Mark Shea - writing for the National Catholic Register - asks the musical question "Where Does the Church Drive You Crazy (and make you grow)?"
I dropped this in the combox;
One thing that drives me nuts occasionally is summed up in the old adage “the wheels of the Church turn slowly”. What Mark has already noted as the tendency of the hierarchy to behave like a gathering of Ents.
In this age of lightning quick communication, when half the world may be scandalized overnight at some awful revelation of misconduct or evil, and false opinion, libel, slander and nonsense are multiplying like maggots, the Church - perhaps a year later - clears its throat and rumbles “Hoom-hom… we have decided… you... are not… an orc”. At which point we Hobbits in the Catholic trenches want to pull the hair out of our little furry toes.
In my mind, I think I want the Pope to step out onto the balcony at St. Peter’s Square and say something like, “Look, I’m up to HERE with news of sexual abuse, and this is where it stops. God help you if we find you’ve molested a child in a Catholic parish. You had better hope the police get to you first!”
But then I remember that the Pope and the bishops are steering the colossal ship of the Church through very dangerous waters, and to do anything rashly or suddenly on a great ship is to invite disaster.
If the Pope - the Vicar of Christ on earth - were to allow himself to come over all angry, and fire off some verbal bullets, it’s a cinch that some of us lay folk - perhaps a number of us - would come over even angrier and start firing real ones.
I’d like some unambiguous clarity in Church documents, while we’re at it. At least as chapter headings. Something like, ” ‘Women priests’ is a contradiction in terms within the Catholic Church. It ain’t happening. Period. Not now, not ever. Get thee over it.” - except in Latin, of course.