There is a crisis in Catholicism. Everyone knows that, though just where the crisis is located is a matter of disagreement, writes Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.
- Catholic Herald
Some people say the crisis is to do with doctrine, and they point to the matters of Humanae Vitae, same sex relations, divorce and remarriage. I disagree. I do not think there is any such crisis. All the Church’s teachings are securely founded on scripture and tradition as far as I am concerned. To loosen the anchors of either would be to let the magisterium drift on the open seas, subject to every passing wind: now that really would be a crisis of doctrine.
Others say the crisis is to do with prayer, and all our problems are caused by our failure to pray. Certainly, we can always do with more prayer in the Church, and the Church cannot pray too much. But the falling off in prayer is not a cause of the crisis in my opinion, it is rather a symptom of it. People have given up on prayer, if indeed they have, because they have been discouraged from doing it because of the crisis of government in the Church.
This is the real crisis – the failures in government at all levels. As anointed people we are called to be prophets, priests and kings, like Christ the Anointed One, and we have seriously failed in our call as kings, that is to say as administrators of worldly goods and as man managers. Remember, the two great heroes of the Old Testament are King David, the great leader of men, and his son, King Solomon, the wise ruler and administrator of a huge empire. The anti-heroes are Saul, who lost the kingdom, and people like Jezebel and Ahab, who were not proper kings but tyrants, exploiting people for their own ends, not ruling for the common good.
How is this crisis of government apparent? Well, take this story from this paper’s website, about the Father General of the Camillan Order trying to rig, allegedly, his re-election. I knew the Camillans in Africa, and there are many good people in that order, but, if this story is true, something has gone seriously wrong in the order’s governance. Moreover, though the details are much less piquant, what is true for the Camillans is true for numerous other orders in the Church. I could give details, but one does not want to wash dirty linen in public.
The crisis of government is also apparent in the child abuse scandals that have rocked the Church.