Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nicholas Kristof Op-ed on the "Two Catholic Churches"...

... in today's NYTimes: "A Church Mary Can Love:"
In my travels around the world, I encounter two Catholic Churches. One is the rigid all-male Vatican hierarchy that seems out of touch when it bans condoms even among married couples where one partner is H.I.V.-positive. To me at least, this church — obsessed with dogma and rules and distracted from social justice — is a modern echo of the Pharisees whom Jesus criticized.

Yet there’s another Catholic Church as well, one I admire intensely. This is the grass-roots Catholic Church that does far more good in the world than it ever gets credit for. This is the church that supports extraordinary aid organizations like Catholic Relief Services and Caritas, saving lives every day, and that operates superb schools that provide needy children an escalator out of poverty.

This is the church of the nuns and priests in Congo, toiling in obscurity to feed and educate children. This is the church of the Brazilian priest fighting AIDS who told me that if he were pope, he would build a condom factory in the Vatican to save lives.

This is the church of the Maryknoll Sisters in Central America and the Cabrini Sisters in Africa. There’s a stereotype of nuns as stodgy Victorian traditionalists. I learned otherwise while hanging on for my life in a passenger seat as an American nun with a lead foot drove her jeep over ruts and through a creek in Swaziland to visit AIDS orphans. After a number of encounters like that, I’ve come to believe that the very coolest people in the world today may be nuns.

So when you read about the scandals, remember that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church. Ordinary lepers, prostitutes and slum-dwellers may never see a cardinal, but they daily encounter a truly noble Catholic Church in the form of priests, nuns and lay workers toiling to make a difference.
Read it all here ... and let's all give thanks for those working to turn the human race into the human family wherever they are!

17 comments:

DavidJustinLynch said...

Why doesn't the grassroots church rise up, rebel, and take over? Just as the US government supports rebels in other countries to get a regime more friendly to the US in place, so should the Episcopal Church support such groups within the Roman Church. Just as Rome now apparently has provisions to receive large groups of Anglicans, so should we do the same in reverse. How about a canon to receive an entire parish at once? How about revising the canons for the reception of Roman clergy to provide for a simpler and faster procedure? Let's realize that all Churches are made up of PEOPLE and that the hierarchy is not the Church. It is time for the present leadership of the Roman Church to go.

Seeker said...

This is sacrilege. The reason is obvious. There is one Church. Look at the 1st comment, comparing govt politics to Church law. That is the protestant solution to everything. Someone disagrees with something, so start a new church. Jesus said "follow me" so that's what the apostles did. The One Church was given by Jesus implemented through his apostles. They were men like you and me failings and all. The Church is constituted by the Holy Spirit for our help to praise God and deal with the failings of men. You should get on the right side of this. Sides are being drawn and the evil one is working overtime.

IT said...

Another link: Hans Küng writes in the Irish Times:With the church in deep crisis, this is my appeal to you, venerable bishops: Put to use the episcopal authority that was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council. In this urgent situation, the eyes of the world turn to you. Innumerable people have lost their trust in the Catholic Church. Only by openly and honestly reckoning with these problems and resolutely carrying out needed reforms can their trust be regained. With all due respect, I beg you to do your part – together with your fellow bishops as far as possible, but also alone if necessary – in apostolic “fearlessness” ( Acts 4:29, 31 ). Give your faithful signs of hope and encouragement and give our church a perspective for the future.

Seeker said...

There you have it the anti-pope. Part of the misinterpretation of VatII. Mr Kung, the lost theologian that he is rants in shame. His misgivings are well known. His words are appropriate for this blog. Way ahead of you! You should pray and think deeper.

IT said...

I find it amazing how the conservatives blame all this on Vatican 2.

There's a corrupt institution in Rome, with men who have enabled abuse "for the greater good of the Church" occupying positions of power. They are protecting themselves and the institution, not the people or their faith.

Kristoff is right to challenge the Institutional Church with the example of the Church-As-People in the world.

An institution that elevates enablers of child abuse like Cardinal Law, and disdains protectors of people like Oscar Romero, has lost its way.

Seeker said...

No blame here. Don't be amazed by such triviality. Tune in to this- "You have the words of everlasting life" "Do you love me? feed my sheep" "On this rock I will build my Church" "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" Have a good day!

rick allen said...

