Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On the Grand Inquisitor

Jack Miles has an insightful and though-provoking piece up on the new Pope, Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger. The part that struck me and really illustrates my own conflicted view on my ancestral Church:
Those of us who left then have sometimes been faulted for making too much of a mere sexual controversy. Perhaps, but I have always seen us as more like Böll's clown, trying, pathetically, to take church authority seriously, exquisitely aware of the danger that by issuing ever more absolute prohibitions that are ever more widely ignored, the pope may consolidate his power over fewer and fewer.

Is the Church doomed to atrophy if it does not at least accept the idea that things like birth control, married priests, and a greater role for women can be discussed rather than dismissed without debate? I fear the answer is yes.
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