Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Vatican May Retrench, but Church Changing Anyway

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Vatican May Retrench, but Church Changing Anyway

Article excerpt

What's the harm in seeking out a little hope during these months when the news about church can be so discouraging?

No harm, indeed. In fact, it could be an easy search.

For while the clerical culture continues to struggle with a host of issues from burnout to the scandal of sex abuse of children, the church goes on. An example is the story (Page 3) of St. Anthony Parish in Portland, Ore., where a new model is forming. The headline says, "It takes a village," and that might well be turned around to say, "It takes a parish to raise a village."

Beneath the conflicts over liturgy, women's issues, centralization of power and the rest of the hot-button issues that, while important, often seem far removed from the average parishioner's experience, church goes on. People do what they need to do to forge new communities, new expressions of faith, to fill the old symbols and rituals with new meaning. …

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