Why [stay in] a male-dominated institution where progressive liberalism is repeatedly thwarted?
Progress is a dubious concept, and our rights and freedoms are daily corroded by the politics of greed, power and wealth. The Catholic church has a rich tradition of social teaching and solidarity with the poor which challenges these neo-liberal corporate values and offers a different way of living. It is a rich and diverse tradition, weaving together a vast multicultural family that defies the growing xenophobia and exclusivity of modern western societies. It offers a perspective from which to evaluate our muddled values and short-term goals against a more enduring and hopeful outlook on what it means to be human.
The church’s intellectual heritage is a complex mixture of theology, philosophy, art and science that enriches the mind, even if its own leaders have tended to be the worst enemies of this tradition – the sex abuse scandal has revealed a malignant darkness at the heart of the hierarchy. Yet all this is just as true of life outside the church. One should expect better of those who claim to be Christian, but in reality we humans are a species with a peculiar proclivity towards violence, shame and corruption.
Christians call it original sin, and I find in the Catholic church a powerful narrative of hope and redemption in the midst of that.
It is surely worth struggling for.
– Tina Beattie
Excerpted from "Sex, Marriage and the Catholic Church"
October 8, 2014.
October 8, 2014.
For more insights from theologian Tina Beattie, see:
• Quote of the Day – January 14, 2012
• Quote of the Day – September 13, 2012
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Knowing What to Do, Knowing Why to Stay
• Staying on Board
• One Catholic Gay Parent Who Isn’t Leaving the Church
• Choosing to Stay
• A Brave Hope
• What It Means to Be Catholic
• "I Love the Radical Catholic Church"