Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Eyebrows, Questions Raised by Kinder, Gentler Vatican

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Eyebrows, Questions Raised by Kinder, Gentler Vatican

Article excerpt

Forgive the average Catholic some confusion or at least some giant questions over recent reports from Rome.

One can hardly avoid asking if the papacy is turning mellow with age. Or is the millennium ushering in a Jubilee -- a time of forgiveness -- for dissidents? Or, are the curial cardinals -- with an eye on the next conclave -- politicking behind an ailing pope's back?

One of the latest curiosities to come out of the Vatican is the report that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has gone soft on the We Are Church referendum people. That is, we are led to believe, the same Ratzinger who is overseer of orthodoxy, who has brought the weight of church discipline against bishops and theologians for nearly two decades, who is forever on the lookout for "flawed" notions.

Where do we look for precedents in this papacy when Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in a unique show of curial one-upmanship, singlehandedly rehabilitates Fr. Hans Kung, Swiss theologian?

And all this after the Vatican did some serious backpedaling -- in the wake of serious listening -- to keep Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, Sri Lankan theologian, in the fold.

To review the two most recent cases: NCR reported last week that Ratzinger wrote to the Austrian bishops telling them he had "no basic objection" to them talking to Austria's We Are Church group as long as there was no formal recognition.

Given We Are Church's international agenda -- women priests, married priests, local selection of bishops, a democratic openness in church matters -- Ratzinger's nonrecognition amounts precisely to recognition. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.