Stifled by weight of Rome's pomp, power and stubborn patriarchy
The Irish Church seems to be mobilising itself for a schismatic war, writes Carol Hunt
Sunday July 31 2011
WHAT with the Taoiseach being compared to Hitler, the Vatican throwing a hissy fit and the rest of the world enthralled at little Catholic Ireland standing up to the big boys in Rome, perhaps it's time we asked: "What would St Patrick do?"
Not the snake-slaying, shamrock-waving bishop of later invention, but the Patrick of humanity and pragmatism, with all his foibles, failings, loss of faith, love of women and bloody awful Latin.
Because, since the Taoiseach fired the first official salvo against Rome, the Irish Church seems to have been mobilising itself for a schismatic war. As Catholic commentator David Quinn noted: "It is as though we are now being asked to choose between the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, and the Irish Catholic Church. Catholics in the past have had to make a similar choice. How will we choose?"
"Bishop Willie Walsh, Fr Enda McDonagh, and the Jesuit theologian Fr Gerry O'Hanlon, among others, have advocated the idea of an Irish synod involving clergy and laity -- and, God bless us, women too -- to map out the future of the church. As O'Hanlon has noted: "It will not do any more for priests, bishops, cardinals, the Pope to simply tell us what to think, what to do. People rightly want a say." Is this heresy, or just a return to the church of our ancestors? ..."
..."What would the humble, nomadic Patrick we know from his Confession do? Would he support the Church of Rome in its attempts to retain control of its empire? Or would he advocate a return to the simple, spiritual yet pragmatic practices of the early Irish Church?
What do you think?
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Once again, the Catholics of Ireland are outraged and leading the way to reform and renewal of our church. The Synod of the Laity is a hopeful sign especially if it addresses the issue of women priests. The German theologians and Austrian Priests are also open to women priests! Now it is time for the Vatican to get on board!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests