Posts Tagged James Carroll

How much corruption can we tolerate in the church before we leave / National Catholic Reporter

Yes, social sin and structural, systemic corruption abound. But the kind of moral perversity that harms the young or vulnerable deserves no quarter. Nor can we tolerate its institutional protection or tolerance. (National Catholic Reporter)

“After reading James Carroll’s lengthy lament in The Atlantic on the corruption in the Catholic Church and its priestly caste, I remembered reading an article in America magazine by the late Jesuit theologian Walter Burghardt.

“‘In the course of half a century,’ the weathered scholar wrote in Tell the Next Generation, ‘I have seen more Catholic corruption than you have read of. I have tasted it. I have been reasonably corrupt myself. And yet I joy in this Church — this living, pulsing, sinning people of God.’

“Carroll admits to an ocean of grief from the corruption now painfully evident in the church, not the church understood as the people of God, but the hierarchical church. His grief is oceans away from what we might term reasonable, from the mostly petty corruptions of people like Burghardt and the rest of us. The corruption that so saddens Carroll is mortally grave because, as he sees it, the toxic clericalism at its roots has over centuries embedded itself in the very structure, the very bones, of the hierarchical, institutional church. As such, he no longer looks for reform from church leaders found to be at the very center of the corruption.”

By Donald Cozzens, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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No Excuse for Priestly Child Abuse / The Boston Globe

On the question of how far papal authority extends, the canon law of the Catholic Church could not be clearer: ‘The vicar of Christ … possesses full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.’ (Can. 331) Note that canon law does not say, ‘except in cases of priestly sex abuse of children.’ Canon law does not say that priests and bishops are independent contractors. Canon law does not say that what happens in Catholic parishes and dioceses around the world has nothing to do with Rome. In fact, another canon reads, ‘By virtue of his office, the Roman pontiff not only possesses power over the universal church, but also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular churches and groups of them.’ (Can. 333)

“How to square that sweeping papal power with the shameless dodge put forward by the Holy See in this era of church disgrace — the claim that, when it comes to protecting children from abuse, the Roman Catholic Church is legally responsible only to safeguard those living in the confines of Vatican City, a tiny city-state that would fit inside New York’s Central Park eight times …”

By James Carroll, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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Women Are Key to Pope’s Reforms / The Boston Globe

The Positive reception to Pope Francis from all quarters is itself almost as astounding as the man himself. A kind of global sigh of relief has greeted his humane and kindly manner, a signal that the human family, even in a secular age, longs for a rescue of transcendent value. The Catholic Church, for all of its problems, and if only because of its history as a pillar of Western culture, remains a universal object of fascination …

“… The pope aims to start “a long-run, historical process” on behalf of the poor. No one denies his seriousness on this issue — from the choice of his name, to the place where he lives, to his witness in Brazil. But the pope knows as well as anyone that the single most powerful engine drawing people out of poverty is improvement in the economic status of women, which can only occur within a larger cultural transformation. Education. Participation. Power. Reproductive freedom. Yes, women’s liberation. There can be no other strategy for ending poverty.” By James Carroll, The Boston Globe

Read the rest of Carroll’s commentary by clicking here.

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Pope Francis’ Revolution

Some in the media are calling Pope Francis’ way of leading the Church a revolution, or at least a revoluton in the making. Here are three recent articles written from that point of view. To read each entire article, click on the title.

Revolutionary Pope Francis Gets Mixed Reviews
“The Francis Revolution is under way. Not everyone is pleased. Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up a dusty, doctrinaire church that is losing faithful and relevance. He has said women must have a greater role — not as priests, but a place in the church that recognizes that Mary is more important than any of the apostles. And he has turned the Vatican upside down, quite possibly knocking the wind out of a poisonously homophobic culture by merely uttering the word “gay” and saying: so what?” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press in The Detroit News

A Revolution Underway with Pope Francis
“Revolutions can be hijacked by others, quickly become a smokescreen for hypocrisy, or fizzle out. It’s too early to know which trajectory will apply to the upheaval launched by Pope Francis, in part because at the level of structures and personnel he still hasn’t made many sweeping changes, and in part because the parallels are inexact anyway — Catholicism, after all, is a family of faith, not a political society.” By John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter

The Pope’s ‘Culture of Solidarity’
“It’s not that Pope Francis speaks positively about gay people, as he did earlier about atheists. Nor is it his simple lifestyle, his accessibility to the press, or his personal modesty. The accumulation of surprises coming from the new pope points to something deeper: the possibility of historic change with implications reaching far
beyond the Catholic Church.” By James Carroll, The Boston Globe

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