National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson asks this question in her column today (May 24, 2012). As counterpoint to an institutional Church she sees as increasingly outside society, Manson proposes, “Jesus never allowed absolute obedience to the law to trump the pastoral needs of the person standing before him. He defied religious ritual for the sake of healing the suffering. He called everyone — tax collector, rich man, woman, drunkard, prostitute — to his table, no loyalty tests or confessions required.”
Jamie Manson will speak at Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference in Boston this September. Manson received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. Her columns for NCR earned her a first prize Catholic Press Association award for Best Column/Regular Commentary in 2010.