PC

2005-04-04

Although I was nominally brought up Catholic, I became a non-believer at the age of nine and never felt connected to the Church in any way (in my gentler moments, I tell people that I'm "post-Catholic"). Thus I am not really qualified to speak about the Catholic Church or the legacy of Karol Wojtyla (better known as John Paul II). However, Hans Kung -- one of the world's leading Catholic theologians -- is so qualified, and his thoughts make for fascinating reading (tip of the hat to Ken MacLeod). Even putting aside his more philosophical observations (such the place of women in the church, or more precisely their lack of a place), one has to wonder about the staying power of an organization that is simply not attracting enough workers (we call them priests). The demographics of Catholicism are extremely challenging, and it's no wonder that even in Catholic strongholds like Latin America the Church is losing ground to the more energetic Protestant and evangelical denominations. The cause, in large measure, is the forced celibacy of Catholic priests (another legacy of the anti-woman stance adopted during the Middle Ages, though not in the early centuries of Christianity).

Ideas have consequences.


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