Does the Catholic Church really respect women, or the men who support them?

March 31, 2013Pope Francis arrives to lead an open-air Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis … Continued


March 31, 2013Pope Francis arrives to lead an open-air Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter’s Square, which was packed with pilgrims, tourists and Romans.Alessandra Tarantino / AP

After serving as Roman Catholic priest for 40 years, nine months ago I was expelled from the priesthood and my Maryknoll community because of my public support for the ordination of women. While being expelled from my religious community that I loved was incredibly painful, that pain doesn’t compare to the hurt endured by women and LGBT Catholics who have been marginalized by our church for centuries.

In a wide-ranging interview with press while returning to Rome following World Youth Day in Rio, Pope Francis covered a variety of topics that have real import to the life of the church, and the lives of individuals. In the two most-reported comments, the pope talked about the need not to marginalize gay people while maintaining the ban on same-sex relationships, and said that the issue of ordaining women to the priesthood is closed, stirring reactions to his comments among people across the globe. He added that the felt the church needed to examine the role of women, and perhaps open more ministries to them.

While many bishops are doing their best to say the pope was merely reiterating current church teaching and that his words should be seen in that light, the extraordinary global response to this press conference demonstrates that most people know there is much more going on. In a world increasingly marked by division—between rich and poor, among people of different faiths or sects, among races and ethnicities, between war-torn countries and those who supply weapons—the pope, as head of the earth’s largest Christian denomination, can be the symbol of the unity and justice yearned for by so many. He comes to the papacy from ministering in urban South America, rather than from an office in the Vatican bureaucracy. He has the potential to be a truly transformative figure.

It seems clear to me that the pope is still coming to terms with the power of his office, and how he wants to use it. He seems a bit conflicted between his pastoral sensibilities and the doctrinal tradition he has been handed. And he has yet to fully grasp the connections among the many kinds of alienation experienced within our church.

I wonder if Pope Francis has thought through the inconsistencies in his comments on women and gay people. Can you imagine if the take-away quote had been: “If a woman is of good will and called by the Lord to serve, who are we as men to judge and interfere with that call?” Or if the pope had acknowledged that we lack a truly deep theology of sexuality and relationships? Talk about letting in fresh air by speaking truth!

As a priest I learned that when there is an injustice, silence is complicity. I saw the exclusion of women from the priesthood as a grave injustice and, in good conscience, I could not remain silent. The punishment for raising the question of equality was severe I was thrown out of the community that I love.

Perhaps the biggest change demonstrated by the pope’s comments is the sense of liberation among Catholics to freely discuss the many issues facing the church. The fear that led so many to keep their doubts about current policy to themselves under the previous two popes seems to have been lifted. However, Pope Francis’s pastoral tone should not be mistaken for pastoral action. We need mechanisms and forums for the official church to hear the voices of the laity, especially women & LGBT Catholics. The people of the church are talking but we need the hierarchy to listen to groups like the Women’s Ordination Conference, DignityUSA, and the majority of Catholics who support a church based on justice. We cannot allow for the inconsistencies of justice in Pope Francis’s comments to stand without speaking out.

I am filled with hope because I know most Catholics have a personal experience that has convinced them that God’s love is not constrained by a person’s gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, or any other factor we humans may define. Nor is the call to ministry and the ability to serve God’s people. We need all Catholics– laity, priests and leadership –to engage in discerning what living this conviction would mean for our church. Only then we will experience the deeper theology called for by our pope, as well as an end to marginalization among too many of our church’s members.

Until true justice is achieved, we can continue to take action, speak out, and pray. On Monday, National Women’s Equality Day, Catholics can stand in solidarity with Catholic women and women of many faiths who are denied equal participation in their tradition by fasting and joining the interfaith event: Equal in Faith. Those in Washington, D.C. are encouraged to attend the prayer service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 6:30 pm. I will fast in solidarity with those calling for inclusion and hope you join me.


Roy Bourgeois is a former Roman Catholic priest and author of “My Journey From Silence to Solidarity.”

  • Ranmore

    I don’t understand why women would want anything to do with the Catholic church. During marriage preparation my wife was told she would have subordinate her wishes and follow ME wherever I wanted to go as her husband. She endured years of guilt for not coming up to the churches expectations, even on post-marital sex and finally she has to watch her elderly mother consumed by anxiety that her daughters are damned for eternity because they no longer in the clutches of the “One True Church”. What pain the Catholic church inflicts on it’s women!

