Hierarchy forgets nothing, but learns nothing either

I thought that on the anniversary of the excommunication of Martin Luther it would be a good time for me to add my tupennyworth regarding the silencing of dissent amongst Irish clergy by the Vatican.

It would seem that, like the Bourbons, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church forgets nothing and learns nothing. The instantaneous reaction of Pope and Curia is to stifle debate, a reaction that watered, fertilised and ensured the success of the Reformation and the fragmentation segmentation of Christendom. Not all dissent is automatically error and nor does all knowledge and wisdom necessarily lie with an essentially conservative and Italianate Church government.

Some of your correspondents have recently written in support of the Ultra-Montaine stance on church governance. The problem is that the suppression of new thinking engendered by a changing world leads inevitably to a splintering of the organisation that such suppression is designed to protect. The inability of the central power of the church to contemplate change, especially change that would in any way devolve power away from Rome, can be seen by the relentless rolling back of Vatican 2 ever since the death of its Patron.

If Catholics wish to be assured that their church will prosper, rather than shrinking back as an increasingly irrelevant anachronism, then they must ensure that the church does become The Congregation of the Faithful, instead of the preserve of hide-bound theologians.

Fergus O’Leary

Passage West

Co Cork

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