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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Two Brave Bishops" and two brave Jesuits

"[T]heology as a social practice has an obligation to examine the community’s faith as something living, challenged by new events and circumstances, adapting to different cultures and historical periods, and appropriating the questions, research, reflection, and discernment of each new generation. Theology has the vocation of working for the church in its own continuing development. This is why the world’s bishops, gathered at the Second Vatican Council, trusted the theologians they invited as advisers and collaborated with them in such a fruitful and historic way.

The church’s understanding and teaching has developed over two millennia. On some subjects it has remained substantially the same. On others, it has changed dramatically, in ways that could not have been foreseen: on slavery, women’s inferiority, the divine right of kings, the uses of torture, the status and dignity of the Jewish people, the execution of heretics, the idea of religious liberty, the moral legitimacy of democratic governments, the indispensability of Thomism, and the structure of the universe itself. New questions arise, and new horizons open, cultures themselves are transformed, and the fund of human knowledge changes.

Through all this, we are called to remain faithful to God, confident that God understands us and will remain faithful to us in our pilgrimage through time. Sometimes we disagree about what this faithfulness requires in regard to a particular issue. I think the best we can do, in our own day, is to remain in attentive, thoughtful conversation with each other, to speak and listen with respect and candor, and always with charity. These sustained conversations, rooted in hope, patience, and reasonableness, and nourished by prayer, are entrusted to the special care of our church’s leaders, who are missioned to inspire, protect, and guide them, in the communion of love made possible by the Holy Spirit."

The above excerpt is from the end of a past article at Commonweal by Jesuit Robert Egan . The article is actually in two parts, the first part by Sara Butler, and the second part Egan answering her. It's all in reference to an article Egan had written earlier about women's ordination - Why Not? Scripture, History & Women's Ordination. I was reminded of this article by a post at America magazine's blog ... Readings: Two Brave Bishops by Raymond A. Schroth SJ.


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