:24 am

Sorry, but this is as goofy as the conservatives who thought Bush had been selected by God.
Is he a symbol of how much society, especially in America, has changed? Absolutely. Is his election cause for hope for our future in this arena? Absolutely.
But let’s not get carried away with ourselves and think God has (or even wants) a role in how the principalities of man conduct their affairs.

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Your Name

posted October 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

A sign of God’s wrath. LOL.
It is not Mr. Obama’s skin color, but the content of his ideas that counts.

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Ronald King

posted October 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Do you know how human beings learn? It is first and foremost by observation of the attitudes and the behavior that accompanies those attitudes. This process of learning is fully developed in the brain at birth and the brain is then hardwired by the mirror neuron system which in essence creates expectations of self and others before the age of three. These expectations are formed in the areas of the brain that are responsible for our attachments and our future social learning. This area only responds to the behavior and attitudes that may or may not have language associated with them.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Therefore are you saying that we are predetermined by our brains by the age of 3?
What about personal responsibility? Or conversion in adult age like Paul?
We are not just products of our environment surely.
Just saying.

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Your Name

posted October 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Rudy, What I am saying is that we have new knowledge about how the brain works within the context of human relationships. Consequently, we can develop better ways to communicate our message that gives us a better chance of being understood.
We are predisposed to feeling and reacting by the development of the social brain that is purely instinctive in its development and is wired according to the environmental influences through what is known as the mirror neuron system. When Paul was talking about how the flesh continued to influence him to do things he did not want to do, he was talking about his basic hardwiring in the brain and how he struggled with the remnants of that influence.
There is too much to write about in a comment box to clearly explain something this complex, but, I will try if you have questions.

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daniel barry

posted October 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm


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