Training the church of the future

I’ve been talking about America and Catholicism, so why not put the two together? With that in mind, I decided to look at Michael Rose’s Goodbye! Good Men: How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood. There’s been discussion whether the book deals fairly with every person and institution it discusses, but the basic point, that New Church apparatchiks grossly abused the system for their own ends, is plausible and seems generally accepted by those who should know.

It’s said the situation has improved a great deal since say the ’80s. It seems that the existence of an ultimate authority within the Church, even one that’s usually fairly inert, provides a reference point that makes it possible for institutions eventually to revert to type. The Anglicans provide an example of what happens when such authority is lacking.

5 thoughts on “Training the church of the future”

  1. Why can’t the reference point
    Why can’t the reference point can’t be provided by scripture, tradition and right reason?

    I don’t see how the state of the genuinely rotten Anglican Communion proves your point. As far as I can tell the continuing churches haven’t had to revert to type because they never strayed from type.

    • The three-legged stool?
      Over the course of hundreds of years, sometimes more quickly, important problems do come up that don’t get resolved by discussion and consensus. There has to be some institutional way to decide.

      • I suppose I’m thinking of the
        I suppose I’m thinking of the overall trajectory of things and wondering why we can’t “load the historical dice” with the three-legged stool, the teachings of the early church fathers, what’s universally Catholic (both under tradition I think), etc. That’s pretty powerful stuff and I’d guess the outcome would be what we want.

        Could you give examples of important problems that have come up that can only be resolved by the authority of one visible institution headed by a particular man?

        • Christian doctrine generally
          Among protestants it seems to be maintained only among splinter groups. And even among those groups who have maintained doctrine it seems to me the presence of the RC Church has provided a useful standard. The Eastern Orthodox seem to maintain it but at the price of an inability to respond independently to the whole range of human concerns. There is no such thing as an Eastern Orthodox university for example.


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