This is rich coming from the National Catholic Reporter.However, the church is faced with a crisis that goes even beyond the sex abuse atrocities. There is a fracturing within the church of historic dimensions. Pope Francis himself has lost credibility, as members of the hierarchy feel emboldened to criticize him directly. They not only question his actions on the crisis but go after his leadership and commitment to what they see as unchangeable doctrines.
What challenges does the Roman Catholic Church face in the 21st century?Instead, we face a fierce battle between a traditionalist hierarchy and so-called progressives in the church. Even though Pope Francis seems committed to some incremental change, the dominant conservative message coming from the hierarchy is that nothing can change in this mausoleum of a church. Such rigidity and refusal to understand the challenges the church faces in the 21st century does not suggest this church is capable of successfully dealing with any crisis it may face.
Oh, those "challenges".What needs to change in our church? Do we need married priests? Of course. Do we need female priests? There is no question about it. Do we need to rethink some of our moral proscriptions in light of today's culture? Certainly. Do we need to rethink a policy requiring Catholics to submit to confession to a priest for the forgiveness of sins? What do you think? Do we need to loosen liturgical norms which prevent pastors from leading their own congregations as appropriate? I would think so.
Yeah right; sure thing.I believe that at this point it can only change with a worldwide Third Vatican Council. Many don't realize that conservatives were also very powerful during the Second Vatican Council. Yet progressive forces were able to overcome conservatives like Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, especially because the papacy provided support.