The Church, the faithful and the future
(c) Raymond L. Flynn
Just when one thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, The Boston Globe ran consecutive sensational front page stories on Sunday, May 11th and Monday, May 12th, reporting the results of their poll, which showed that Catholics' opinion of their Church and its officials is at an all time low. In fact, Monday's lead headline read that "Most [polled Catholics] would prosecute [Cardinal] Law" for his handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Given the constant negative publicity the Church received for the past 16 months, this comes as little surprise. I am convinced that the Globe intentionally set out to diminish the reputation of the Catholic Church, which the newspaper philosophically opposes on most important moral issues - abortion, same sex marriages, and educational vouchers, just to name a few. Although I do strongly support the media's right, and obligation, to report on clergy sex abuse of minors, I am wary of agenda-driven coverage of such.
The most disturbing part of the Globe poll, however, further reflects popular opinion to change Church doctrine on many traditional Catholic issues. Of course no Catholics were quoted to contradict the poll results and findings. So is this yet another media "hatchet job" on the Church and one we should ignore? No - and let me tell you why.
Church leaders in the past have closed the door on traditional lay Catholics. They have not welcomed constructive advice from faithful Catholics. Now the Church is paying the price. Leaders of the Church hierarchy, especially the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, have three real choices: 1) Ignore the problem and hope it will go away; 2) Cave in to dissent groups and attempt to regain credibility by becoming politically correct (this will naturally mean going along with the popular culture on traditional Church teachings); or 3) invite loyal, traditional Catholics to play a meaningful role in the Church by allowing lay Catholics to speak for the Church on political and social issues (our Church leaders have proven that they do not have the experience or skills to do it themselves).
We have a Church and its teachings we love. We have many good and faithful clergy whom we admire. We have an institution that has been so isolated it was allowed to be manipulated by the liberal and cultural "elite."
Let's have your opinion as to what should be done.
Please contact Ray Flynn, National President of American Catholic Alliance, and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also a Contributing Editor to Catholic Online.
He can be reached at (617) 269-0909.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Raymond L. Flynn - Contributing Editor, 661 869-1000
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