Catholic and American

The Work We Need to Do

A few months ago I had lunch with a  couple bishop friends. We chatted and laughed about all sorts of things — well we are old friends — but then  the discussion turned serious. I told my friends that they and their colleagues in the US episcopacy have just about no credibility. That went over hard. We then had a brief discussion about the “important issues” confronting the Catholic Church in the United States. My bishop friends stressed what they saw as the big three. Anyone care to guess?

Yup………. abortion/euthanasia, birth control and same-sex marriage.

I then presented my list. And they looked at me bug-eyed. One friend chuckled and said, “My goodness! You and I sure live in DIFFERENT worlds!” I replied: “It’s the same world. I guess we just wear different glasses….”

In any event, I think this is the work we have to do, if we will have any Catholic credibility in our American society:

As Catholics — lay and ordained, men and women, gay and straight, young and old — we need to explore together how we can resolve major problems connected with:

  • Loss of credibility and loss of confidence in our bishops
  • Rescuing the American Catholic Church fromVatican domination
  • The role and ministry of women in the church
  • Institutional fundamentalism and cultism rooted in control, fear, and anti-intellectualism
  • Homosexuality
  • Divorce and re-marriage and active sacramental life in the church
  • Clerical celibacy
  • Declining numbers of priests
  • Major financial problems which impact all church life
  • Ministerial burnout
  • Catechetics and religious education with increased Catholic illiteracy
  • Spin-off from Pedophilia among priests and religious
  • Uncritical American Catholic citizenship






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