No Good News: Reform, faith, and dignity in the 21st-century church

As Tony Flannery’s article shows, we mustn’t underesti­mate how terribly conserva­tive the Catholic Church remains. Fundamental rights in the church are not getting better, and while some support Francis’ approach to social issues, it would appear that his actions and stances alter very little in terms of the church’s moral parame­ters. All of which poses a very real question for progressive Catholics: Is the appropriate strategy for expanding the rights of women not to criticize the current pope?

Should we choose not to, what will we do after he is gone ? What he has done and said with regards to ecology and social justice could vanish very quickly. The past provides too vivid of an example of us not to remain vigilant.

I am a single mother. Fifty years ago in Ireland, I could have been condemned, locked in a convent and my baby boy sold. That is not the Good News, that is not my faith. The Jesus Christ whom I believe in brought joy, hope, freedom to stand, to grow, to find your own way. He was welcoming—he did not discriminate, condemn, excommunicate. I believe in the equal dignity of all human beings. And I do not feel it out of place to expect that my fellow Christians should work to make this shared dignity a reality for all. Life, love and compassion are sacred.

SYLVIE KEMPGENS
Pour un Autre Visage d’Eglise et de Société
Belgium

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