More Thoughts, 22 July 2012

July 22, 2012 at 08:19 Leave a comment


Recently there has been a lot of interest in Terry Gross’ Fresh Air interview with Sister Pat Farrell, President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the vast majority of it favorable to Sister. She raised what, to me, at least, is an important question: “Can you be a Catholic and have an inquiring mind?”. Pope Benedict has said that reason must be guided by faith. For Church “leadership” this seems to be more a stated than an operational value.

My understanding of reason being guided by faith is along the lines of believing in order to understand, of continually questioning what a given dogma means in the practical circumstances of here and now. At also means doing our best to live aware of the relationship we have in Jesus with everybody else. How did Jesus live in similar circumstances in his day, and what does this mean for us. What is Jesus calling us to right here and right now? Where are we being led? The nuns are still questioning, still teaching, still leading.

I wonder what effect, if any, all this will have on Church “leadership” There does not seem to be any effect on them personally. They still have their salaries and benefits, their big house and meals, their fancy clothes, and are not affected by the unemployment rate. Often they have no contact with the folks who are affected by their decrees and edicts. Not all of them are bishops, and even these have no personal impact from the effects of their actions. They can say anything they want. There seems to be a groupthink that takes over a person’s mind when they enter the service of “leadership” which make people think they always have all the answers for everybody on everything.

There must be some way to help these folks understand the impact on folks of what they decree. They have no idea of the way the sisters are living the Gospel among real people in real life. They are safe behind their thick walls whether real, symbolic, or in their collective head, and can hurl their edicts with impunity. They either are unaware of or do not care about the numbers of folks who are turned off by the obvious disconnect between the decrees issued allegedly in the name of their god and the folks who are encountering God in their everyday struggles. Their search for a smaller purer church will still keep food on their table, clothes on their backs, but it will make very many people very miserable.

In the Gospel “Jesus had compassion on the people because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he taught them many things”. He has the same compassion today, but the folks who are trying to live his compassion among real folks in real life are themselves being judged, condemned, persecuted. A legitimate question is, are we without shepherds today? The way the Church is being run, is this really what Jesus had in mind?

In the Reading from (Jeremiah 23:1-6) the prophet says, “You have scattered my sheep and driven them away; You have not cared for them; I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow”. With all that is going on in the Church these days, one can only wonder.

Just sayin   .   .   .

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Entry filed under: Catholic, Church Leadership, Current Church, Forbidden topics, Gospel thoughts, Priest, Schism, thoughts. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

22 July 2012, Gospel Thoughts

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