The Catholic Church, Heading for a Schism?

| June 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

The institutional Catholic Church is testing me like never before. I’m frankly disgusted by the lawsuit against the Obama Administration on the contraceptive rule, the “Fortnight of Freedom,” and the attack on the nuns.  I have ceased my contributions to the “Bishop’s Appeal,” although I maintain my donations to my local parish.  It is galling to me that these bishops think they have the moral standing to lecture the rest of the world on issues of sexuality.  They actually should be humbly begging forgiveness for their crimes and focusing on the true message of Christ, to serve the poor and needy.  It beggars belief that they have chosen to make a stand on a Church mandate that is rejected by 90% of Catholic women.

In times like this, I tell myself that the institutional Church is a human institution separate from the real body of belief.  History is replete with scandals and corruption at the highest levels of the Catholic Church.  In my mind, the true Church is found in Catholic social teaching.  And I am heartened that there are voices within the Church who are rejecting the Vatican and the American bishops.

Among the voices rejecting the Bishops’ political activities are a group of “lay leaders” from my own parish of Blessed Sacrament in Washington, DC.  Andrew Sullivan called attention to their open letter that is a very powerful statement warning the bishops that they are treading on dangerous ground.  You can read the letter here.

In addition, the Franciscans have issued a letter supporting the nuns against the Vatican attack.  That can be read here.

There is a huge split in the Church that is driven by the conservatives who think that regulating sexuality is Job One for the Catholic Church.  I really believe this split could grow into a schism.  I, for one, would be open to attaching myself to a religious movement/institution either within or outside the Church that reflects more closely the values that I truly believe reflect more closely Christ’s teaching.   I’m not there yet, but if they keep pushing these divisive policies, who knows?

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