The Church just celebrated Pentecost; the Holy Spirit certainly took hold of Fr John! The scowling bishop in the background most likely chewed the good padre a new one off camera, attempting to enforce the dysfunctional party line, where clergy are treated like children and lay folks to do whatever the hierarchy says.How much degradation will the People of God take?
YOU CAN CUT THE FLOWERS, BUT YOU CAN'T HOLD BACK THE SPRING!
Voices like Fr John's are being raised all over, such as at the American Catholic Council held this past weekend in Detroit. More than anything, I would like Spring to truly dawn in the Roman Catholic Church here in America for the many I love who are still members of my former communion. It will take nothing short of a revolution to do it; I am not holding my breath. Who knows?
But what prevents folks from exploring a group like the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, for example? It's fully Catholic, celebrating the seven sacraments and has Apostolic Succession. Clergy are either married/partnered or single, gay or lesbian, men or women. The laity has a strong voice in the democratic administration of the Communion. There are Religious Orders. Members are committed to justice and peace. It's growing. Parishes aren't without the Eucharist because they have clergy to preside. Seems that everything for which the American Catholic Council calls already exists here so what holds folks back?
Could it be, as a dear friend has observed, that many of us who grew up Roman Catholic, believe deep down what we were taught that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true faith? Many progressive RC's protest and say "no," but I think my friend is spot on. I don't say this to disrespect my Roman Catholic friends who embody Christ in their ministries, but just to point out that not all Catholics are Roman and that viable alternatives to the Roman Church exist which are fully Catholic.
I am not naive enough to think that there will be a mass exodus to the Episcopal Church. I, personally, have been blessed with a fantastic growing parish, with wonderful clergy and liturgy, not to mention a fantastic bishop. Many of us who grew up Roman Catholic, myself included, have found a home as Episcopalians, but it's not for all.
So, is the revolution worth it to stay in Rome? Might it be better if people vote with their feet and move to another pew in the same Church, one where the hospitality of Jesus is lived and practiced throughout the organization? I will not presume to answer for others...