Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Psalm 5," Written and Read by Ernesto Cardenal

In his "Psalm 5," Ernesto Cardenal rewrites a familiar poem from the Old Testament into a searing indictment of war, propaganda and goverment lies. Whatever your opinion of liberation theology, the classic poem is certainly moving and stimulating. Although the poem was originally written in 1967, almost forty years ago, this video of the now 81-year old priest's reading of it was shot this year (2006).



Ernesto Cardenal Martínez (born January 20, 1925) has not been without controversy. When Pope John Paul II visited Nicaragua in 1983, he openly scolded Cardenal, who knelt before him on the Managua airport runway, for resisting his order to resign from the Sandanista government, where he served as Minister of Culture. Cardenal left the FSLN in 1994 protesting Ortega's rule.

Is Cardenal controversial enough to provoke some comments and discussion here? I live in hope...

2 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Stephen, Thanks for posting this wonderful poem and the reading of it by Enersto Cardenal. I was (in a previous lifetime) a political science major, and in high school I did a big research project on the then Contra war that was going on...

Ernesto Cardenal amazed and impressed me at the time, as I was worshipping in a pretty staid (though, in retrospect pretty active) congregation in Northern New England. Cardenal's involvement in speaking truth to power, and in his political work on behalf of the poorest of the poor impressed me as "putting his 'money' where his mouth is" ...

I am fascinated by the ways that liberation theology has grown in many areas of the world, but especially in Latin America.

Some of my questions now are around the ways that the Universal Church, at least as it is expressed by the Magisterium and the Pope and "Rome" work to (usually) silence those who are working alongside of the poor? While, in other cases, it seems that the Church is willing to engage with "politics" (working to end the death penalty, working to end the totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe) and takes sides ...

It will be interesting to see how Pope Benedict XVI deals with movements of Liberation Theology, as he was Pope John Paul II's main "watchdog" of these movements ...

Thanks for reminding me about Cardenal, and of sharing this great poem.

Sat Oct 28, 03:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Thanks for the comment Peter! Interesting question about the current pope! ---S

Sun Oct 29, 09:54:00 AM GMT-5  

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