The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Extract from Saving the Catholic Church Newsletter.   Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be on the ACCR email list.

Culture has no direct connection to doctrine, canon law or theology. It has everything to do with attitude, charity, understanding—you know what I mean: being pastoral. Once that is set right, the rest is just plain common sense.

Just look at the current situation.

At the top, with the delightful and remarkable exception of the current Pope, the culture of the hierarchy is to stay steadfastly devoted to intransigence and otherwise maintaining the status quo.

At national levels, the conferences of Catholic bishops seem dedicated to keeping their jobs, assuring an elegant retirement, and not rocking the boat. And at the diocesan level, it is “my way or the highway and don’t bother me with facts.”

The result is that the Church has moved steadily back to the nineteenth century since the stalling of the great promise of Vatican II by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

We have a consistently boring magisterium that provides us weekly, ten-minute rehashes of the readings of the day, with zero relevance to what is going on around us in the world.

Some wring their hands that so many of the younger people leave the church when they leave for college. I suspect that many really leave when, usually as high school freshmen they study Earth Science and then try to reconcile it with the first chapter of Genesis. The irony here is that this is at about the same time they are preparing for confirmation in some dioceses.

The USCCB has two conferences each year and all we know about them is a picture of the perfect attendance of all 350 sitting in the auditorium of a posh hotel. No agenda, no minutes and no assured record of any decisions. A few years ago they staged a televised session that was more like a commercial.

Would it not serve us—and the Church—better if they used those three or four days to develop a Church position on gun control within the construct of the Second Amendment, or immigration, or health care, or poverty, or the relationship between the police and those they are sworn to protect? And then publish the agenda, minutes and decisions with a mandate that pastors must address them in two successive weekly sermons, with equal time for men and women homilists?

Ironically, if you recall the TV series Rome, the time of Christ was far more violent than it is now. Does that come across in the readings? We have many idyllic scenes of wells, pleasant roads, vineyards and large dinners, but no street crime or violence or demonstrations. Reality?

Jesus was a rebel, not just the local storyteller.

Women in the Church have been ignored, abused and discriminated against for centuries and still stay. After more than forty years we still have child rape and cover-ups.

This is the culture of our Church. Fixing one or two of these situations is not going to work, because the system is broken and corrupt.

It’s not a very promising situation. {jcomments on}