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Keeping the Pope Honest (Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:23 am )


Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed that ecumenism and dialogue with other Christian traditions were high priorities for their papacies. John Paul's travels and Benedict's efforts support this agenda. Ongoing dialogue with Lutheran colleagues advanced this cause as evidenced by "The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification." Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Christian Rites have been the focus of Benedict's attempts at reconciliation.

While matters of doctrine persist, they pale when compared to the major obstacle to Christian unity. The Roman Catholic institutional structure in its present mega-company multinational conglomerate state is a formidable stumbling-stone in the pathway to progress. Its "my way or the highway" attitude backed by a monarchical control and discipline is viewed by many as unchristian (if we agree that Christian means following the example of Jesus Christ) and it appears ominous to other Christian traditions.

If the Pope were earnest in his efforts to bring about a more unified Christianity he would enter into sincere dialogue by first examining his own organization. This grounding for dialogue would be an example to those focused on power and control. He would take to heart this mandate of Vatican II "the church is always in need of reform" and start the ball rolling. He would have lots of help from within and outside the Roman Church, but lots of resistance as well from the entrenched Curia that is dedicated to keeping the status quo . If such a sincere reformation were to occur, the floodgates holding back a more unified Christian people would be opened.

This is a right and responsibility we all have as baptized Christians to acknowledge our common faith in Jesus of Nazareth and work together to bring His healing Good News to our suffering and strife-torn world.

To remain honest and credible, it behooves Pope Benedict XVI to search his soul and begin the process of changing his own Roman Catholic family that all may be witness to his practicing what he preaches.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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