LCWR leader asks if Catholics can have ‘questioning mind’ | National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua J. McElwee covers National Public Radio’s interview of LCWR’s Sister Pat Farrell, which was the subject of one of our posts earlier today.

LCWR leader asks if Catholics can have ‘questioning mind’ | National Catholic Reporter.

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  1. #1 by BVA on July 18, 2012 - 8:32 PM

    PARAGRAPH ONE: The only chance that the international hierarchy of the Catholic Church will begin to listen to voices such as the LCRW is when a Catholic organization (or group of organizations) challenge its access to all the revenue that comes from American parishioners (the American ‘cash cow’). Some organization needs to be formed within the larger American Catholic community first to mount a challenge to the current American Church leadership’s popular legitimacy among the majority of American Catholic parishioners, and then to mount a direct challenge to their legal (corporate and financial) legitimacy to run the American church. That organization might propose more democratic reforms of the governance of the American Church as a way to start the debate. It might also question the export of such a high percentage of funds collected from American parishioners to the international hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The tactical choice is whether these challenges are sequential or more-or-less simultaneous. A further tactical choice is whether a single existing Catholic organization can mount this challenge, or whether it requires a federation of Catholic organizations.

    PARAGRAPH TWO: A direct challenge aimed at determining the rightful ownership of American Church assets (buildings, institutions, corporations, organizations run by and/or legally owned by the American Church) appears to be the only chance (slim) of waking up the International hierarchy of the Catholic Church to the voice of reason. If the challenging organization has enough gravitas and popular standing among the faithful it would have a chance at throwing a big scare into the American and International Churches. But such a challenge might have to be carried through to the end to effectively change the church. This would be very problematic for the continued unity of the American Catholic Church.

    PARAGRAPH THREE: But if no such challenge is made the international hierarchy of the Catholic Church and some of its minions in the American Church hierarchy will continue bullying the more enlightened members of the American Church. And sooner or later it will become a matter of both individual and group self-respect among a growing number of American parishioners as to whether to suffer continued abuse and disrespect at the hands of the international hierarchy of the Catholic Church, or simply leave the Church. The Catholic Church is a house divided against itself on a critical mass of issues. One side has the option of simply leaving the Church. That is what the International hierarchy would prefer they do if they can’t submit to any more abuse. Leaving the Church is the so-called ‘easy’ way out. What the International hierarchy doesn’t want is a direct challenge by a Catholic organization (or group of organizations) with enough popular legitimacy among the American laity to be truly dangerous to their “ownership” of the American ‘cash cow’.

    PARAGRAPH FOUR: The international hierarchy of the Catholic Church seems to be intent on crushing the mere asking of questions as a heresy within the American Church. Whether it is a bluff or something they will carry out no matter how much damage is done to the American Church is as yet undetermined, at least by non-experts like me. But if they saw the possibility of a wholesale exodus of financial contributors from the American Church I think they might begin to see the virtues of compromise. The problem is that might only happen when the challengers have had to fight and suffer long enough and hard enough that they begin to see any compromise offered by the International hierarchy as just further humiliation and disrespect.

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