Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Other Side of the Catholic Tradition

(A shortened version of this article appeared in The Washington Post 061411:

People who came of age in the past forty years have known only one version of the Roman Catholic Church—a version of an iron-fisted ideology that first a Polish pope and then a German pope have enforced in the process of condemning liberation theology, creation spirituality, women, gays, the “secular world,” and much more.  Not only all bishop-making has accrued to the Vatican headquarters but also all teaching, calling itself the only “magisterium” or teaching arm of the church to whom all must kneel or get out.  Since “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, as Catholic historian Lord Acton observed on hearing of the declaration of Papal Infallibility in the nineteenth century, we have also seen of late immense corruption in the way the hierarchy has and has not responded to pedophile clergy and in the way it has denounced theologians and others who bring ideas to an age-old tradition. Continue reading