  • leibowde84

    That’s why they call it “Catholic Guilt.”

  • Fosl

    Who would Jesus expel?

    You.

  • J. Davis

    If I understand your post, Fosl, I think you are right.

    Jesus expelled “money changers” from the temple because they sought to corrupt the temple and undermine its sacred purpose.

    The same can be said of people who want a Church with 1.2 Billion members, world-wide, to conform to a minority view of vicious political feminists in the U.S. and Europe. The feminists are bringing their dirty little politics into a sacred sphere, and, I, for one, am glad that they are not a part of the Church’s hierarchy. If they were, then, they would simply divide the Church, and its members, along arbitrary gender lines as they are dividing the U.S. secular arena.

    I go to Church to pray and commune with the men and women with whom I am joined in Catholic worship. I don’t want to be subjected to vicious petty politics which is exactly what would dominate if feminists were permitted to corrupt the Church.

  • Fosl

    it is really too bad, isn’t if ‘father’ that God didn’t have the benefit of 20th/21st century wisdom and understanding when he wrote the bible and put in all that stuff in reference to LGBT, or the role of women in ministry?

  • Fosl

    there is a lot, a whole lot of feminism in the church and the hierarchy, maybe it’s calmed down a little bit over the last few years, but it’s still there. They just haven’t achieved the ultimate goal of ordination, but this priest or ex priest is certainly an example. no doubt his views were formed at workshops and study groups and retreats sponsored by the order.

    interestingly enough – a lot of power on the parish and diocesan level is wielded by women, so they are not left out of decision making, they just don’t get the glory.

  • cricket44

    Oh, JD. Those scawy, scawy giwls….

  • J. Davis

    Oh, cricket44. Those scawy, scawy boys . . . .

    I believe it is you who are possessed with “heightened levels of fear and awareness” regarding men (using your own words in quotes).

  • Fosl

    BADGER –

    Logic didn’t exist until the 20th century? It wasn’t mastered by the Greeks in the days before the Roman empire?
    It really seems like the modern age is the one where people don’t know how to think logically… everything is emotional. I think what you really mean is that Bronze age system doesn’t stand up to modern feelings and opinions.

    but, they’re being modern doesn’t necessarily imply they’re closer to the truth than those of any other age. (the greek democracy or the American revolution’s goals don’t match up with the more modern opinions of 1930′s Germany or Soviet era Communism, but I wouldn’t throw them out in favor of those 20th century innovations)

  • J. Davis

    Again, I agree with you Fosl.

    Badger hasn’t a clue about “logic.” Logic is a process, by which we reason, from an indisputable premise, toward truth and enlightenment.

    Badger, the GLF and the LGBT community start with the premise that sex, especially their sex, is all important, and, anyone who doesn’t engage in it, or, approve of those who do engage in it, are somehow deficient. (Assuming the truth of a premise that is unproven, as a basis for argument, is one of Aristotle’s fallacies that belies logic) (it is known as “begging the question”) (petitio principii).

    It is virtually impossible to reason with the GLF or the LGBT platforms because they assume that their premise regarding sex and sexuality is “infallible” and anyone who calls upon them to prove it becomes the subject of their attacks.

    To quote Dante: “Hell is the impossibility of reason.”

  • cricket44

    Boys are great children. Men are wonderful adults. Here’s the thing, JD….at some point you need to stop being the first and try…really, really try, to work your way into being a grown-up.

    Do some research. I’m not wrong.

  • J. Davis

    Cricket: Please look up the definition of the word: “puellile.”

  • Catken1

    “Badger, the GLF and the LGBT community start with the premise that sex, especially their sex, is all important, and, anyone who doesn’t engage in it, or, approve of those who do engage in it, are somehow deficient.’”

    No, they start with the premise that their sex lives are their own, are natural and healthy, and that they should not be denied the right to be themselves or to have legal families or marriages because you disapprove of them.

    One might say that “The Catholic community starts with the premise that religion, especially their religion, is all-important, and that anyone who doesn’t engage in it or approve of those who do is somehow deficient. It is virtually impossible to reason with the Catholic platform because they assume that their premise regarding religion and religious dogma is infallible and anyone who calls upon them to prove it becomes the subject of their attacks.”

    The difference is, the LGBT community isn’t trying to deny you a civil marriage or legal protections for your spouse or kids, or the right to practice your religion or even receive standard tax exemptions for your church, because you don’t think as they do.