"Let's realize that all Churches are made up of PEOPLE and that the hierarchy is not the Church."

Vatican II's dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, affirmed that the Church is both the People of God and a visible society with a hierarchic constitution. Much misunderstanding of the Catholic Church stems from the failure to grasp that essential both/and.

uffda51 said...

Yes, Jesus said "Follow me." He did not say "Protect sexual predators at the expense of their victims, women and children."

Frair John said...

Seeker is an example of someone who has confused the Gospel for the Church. Also Seeker seems to forget that "all have fallen short of the glory of God." That includes Peter and his (questionable) heirs.
The "sacrilege" here is the failure of the Shepherds to protect their flock in order to make sure that the flock doesn't know that there is a wolf in the pen, in contravention of their vows. The both/and dynamic has broken down when the People have been sacrificed to the Hierarchy in order to protect it, rather than the Hierarchy being willing to act to protect and enable abusers. They have failed in their duties, and should be held to public account for that.

Seeker said...

My point is not with the actions of the "hierarchy" it's with the actions of protestants and there schisms. Think deeper don't just write what you think is deep. That's the problem, being so progressive and missing the real meaning of worship. Pray more as I will be praying for you. Oh yeah, the comment about the Church and the Gospel, well the "word became flesh" that's the "good news" we the One Church proclaim that. Come visit, you'll SEE.

uffda51 said...

Seeker, the point IS the actions of the hierarchy, whether you acknowledge it or not. Those at the highest institutional levels of the Catholic Church have, after brutally violating the trust of their most vulnerable members, entered into a worldwide conspiracy to protect criminals and stonewall law enforcement. For proof, see the 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil. Settlements in the L.A. diocese alone totaled $660 million. Imagine how that money could have been used by the diocese to address the poverty and homelessness among the faithful.

The Pope has claimed immunity from prosecution in the U.S. by claiming that he is a head of state, so it appears The Church has a use for government when it chooses.

Apologists for The Church continue to blame Protestants, progressives, liberals, humanists, secularists, gays, etc. And anyone else who might be handy.

Seeker said...

Blah! Blah! Blah! Same song and dance. It must feel awful to be part of the culture of death, the groups you lump yourself into. If you would read my comments and think a little deeper you might see, I'm not condoning the actions of the clergy, I'm challenging the groups you lump into, why can't you see who's tearing you apart from the One Church, as it was 500 years ago and is now ("the gates of hell shall not prevail against it")? Do you not think these atrocities happen elsewhere, at an even a more alarming rate? The Catholic Church will be stronger because of this. It cannot fail. It's only been 2000 years anyway. The "New Springtime" is upon us, it's time to plant your seed in the fertile soil or continue to be trampled along the path and eaten by the crows. And the pope hasn't claimed anything, that's your buddies the MSM, aka "hell's bible" using you. Wise up and thank goodness Card Mahony is retiring.

Seeker said...

btw, do any of you really care about the victims or the souls of the abusers? Or is this just an opportunity to bash Christ's Church for your own agenda, as the MSM? Again I say, Think and Pray deeper, This life (our exile) is not what you think it is or appears to be. Our true home is with Our Father.

LGMarshall said...

God cares not a whit about our 'good deeds' or our 'rigid rules', whether they be lumped in with the Catholic Church, TEC, or any other organization.

His one & only concern is... WHO we place our Faith in. He says... 'Place your Faith in Me.'

'The Church', includes all Believers of Jesus Christ's Gospel.

What I DO like about the Catholic Church is...as far as I know, they still teach that Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Salvation. They are Right on that point... and that's being Right, exactly where it counts whereas....some protestant churches have omitted that crucial bit of truth.

As far as the horrendous abuse that occurs/occurred in TCC.... finally the Leaders are giving the correct instructions to their congregation ..."CALL THE POLICE!". Amen to that.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

A couple of quick notes from UC Davis:

Seeker: If you want to post links to articles, do it on your own blog. If you want to succinctly quote from another source in your own commment, party on.

LG: So what do you make of Matthew 25:40?

Seeker said...

"Faith without works is dead"

Seeker said...

Get the story STRAIGHT, Ms. Russell and you will be invited to the party.