schenkby Christine Schenk, NCR

Looking over Catholic news lately, I find much that is confusing and, alas, much cause for lament. First, there is the reality of Catholic teachers being required to sign expanded six-page contracts that are essentially loyalty oaths as conditions for employment. Then there is thethreatened censure of the respected Asian theologian Jesuit Fr. Michael Amaladoss by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Amaladoss is an expert in interreligious dialogue and Christology who, according to colleague Peter Phan, “has made an enormous and lasting contribution to the elaboration of a genuinely Asian theology.”

Close to my own heart is the doctrinal congregation’s recent harsh criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for, among other things, having the audacity to decide on its own to honor a deeply loved and internationally respected theologian, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, with its Outstanding Leadership Award. Come on, guys. Do you really need to tell the sisters to whom they can and cannot give awards? It’s not like the women aren’t competent. I haven’t counted, but I’m guessing there is a higher percentage of master’s degrees and doctorates among LCWR members than among most other groups. Their main problem seems to be that they are, um, women, and even worse, women with minds of their own.

Yep, a lot of fodder there for extended weeping and gnashing of teeth. But wait: There is some good news. Spoiler alert: This news may confuse and confound even as it is cause for celebration. Here’s a headline from Vatican Insider: “Francis: ‘The Holy Spirit pushes the Church beyond the limit.’ ” Now how does the pope know we are at risk of being pushed beyond our limits? Well, he is the pope, after all. I suppose it’s comforting to know that it’s the Holy Spirit behind all this gnashing of teeth...

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One thought on “REFLECTION: We must make room for all the lenses in our church

  1. The Pope has still not addressed the problem of pedophilia. He appoints the committee but it isn’t information that they need it’s action they haven’t taken that concerns me. And the Popes staff has told the priests and bishops they do not need to cooperate with the police when sexual misconduct is suspected. With the stroke of a pen change all of that but he remained silent

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