Magazine article The Christian Century

Canadian Priests, Nuns Rap Vatican's Rigidity

Magazine article The Christian Century

Canadian Priests, Nuns Rap Vatican's Rigidity

Article excerpt

Mincing few words, an umbrella group representing 22,000 Roman Catholic monks, nuns and priests in Canada's religious orders has challenged the "intransigent" stands of the Vatican on such issues as divorce, contraception and homosexuality.

"We regret ... that our Church often gives priority to the reaffirmation of dogma and traditional morals rather than listening to the people's search for meanings," the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC) says in a document sent to the country's bishops in advance of their expected visit to the Vatican later this year.

The 26-page document expresses regret for the "legalistic image of the Catholic Church--and of our Canadian Church--its rigidity and its intransigent stands on sexual morals; its lack of openness regarding access to the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics; its lack of compassion for them; [and] its unwelcoming attitude toward homosexuals."

It further voices misgivings, "in terms of ethics and bioethics," about "'the holding up of an ideal that leaves little room for advancement and progress; the defense of principles that do not reflect human experience (divorce, contraception, protection against AIDS, alleviation of suffering at the end of life). …

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