please be sterile
As the World Youth Day in Sydney approaches, Melburnian Barney Zwartz suggests the Catholic Church, of which he is not a member, should rid herself of embarrassing inessentials, such as her teaching authority. THEN she'd be a big hit with young people, such as Cher and Barney Zwartz.
Disenchantment over such issues as contraception, the place of women, authoritarianism and the sexual abuse crisis have left millions still believing in Jesus but not the church.
Now it is time to try a touch of democracy. Some relatively simple reforms would not affect the church's core teaching of hope and salvation, which are non-negotiable. But how the church operates as an institution should always be open to self-examination.
"Politics affords few greater pleasures," says Mark Steyn, "than offering one's opponents some friendly but hopefully lethal piece of advice." In the same spirit, Zwartz would have the Catholic Church become another liberal congregationalist federation, cheerfully contracepting itself into oblivion. Barney's point has weight: you can't be disenchanted with a church nobody can find.
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Posted by: -
Jul. 01, 2008 11:46 AM ET USA
Of course, the best course of action is to follow the advise in reverse; According to writer Rodney Stark masterful study, those churches that stress authority, commitment, tough love, strict teaching and authority and clear and uncompromised creeds are the ones growing. Those following Mr. Zwartz advise are falling fast into irrelevance and oblivion, basically the old "main line" liberal churches and Catholic liberal diosecis and parishes.