Magazine article The Christian Century

Church Historian Sees Catholic Schism Ahead

Magazine article The Christian Century

Church Historian Sees Catholic Schism Ahead

Article excerpt

INFLUENTIAL church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch said he believes that Christianity faces a bright future but predicts that the Roman Catholic Church will undergo a major schism over its moral and social teaching.

"Christianity, the world's largest religion, is rapidly expanding--by all indications, its future is very bright," said MacCulloch, 60, professor of church history at Oxford University and an Anglican deacon.

MacCulloch's observations are spelled out in his book to be published in the spring by Penguin UK. He told the CENTURY that the book's provisional title is Listening, Praying, Forgetting: A History of Christian Silence.

In an interview with ENInews, he said, "Conflict in religion is inevitable and usually healthy--a religion without conflict is a religion that will die." But, he added, conflicts "are particularly serious in the Roman Catholic Church, which seems on the verge of a very great split over the Vatican's failure to listen to European Catholics."

He predicted that Catholicism faces a division over attempts by popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to "rewrite the story" of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. …

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