DIY Catholicism: Twin Cities “Synod of the Baptized”.

The “whole church” self-evidently includes many more people than simply the self-appointed oligarchy of bishops and their clergy, but the Vatican has never made any serious effort to involve the rest of us in the affairs of the Church – beyond serving as fund-raisers and cheap labour for the simpler tasks. Questions of serious planning and decision-taking it keeps very carefully to its own. However, as I have noted frequently, there are abundant and increasing signs that ordinary Catholics, lay people, religious women, married priests now outside of institutional control, and some more progressive regular priests are recognizing the importance of making a full contribution to the life of the Church. Where they are not being properly involved by the institutional oligarchy, they are simply doing it for themselves.

One of the more impressive examples of this comes from the diocese of Minneapolis / St Paul, which has just brought to fruition their very successful “Synod of the Baptized”. This has been the fruit of long months of hard work and preparation, so I was delighted to read how well the event seems to have gone off – and that the team are already engaged in planning for the next stage.

Taken from the Progressive Catholic Voice, these are some extracts from a report by Paula Ruddy:

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Clerical Abuse: How We Are All Complicit, Part 1

After several stops and starts, with some deviations along the way, I have now almost finished with my series of posts on clerical abuse in the Catholic Church. Today, I want to proceed with my core conclusion: that in one way or other, in manner large or small , we are all part of the problem, we have all been complicit, to some degree, in the scandal.  I expect this conclusion will surprise, even shock some of you, so before I present this conclusion , it will be helpful to review the evidence and argument so far.

Before I ever began with this series, I wrote about a book by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who had been point man for the Australian bishops in investigating the scandal in that country.  In this damning book, Robinson concludes that there are three key causes to the problem:  innate psychological problems of sexual immaturity in individuals, compulsory celibacy, and the excessively concentrated power structures of the Catholic Church.  Since then, as I ahve found that many other writers with expert knowledge have reached similar conclusions, as I noted here. I take these as a starting point, which underpin much of my reasoning. Read the rest of this entry »