My dear friend Jamila Bey appeared on the show Crosstalk on Russia Today this week to talk with two religion professors about the Pope Benedict’s resignation and the future of the Catholic Church. There’s a really interesting discussion about the differences between the church hierarchy and the local churches in many places and how diverse the church really is. As always, Jamila is thoughtful and eloquent.
I think this discussion of trying to make the church more democratic and more like the rank and file is fascinating. To what degree can a church do that and still retain its identity? Surveys show that rank and file Catholics simply do not believe most of the doctrines and dogmas of the church and they haven’t for quite some time.
But of course, the Catholic Church has changed over the centuries. The Inquisition is gone, as are the pogroms. It changes over the course of centuries, not years or even decades, but the current scandals over the rape of children and the battles between the bishops and the nuns may be a transitional moment in the history of the church.