This archived article over at Patheos outlines Pope Benedict’s vision for the future of the church. I strongly encourage you to read it!
Why are so many Catholics disturbed, annoyed, restless, frightened and angry?
It’s because we are going through a time of Catholic realignment.
In the United States and the rest of the developed world we are experiencing a breakdown of the old Catholic tribalism that we have got used to over the last fifty years since the close of the second Vatican Council.
During that time period we have seen the Catholic Church Europe and North America divide into “Liberal” and “Conservative.” The liberal Catholics have their publishing houses, colleges, religious orders and members of the hierarchy. Likewise the conservative Catholics.
The fact is, we have been living with two churches under the same roof. To paint with a broad brush, the liberals believe the Christian faith is a human construct which is the product of certain historical circumstances and that it must adapt to each age and culture in order to thrive and survive–indeed, to accomplish her mission.
The conservatives believe that the Christian faith is a revealed religion–unfolded to humanity in a particular way at a particular time for a providential reason. Consequently the faith cannot, at its core, be changed. Instead of adapting to the culture in which it lives, conservatives say Christ and his church must challenge the culture and historical era in which it finds herself.
These two underlying assumptions about what the church and the Christian faith is at its very heart, have produced two kinds of Catholics.
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