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  #1  
Old Jun 10, '12, 3:45 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

I have been pondering what could happen after the SSPX is reincorporated into the mainstream Church after reading talk from its adherents about the impact they expect to have (an explosion). I also read Hans Kung's suggestion that by reincorporating them, the Pope would provoke a schism on the 'left' (my word). So here's the point of this thread: what would such a Church, splitting in support of so-called 'liberal' views, be like? This is purely speculative, and I am not saying that this is going to happen, or even that it is possible. Just a thought experiment.

My suggestions of what could be possible, or likely.

  • less emphasis on sex and related areas, with the idea of serious sexual sin restricted to extreme selfishness or abuse of others.
  • a greater role for women, but a continued restriction on entry to the full priesthood. Possibly women deacons. Half of the number of Cardinals to be women. The creation of leadership roles such as diocesan administrators to be available for women.
  • married priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes (only one of the last-mentioned at a time)
  • continued emphasis on apostolic succession and consequent enthusiastic but limited ecumenism
  • a much freer liturgy, with only essentials required: "if it is valid, and approved by the community, it is OK". Incorporation of non-Roman rites under this.
  • a rethinking of priestly and religious life towards temporary roles, with easy return to a lay state
  • emphasis on a collective leadership
  • acceptance of some past doctrines (infallibility, for example), but a new interpretation of them as 'past their time'
  • a 'truth and reconciliation' approach to past problems and abuses in the Church
  • less emphasis on aligning civil law with Church teaching on things like abortion, and more on getting the faithful to follow all Church teaching
And no, I still would not revert! But I think a great many others would. What think you, CAFers?
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  #2  
Old Jun 10, '12, 4:10 am
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokomai View Post
I have been pondering what could happen after the SSPX is reincorporated into the mainstream Church after reading talk from its adherents about the impact they expect to have (an explosion). I also read Hans Kung's suggestion that by reincorporating them, the Pope would provoke a schism on the 'left' (my word). So here's the point of this thread: what would such a Church, splitting in support of so-called 'liberal' views, be like? This is purely speculative, and I am not saying that this is going to happen, or even that it is possible. Just a thought experiment.

My suggestions of what could be possible, or likely.

  • less emphasis on sex and related areas, with the idea of serious sexual sin restricted to extreme selfishness or abuse of others.
  • a greater role for women, but a continued restriction on entry to the full priesthood. Possibly women deacons. Half of the number of Cardinals to be women. The creation of leadership roles such as diocesan administrators to be available for women.
  • married priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes (only one of the last-mentioned at a time)
  • continued emphasis on apostolic succession and consequent enthusiastic but limited ecumenism
  • a much freer liturgy, with only essentials required: "if it is valid, and approved by the community, it is OK". Incorporation of non-Roman rites under this.
  • a rethinking of priestly and religious life towards temporary roles, with easy return to a lay state
  • emphasis on a collective leadership
  • acceptance of some past doctrines (infallibility, for example), but a new interpretation of them as 'past their time'
  • a 'truth and reconciliation' approach to past problems and abuses in the Church
  • less emphasis on aligning civil law with Church teaching on things like abortion, and more on getting the faithful to follow all Church teaching
And no, I still would not revert! But I think a great many others would. What think you, CAFers?
I don't think this could happen.

First, I personally don't think there will be reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the SSPX.

But if there is reconciliation, I don't think that there will be a liberal "split-away" church. I think that many Catholics with more liberal theological views tend to drift over to the Episcopalian church, or another Protestant mainline church that has enough of Catholicism left to look Catholic, but has a Statement of Faith much like what you outline in your OP.

Also, I think that theologically-liberal Catholics (or politically-liberal Catholics) tend to be somewhat unwilling or unable to give money, and so I don't think they will give enough funds to support a separate Catholic Church.

JMO, for what it's worth.

Interesting OP, though. Something to think about.

I personally would like to see the Church take the time to really study Mass music, and release a study and conclusions about Mass music that would eliminate a lot of the restrictions, clarify the "Gregorian chant and pipe organ pride of place" paragraphs (does that mean it's the ONLY music that should be done), clarify the "4-hymn sandwich" layout of the Mass, and clarify whether modern and ethnic styles are acceptable for Mass. I think at the moment, it's confusing and a source of conflict.
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  #3  
Old Jun 10, '12, 6:17 am
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PeterJohn PeterJohn is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokomai View Post
I have been pondering what could happen after the SSPX is reincorporated into the mainstream Church after reading talk from its adherents about the impact they expect to have (an explosion). I also read Hans Kung's suggestion that by reincorporating them, the Pope would provoke a schism on the 'left' (my word). So here's the point of this thread: what would such a Church, splitting in support of so-called 'liberal' views, be like? This is purely speculative, and I am not saying that this is going to happen, or even that it is possible. Just a thought experiment.

My suggestions of what could be possible, or likely.

  • less emphasis on sex and related areas, with the idea of serious sexual sin restricted to extreme selfishness or abuse of others.
  • a greater role for women, but a continued restriction on entry to the full priesthood. Possibly women deacons. Half of the number of Cardinals to be women. The creation of leadership roles such as diocesan administrators to be available for women.
  • married priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes (only one of the last-mentioned at a time)
  • continued emphasis on apostolic succession and consequent enthusiastic but limited ecumenism
  • a much freer liturgy, with only essentials required: "if it is valid, and approved by the community, it is OK". Incorporation of non-Roman rites under this.
  • a rethinking of priestly and religious life towards temporary roles, with easy return to a lay state
  • emphasis on a collective leadership
  • acceptance of some past doctrines (infallibility, for example), but a new interpretation of them as 'past their time'
  • a 'truth and reconciliation' approach to past problems and abuses in the Church
  • less emphasis on aligning civil law with Church teaching on things like abortion, and more on getting the faithful to follow all Church teaching
And no, I still would not revert! But I think a great many others would. What think you, CAFers?
Ok, where to begin? First, I have to say I think it's realy odd that a non believer would even care about such questions like this much less spend time hypothosising about such craziness lol.