    What justification do you have for a belief that only those who comply with your religious rules for marriage should be allowed access to a civil contract of marriage in a country supposedly based on religious freedom? Please explain.

  • J. Davis

    Well, my goodness. Here we have a little Solomon who begs the question. Just what we need for a little lesson in Aristotelean logic.

    First, your premise that the RCC is trying to deny anyone civil marriage or legal protections is false. Look up the doctrines of the Church on the matter and when you have an accurate premise, please get back to us. Your rhetoric is known as “reductio ad absurdam.” You have re-stated the Church’s position in a way that is false, and, which makes the Church’s position sound ridiculous in order to argue against a position that the Church has not adopted. Try again.

    Second, your premise, “that their sex lives are their own, are natural and healthy,” is the same premise that child molesters use when they are finally caught and prosecuted. They just can’t understand why there is anything wrong with what they were doing . . . .

  • astarr3

    It is so unfortunate that there are priests who are uneducated in such matters as male ordination. I imagine the apostles, in their frame of reference before Christ was resurrected, asking a similar quesiton. Why did you, Jesus, only choose males for your apostles? They did not understand much until they saw Him again alive after being put to death. It is at this meeting of Christ in the flesh that His parables began to make sense, that Peter regained his confidence in following the tough demands of Jesus, and that in all of their willingness to die for the truth developed. It is my hope as a Catholic, to be like Mary, perfectly obedient, even though I don’t understand everything Jesus has taught. Until then, I will continue to meet Him in the flesh in the sacraments, and hope to understand more fully, the choices He made.

  • Catken1

    The Church has openly and visibly campaigned against civil marriage for gay people. Not just Catholic religious marriage, but civil secular marriage.
    And if you can’t tell the important difference between a relationship between consenting adults and the rape of a child who cannot give consent, then please get back to us when you understand why rape is wrong.
    You may as well argue, “Well, those who argue that Catholicism is natural and healthy are making the same argument that the Spanish Inquisition made when they tortured others into professing Catholicism – choosing Catholicism for oneself is just the same as torturing others into choosing it.” Consent is important, in sex and in religion. If you don’t understand why, you have no business touting your moral sense, because you have none.

  • cricket44

    JD, I don’t need to and it’s a step forward for you to self-identify as such.

  • J. Davis

    Let’s discuss the Spanish Inquisition.

    First, it was carried out by Spanish civil authorities, not the Church.

    Second, the Church’s role was limited to determining if something was, or was not, heresy. For example, in the 15th and 16th Century, there were no civil laws against sodomizing children. The Church, however, determined that sodomizing children (a practice introduced into Spain by the Moors during their invasion of Spain) was heresy. The civil authorities didn’t prosecute and execute or torture people simply because of religious beliefs. The Spanish authorities prosecuted, tortured and executed them for “heresy” only in cases of what we would consider “heinous crimes” under our current law, such as sodomizing children, for which there were no secular criminal laws at the time.

    Third, the Spanish inquisition was abused by some of the civil authorities. The Church was the first to retract its Papal Bull and enjoin the Spanish inquisition’s abuses.

    If you don’t understand what heterosexual intercourse is, as distinguished from licentious conduct then you not only have no moral sense, you have no intellect. You have no business addressing anyone on issues of morals.

    Your fantasies about what has happened in the past, regarding the Church and the inquisition, are not arguments. They are merely fictions you have invented to deceive. You are no different from a snake oil salesman.

    Further, if you can’t tell the difference between heterosexual intercourse in marriage, and gay self-gratification, then, “you have no business touting your moral sense, because you have none.”

  • Rongoklunk

    Check out this challenge at;

    http:www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/god1.htm

  • immigrant1

    I have always heard that “once a priest always a priest”. How was this priest kicked out? What alternatives were given. There are certain things that need to occur in order to take a priest’s faculties away from him. oing against Church teachings this priest actually ex-communicated himself from the church. Actually having known priest’s who have left or whose faculties were removed gave me a better understanding of their reasons and the circumstances. I noticed that the ones who left because they believed it was not their calling left silently and did not attack the church. I noticed that the ones who left because they wanted to change the teachings of the church were the most vocal. This vocal breed needs to be careful as the sin they commit for leading others away from Christ and His teachings and will be held more accountable. This situation actually reminds me of last Sunday’s Gospel Readings “Lk 13:22-30″.

