change of pace
In an interview with Richard McBrien, Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe feeds the dissident theologian a steady diet of softball questions until, remarkably, he tosses one that has a little mustard on it. The conversation has reached the point-- it comes in any McBrien interview-- where the Great Man is humbly explaining that the Catholic Church would be much better if the Church were more like McBrien. Paulson asks the obvious question:
And why don't you leave?
McBRIEN: Because it's my church. It's my home. And I was born in it. I've been a Catholic all my life. And I have affirmation from so many good people. I feel that I have a responsibility to them to continue working at it and doing the best I can.
My church: interesting use of the possessive there. McBrien doesn't belong to the Church; the Church belongs to McBrien.
Some people, when asked why they cling to the Church, might cite the sacramental life. Others might add that regardless of the problems they might encounter within Catholicism, they recognize the institution founded by Jesus Christ. One poor soul, asked exactly the same question that Paulson asked McBrien, could only stammer: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Interesting that those words do not occur to McBrien, who instead mentions the "affirmation" from his claque.
Along with that revealing tidbit, the Globe interview carried another, on a different subject. In voicing his distaste for the American hierarchy, McBrien says that the bishops are generally unimpressive,
... and nowhere was this more obvious than at the height of the sexual abuse scandal in the priesthood. The truth be told, a significant number of bishops . . . including some high-ranking bishops at the time, were gay. I have no problem with people being gay, but the Catholic Church officially does, and it's constantly making statements that are hostile to gays, and they were compromised.
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