Friday, January 8, 2016

The Catholic Story: Conservative vs. Progressive by Tom Reese/ Sexism in the Catholic Church is One of the Many Reasons for the Decline of Young Catholics in the Pew
Bridget Mary Meehan and Alicia Bartol Thomas  co-preside
at liturgy with Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
in Sarasota, Florida,

Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree with Tom Reese's  basic analysis. Read full article, click on link above. 
The Roman Catholic Church treats women as second class citizens.Young women and men will not put up with a sexist church that excludes women from priesthood and from decision-making in teachings that affect their lives. Our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is changing the church one  inclusive, egalitarian, renewed grassroots community at a time. We are in 35 states in the U.S. and in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The full equality of women in the church is the voice of God in our time. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

"...Many American conservative Catholics downplayed Catholic social teaching because it went contrary to their political and economic views or because they felt it would distract attention from the culture wars. They ignored or spun what John Paul and Benedict had to say about war and peace and economic justice. 
I agree with Douthat that the conservative narrative is undercut by the sexual abuse crisis and the continued exodus of people (especially young people) from the church under John Paul and Benedict. I also agree that the progressive narrative is undercut by the rise of the Evangelicals and the decline of the mainline churches. While half those who leave the church become unchurched or "nones," about a third become Evangelical. Few in comparison join mainline churches.
Neither the conservative nor the progressive narrative has a good explanation for the Catholic exodus. My personal belief is that it has little to do with theology and more to do with a desire for emotionally charged worship services and a sense of community, which are absent from most Catholic parishes. 
Narratives are important for explaining the world to ourselves and others. These competing conservative and progressive narratives help define the church of today. Can we have a conversation about them without name calling and stone throwing? I hope so."
Next week, my column, "Welcome to the cafeteria, Ross," will also be on Douthat's piece.
[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is] 

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