  • immigrant1

    J Davis thank you for evangelizing and keeping your faculties when dealing with individuals who respond based in hearsay and lack of historical educational facts.

  • Louise10

    Roy Bourgeois has lived his life exemplifying what many of us expect from someone who professes to be a Christian. I am continually astonished at the harm done by Catholic dogmas and policies. Roy Bourgeois is yet another victim of the Catholic church.

  • immigrant1

    I can’t wait until many of these American priests who were ordained 40 50 and 60 years ago are retired. Many of them are tainted by the feminist movement gone too far and the hippy yippie kumbaya mentality. Thank God for the many young conservative priests that are now filling our churches and seminaries. May our Lord continue to bless us with Priest, Prophets and Kings. I’m sure most people will be clueless as to what that means but maybe they will research it and find out for themselves.

  • immigrant1

    Ranmore. Unfortunately you were cathecized incorrectly to the true teachings of the church. If you were truly listening maybe you would understand it. Maybe if you ranless and and listened more things would have turned out differently.

  • Fosl

    The phrase “once a priest always a priest” is correct. Father Bourgeois is still a priest, he is no longer aloud to function as a priest, because of his disobedience, obstinacy and un-Catholic beliefs. He was not excommunicated.

  • Fosl

    it is about time that the church has begun to show the beginning of a start of a intent to begin to undertake to regrow something like a spine. (even though it is still microscopic and gets smashed every so often and has to start over again)

    Father Bourgeios is not the victim. his job was not to pass off his own ideas as Catholic. The church is not a democracy either, nor does it base everything on the prevalent fads of the day.

    Father Roy – pack up your guitar and your picture of Teilhard and go peddle your garbage somewhere else.

  • Jade2016

    How do you know that “Roy Bourgeois has lived his life exemplifying what many of us expect from someone who presses to be a Christian?”

    In reading his letter, I am struck by its self-serving nature.

    He doesn’t look like a “victim” to me. He looks like someone who values his personal politics over his vows of service to the Catholic community.

    Upon discharge from his ministerial role in the Church, he immediately begins seeking publicity for himself, and casts about for allies against the Church to further his own, personal, political agenda.

    The Church is not about secular politics. The Church is about helping each other in a community devoted to service to ideals that are greater than any one person’s notions of right or wrong.

    I feel sorry for Roy Bourgeois. I know what it is to be a part of a group effort, yet be at odds with some its tenets and beliefs. It is painful. It is even more painful to be excluded from an organization to which one has devoted much of their life.

    When that has happened in my life, I just followed Mark Twain’s advice and continued in my service and communion with others. Mark Twain wrote: “Never overlook a good opportunity to sit down and shut up.” If Roy Bourgeois wanted to continue his service in the Church, to others, he should have followed Mark Twain’s advice.

  • cricket44

    “Many of them are tainted by the feminist movement gone too far and the hippy yippie kumbaya mentality. ”

    Right. Absolutely no treating women as people and heaven forbid the church welcome people in (Kumbaya means ‘come by here.)

    No worries. Happiness will be yours when your congregation consists of nothing but rabid misanthropes. Of course…that has nothing to do with Christianity.

  • Ranmore

    “Unfortunately you were cathecized incorrectly”

    This is what the priest told me wife, whilst I was in the room. Maybe priests have been “cathecized incorrectly”?

    You sound like one of those people for whom the church can do no wrong, whatever the evidence to the contrary. A dogged, tribal loyalty addles your brain.

  • Catken1

    “Further, if you can’t tell the difference between heterosexual intercourse in marriage, and gay self-gratification, then, “you have no business touting your moral sense, because you have none.”

    Oh, I can tell the difference. And I can tell the difference between gay intercourse in marriage (including the devoted marital bonds of gay folks who fight for and cherish their marriages for LIFETIMES even despite people like you trying to tear them apart at every turn), and heterosexual self-gratification (like the latest Kardashian publicity stunt or Limbaugh trophy wife masquerading as a “marriage”). The difference between us is that I judge the worth and value of a marriage based on the participants’ behavior to each other, their commitment, their love, and their actions, whereas you base it on what chromosomes they have.

    Your history is sorely lacking. The Inquisition was clearly and deliberately funded and formed to maintain Catholic orthodoxy, not to punish Jews and Muslims for raping children (they didn’t, any more than the local Christians did – remember, Christian churches willingly accepted marriages involving girls as young as 12 in the Middle Ages and Renaissance). Yes, it was carried out by secular authorities – at least, the Church handed heretics over to the civil authorities so that they wouldn’t get their hands dirty by sentencing people to death, though the execution of heretics was clearly expected on all sides.

