04/21/2005: Thought for the Day:
By the early 1970s, however, I was back in the United States and on my way out of the church. In 1968, setting aside the considered advice of a commission he'd convened to review the matter, Paul VI had declared all forms of artificial contraception to be as sinful as murder in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. In a public debate about the encyclical that became a moment of truth for me, Charles Davis, a British Catholic theologian, asked what part of the great Christian patrimony was available only under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church? Would it be sacraments, scripture, monasticism, devotion to Mary? Patiently, Davis moved down a long list and easily showed that every item on it was available under other Christian auspices. The one exception was the pope-centered, intensely hierarchical Roman Catholic form of governance: Romanitá. It was this that made the Roman church not just Catholic but also Roman—and unique. But if Humanae Vitae had now demonstrated that this form of governance was harmful to the church and to the world, why would a serious Christian not look elsewhere?
Len on 04.21.05 @ 08:27 AM CST