Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Authorized by Baptism

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Authorized by Baptism

Article excerpt

At the National Catholic Reporter, editorials are often written as a group endeavor. Ideas get suggested for their timeliness and significance. But sometimes there is something we'd like to say that doesn't quite fit the specifications for an editorial, yet we'd like to share it with you. This week was one such time.

Lately, we've been speaking with many of our readers about their concerns for the church. Pat Marrin, an NCR editor, said it best: "These are difficult days for those of us who have invested our hopes and labors in the unfolding of the kind of church we thought was mandated by the Second Vatican Council. More than 40 years since the close of the council, whose keynote was 'full, conscious and active participation by all the baptized,' we are witnessing an institutional retreat into clericalism and theological absolutism. For many progressive Catholics, the options seem dismal: wait out this 'last hurrah' or drift away from a sadly dysfunctional church to fred life elsewhere."

Yet, Dennis Coday, another NCR editor, reminds us that we are not the only generation to face institutional intransigence or failed leadership. One of the lessons of the past is that those who wait to be told what, when and how to live, quickly themselves become part of the lethargy and discouragement they are trying to get past.

And so we are invoking Dorothy Day as model and mentor to us because she trusted in the power of her baptism, the promise of the Spirit to give her the charism she needed to accomplish the works of justice and mercy she saw all around her waiting to be taken up. …

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