More like this, please
Posted by Charles II on April 15, 2010
John Hooper, Guardian:
His [Pope Ratzinger’s] former faculty colleague, the rebel German theologian, Hans Küng,today urged Benedict’s bishops to defy him and demand sweeping reforms. In an open letter published by Süddeutsche Zeitung and other papers, he gave his backing to growing calls for a global church council, such as the one that transformed Roman Catholicism in the 1960s.
Küng said Catholicism faced its biggest crisis since the 16th century Protestant Reformation, and he left readers in no doubt that he held his old friend largely responsible.
He said that, with every day that passed, Benedict’s pontificate showed itself more incapable of meeting “the great challenges of our time”. He went on to give a long list of the pope’s alleged mistakes.
The big thing in the news is the sexual abuse scandal. But that’s only one area where the Vatican shows how hard-hearted and unregenerate (i.e., un-Jesuslike) it is. Here are what I consider much larger issues for which the Vatican simply refuses to listen to reason:
1. In a world suffering from overpopulation, hunger, and sexually-transmitted diseases, it refuses to sanction birth control.
2. In nations which suffer from tyranny, like Honduras, it stands with the rich.
3. In opening the communion table to other Christian denominations, it has actually turned back from the liberalizing policy begun under John Paul.
4. It singles out abortion as a sin worthy of excommunication, even though other sins (e.g., war, e.g., greed) result in far more deaths than abortion. Further, it refuses to put similar emphasis on any of the root causes of abortion–even poor nutrition, pollution, and smoking, all of which may be factors in spontaneous abortions.
I can’t say that many Christian churches show the kind of compassion and open acceptance of others that Jesus did. But the Catholic Church is the mother church. I don’t expect Jerry Falwell, or any of the many historically illiterate churches to be anything except blind. But the Catholic Church, with its rich history, should know better.
A global church council! Transformation! These are exciting phrases. May the wind of the Holy Spirit blow through that stale institution!
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