    But that is a side note to my main point, which is that adult consent is important to all sorts of things, including religion, sexual activity, and civil contracts, for very good and substantial reasons (namely, the incomplete formation of a child’s rational sense). There is a rational reason for requiring adult consent for sex or marriage – what is your rational reason for requiring one set of XX chromosomes and one of XY? (No, not “our sort of marriages are Real and Loving and theirs are cheap masturbation” because that is a lie.)

  • thebump

    The non-existence of priestesses is no more a matter of “justice” than is the non-existence of unicorns.

    “Perhaps the biggest change demonstrated by the pope’s comments is the sense of liberation among Catholics to freely discuss the many issues facing the church.”

    Are you kidding? You hippie kooks never shut up about this crap.

    Either you believe Holy Mother Church is Who She says She is, or you don’t. Nobody gives a flip about this peripheral crap.

  • esthergreenetherese

    Language, language, the bump. Why are you so angry?

  • esthergreenetherese

    Fosl, Fr. Roy has every right to write what he believes and shouldn’t be subjected to your type of ‘garbage’ comments. Incidentally, what, if anything, do you know about the great Teilhard de Chardin? Have you studied any of his books? Why are you, like ‘the bump’, so angry with, and intolerant of, any ideas except your own? Has the Lord spoken to you directly? I’m certain of this — no way would the Lord speak as you have spoken.

  • Fosl

    Father Roy does not have a right to preach whatever he wants, or to encourage dissent from church teachings and practices as a priest, that is why he is not allowed to act as a priest anymore. Catholics are, or should be, in the pews to be given pure Catholic principles… no body gives a flaming pile of manure about what Father Roy personally thinks!

    As an ex priest – he can say these things, but they do come off as very self serving and un Christian. “look at me, I’m so wonderful, I’m so modern, I’m so full of love. I’m being persecuted for my above-it-all holiness” – not the kind of thing St Francis would ever have said

    Now, God doesn’t speak to me, and I’m sure he doesn’t speak directly to Father Roy either, nor to anyone else. that’s not the way that revelation works… that’s why you stick to the script!
    He hasn’t revealed anything new since the St. John apocalypse. There are no new revelations concerning priestly ordination or same sex marriage.

    I seem to have upset you with the great Chardin. Sorry, he was the first name that came to mind. I could have said John Lennon or Oprah. it’s all the same. dime store, feel good, whatever you feel inside is right – if you like it, do it, persecuted by Organized religion, nonsense.

  • ThomasBaum

    Jade2016

    Jesus was pretty much given that same advise by the religious authorities of His Day, seems as if He rejected their advise for Him to shut up.

    Some of those that are referred to as “Doctors of the Church” were also, basically, told to shut up while they were still breathers.

    Quite a few of those that have been canonized as saints were at odds with religious authorities during their lifetimes.

    Jesus wasn’t looking for clones to be His followers but real thinking feeling people.

  • ThomasBaum

    Fosl

    You wrote, “Now, God doesn’t speak to me, and I’m sure he doesn’t speak directly to Father Roy either, nor to anyone else. that’s not the way that revelation works”

    Who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to tell God just how revelation is allowed to work or not work, God can and does reveal whatever God wants too in whatever way God wishes to reveal it.

    We humans seem to be very good at telling God just how God is allowed to do things, might be hard to believe but God does not fit into any of the “boxes” that we humans have constructed for God, no matter how nice we may think these “boxes” to be.

    You also wrote, “He hasn’t revealed anything new since the St. John apocalypse.”

    Whether new or not, do you think/believe that God has revealed anything at all “since the St. John apocalypse”?

    As far as “There are no new revelations concerning priestly ordination”.

    Do you think/believe that the change concerning married priests that came quite a bit after “St. John apocalypse” is merely a man made change?

    You also wrote, “no body gives a flaming pile of manure about what Father Roy personally thinks!”

    Seeing as God became One of us for ALL of us maybe, just maybe, God cares about what each and every one of us personally thinks.

  • ThomasBaum

    thebump

    Ever heard that the Roman Catholic Church refers to Mary Magdalene as the Apostle to the Apostles?

  • Fosl

    ignorance abounds doesn’t it?

