Overcoming the Crises in the Church

From Mensaje via Mirada Global, a look at the crises facing the church from a Latin American perspective:

The Church is facing a crisis. Pope Benedict XVI has said it in relation to the European Church. Our own bishops, in turn, are concerned with Latin American Catholicism. We are deeply worried with this state of affairs.
I will make a difference between a “big” crisis and a “small” one. The first is the interruption of the transmission of the faith. The second holds an important place in the prior one and concerns the authority of the ecclesial hierarchy (bishops and priests). But, before one and the other, it is necessary to place the problems in the much wider horizon of a “global crisis” of our societies and cultures. It has many aspects. And there are several thesis to explain the diagnose.
 
One of them underlines the overwhelming triumph of materialist capitalism and transformation of people, in theory, into free individuals and in reality, into consumers. How can we live in a world that is so new, so extraordinary in one sense and so heartrending in another? Who could teach us how to live if we aren’t taught how to learn? How could we learn if one-time certainties no longer persuade us or have become obstacles that hinder our adaptation to this stage of the history of humanity?
 
The point of this parenthesis is not to attribute the responsibilities to the Church so easily. There is a deep and vague uneasiness in culture, a deeply rooted uneasiness. They interact, making it difficult to name what is happening to us. The point is that the ecclesial hierarchy, in its representation of health/salvation, becomes the easy target of wide range of complaints with mostly unclear roots. Despite this, it is necessary pointing out where we detect the problems in the Church. Simply blaming the times wouldn’t be proper. Although this option is frequently adopted, it doesn’t lead very far.

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Also available in Spanish.

Tim Reidy

 

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