    It is a matter of faith (catholic and most protestants) that PUBLIC revelation ended with the death of the last apostle. this is really quite a practical thing on the part of God since it frees people up from having to worry about whether or not to believe every nut who claims to have had a vision or a dream in which God spoke to him and told him you need to eat only vegetables in order to be saved etc. (there may be personal revelation – God told me to become a doctor for example, but nothing touching on faith required to be believed by everyone)

    so no, there has not been any new revelation about priestly ordination or same sex marriage (if there were, then why wait 2000 years before giving the go ahead for such things) the church does not now nor has it ever held priestly celibacy to be doctrine of faith. it is simply a law. a discipline that can be impose or relaxed as the times demand. Woman’s ordination is a matter not of law or discipline, but of faith.

  • esthergreenetherese

    Fosl, you certainly wouldn’t have accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ, in my opinion, or wouldn’t have walked for a long time in His company. And, as for your language, a fact that I’ve already pointed out to you, WHEW! “A flaming pile of manure etc., etc.” Yuck! No, you didn’t upset me regarding Teilhard de Chardin. Comparing him to John Lennon, Oprah, et al, has me in in paroxysms of laughter. I suggest that you pay more attention to the teachings of Pope Francis. But, I guess you don’t ‘like’ this Pope either. He doesn’t pass judgement on Souls like you seem to do. I also suggest that, as Pope Francis advises, that you, and indeed all of us, pray for true humility and do our best to practise it. Pax.

  • esthergreenetherese

    ThomasBaum, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thanks for your very balanced view.

  • Oblate

    Mr. Bourgeois has been uncomfortable in the Church since the 1970s when I heard him speak at my university. I have no idea what slight he bears (real or perceived) but he channels “victimology” with the best of them. He blames the Church, the military, energy companies, the male sex, conservatives, capitalists, the usual cabal of oppressors according to progressive holy writ. He needs a rest.

  • Fosl

    What does passing judgment on souls have to do with anything? (and are you saying that Pope Benedict or say Pope Pius xii did pass judgment?). A thing is either right or wrong, either women can be priests or they can’t, either men can marry men or they can’t. (how you feel about it can’t change anything) I don’t know anything about the dispositions of any of the souls of the men who are married to other men, or the women who want to be priests etc… I just know that a representative of the church should not be advising them contrary to the doctrine of the church.
    People going to the church for direction have a right to expect and receive the church’s direction (they don’t have to accept it) and not Father Roy’s personal opinion.

    The doctrine of the faith is not up for debate. it can be studied, drawn out, it can lead to new deductions, but it doesn’t change.

    what Father Roy and people who think like him seem to be thinking is that feelings, popular fads, public opinion is a form of revelation – therefore implying that he should be able to say what he thinks so that we can all come to a consensus of what we will believe today. 50 or 60 years ago father Roy or someone could have been proclaiming racial segregation as the will of God. Should he have a right to do that in the name of the church? would he have a right to chastise the church and the hierarchy for resisting segregation in catholic schools and churches?

  • leibowde84

    How come nobody commenting from the conservative Christian angle is providing any logical reasoning why women shouldn’t be ordained in the RCC … beyond speculation of course?

  • esthergreenetherese

    Fosl, it seems to me that you’re obsessed with Fr. Bourgeouis. Well, my last two comments to you didn’t even allude to him or to what he either believes or disbelieves. I meant it, when I said, that all of us should strive to practise true humility and pray for its increase in all of us. I, for one, will not preach either to you or anybody else but will trust in the Spirit of the Lord to care for our Church and its people. Here, Fosl, I leave you to continue, or not, with all your convictions while you strive honestly to convert everybody within reach. Beware, however, of accusing De Chardin of a ‘feel good’ philosophy like that of Oprah and John Lennon! We should all be so lucky as to have De Chardin’s mystical connection/communion with God. I leave this discussion gladly because there is no point in continuing.

  • tony55398

    Tradition can always be used as an excuse for policies that inhibit the church’s mission to its people. The Church should revisit it mission, and whether it’s to defend tradition or serve the world and what would be the best way to do what Christ called it to do. Is the Church to be served or is the Church to serve? If you look to the past while walking ahead you will fall, you will fail in your mission.

  • Ljanney

    Sounds like he was doing his best to follow the example of Christ. Can the church say the same?

  • BrianX9

    When will WaPo run an article critical of the WaPo’s unofficial religion ?

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Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

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Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

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This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

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Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.