A Protestant denomination that you propose would likely fracture. Taking emphasis off of sex as you say would only contribute to the already problematic family life we see developing in the west. The catholic church does accept maried priests and does accept freedom of liturgy as you stated. Women have already achieved the highest regaurd that any Christian can achieve, Sainthood. We already put an emphasis on collective leadership, All councils had many counselors, and we have more bishops now then ever. That is collective leadership. There is no life or death contract stopping a priest from becoming a layperson at any given time.

I'd like to add that I currently perceive your views of what the Catholic Church is, to be "off the mark". Your understanding vs. mine, are vastly different.
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  #4  
Old Jun 10, '12, 8:38 am
Rejoice Always Rejoice Always is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

This would make a great novel! Gonna need a love interest and some action to really tie it all together.
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  #5  
Old Jun 10, '12, 9:14 am
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Usige Usige is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I don't think that there will be a liberal "split-away" church. I think that many Catholics with more liberal theological views tend to drift over to the Episcopalian church, or another Protestant mainline church that has enough of Catholicism left to look Catholic, but has a Statement of Faith much like what you outline in your OP.
I agree with you here. For the most part I think that heterodox Catholics either go to "Catholic like" denominations or they continue in the Church as agitators for change. In reality I'm not sure how much of an issue this will be over the next 20 - 30 years. Most younger people I run into go one of two ways. They either a) walk away from the Church as irrelevant or b) tend to be more orthodox than generations that came of age during the couple decades immediately after the Second Vatican Council. At least with priest and seminarians I've met over the last 5 years are very much orthodox and many people under 30 that are filled with faith seem to be following a similar return to the more orthodox views of the Church. Just my observations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I personally would like to see the Church take the time to really study Mass music, and release a study and conclusions about Mass music that would eliminate a lot of the restrictions, clarify the "Gregorian chant and pipe organ pride of place" paragraphs (does that mean it's the ONLY music that should be done), clarify the "4-hymn sandwich" layout of the Mass, and clarify whether modern and ethnic styles are acceptable for Mass. I think at the moment, it's confusing and a source of conflict.
Now here I kinda agree with you, but not likely for the same reasons or with a goal of the same outcomes. I'm not sure what restrictions you think should be removed and it likely should be a separate thread, but in short I would like to see a study and academic programs setup that teach sacred music similar to the Sacred Theology degrees (i.e. STL/STD). My hope would be to have something akin to a nihil obstat and imprimatur for all music used in the Church. I'd also love to see it as a part of children's catechesis since music is a profound form of prayer.
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  #6  
Old Jun 10, '12, 12:33 pm
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Quote:
PeterJohn Ok, where to begin? First, I have to say I think it's really odd that a non believer would even care about such questions like this much less spend time hypothesizing about such craziness lol.
Hmmm "really odd" "crazy" - have you been talking to my wife?

Quote:
Rejoice Always This would make a great novel! Gonna need a love interest and some action to really tie it all together
.

I could hypothesize up a lost Gospel and a plot to hide it!

Thanks for the interesting responses so far - I'll respond to some soon.
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  #7  
Old Jun 11, '12, 12:23 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

I appreciate the responses - I agree that the thing I am speculating about is not likely, but I think it is possible. Money was mentioned - I had not realised that liberals are less likey to contribute to Church causes. I also wondered about finances. I can see that if a congregation splits away it is difficult to take diocesan property with you, but what about a bishop? Or an order? How is the investment protected from schism?

I have noticed that bishops who leave the mainstream tend to be either plainly odd individuals, or conservative. Is there a recent case of a liberal bishop going out on his own?
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  #8  
Old Jun 11, '12, 1:24 am
Elizabeth502 Elizabeth502 is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

First of all, Hokomai, I'm not sure if you realize how the Roman Church "works." Actual schism is a very dramatic event, one which the mere incorporation of the SSPX as mainstream would likely not preciptate a split. As JReducation pointed out recently, bishops have to get involved in schisms, and the SSPX is not large enough, important enough, or has enough influence to incite the bishops to break from Rome. Most bishops, and even most priests, are neutral (quiet) on the SSPX.

A true doctrinal or juridical crisis would have to occur, such as the Pope suggesting something radically controversial or repressive or regressive, and to the point where Catholic everyday expectations of parish/Church life were altered so much as to be unacceptable & uncomfortable, and which the Bishops in turn would also not support (because of concern for their flock and because of concern for the continuity of a recognizable Church). Our recent and current Popes have been far too sane & stable for that. They are not erratic or arbitrary men.

That said, several of us on CAF believe (observe) that there have been developing in the Church over the last 30 years, not schisms but at least three different kinds of counter-cultures, which some people like to describe as spiritual, virtual, or quasi-schisms. (A real schism involves a competing leader & organization; that's a huge, scary and desperate step which is unlikely to happen.)

Outside of mainstream, observant Catholicism, the minimum of 3 counter-cultures are:

(a) a deliberate and organized attempt to recreate the Church according to different principles of governance as well as altered priorities and altered doctrine. Some Catholics see organizations like Voice of the Faithful, We Are Church, and Call to Action as efforts in that direction.

(b) a detached counter-culture characterized by apathetic, ambivalent, noncommital Catholics. They're not making formal efforts to shape anything, but neither are they very supportive of the established Church. You could call them Quiet Resistors. And both in the Old Testament and the New, they would be referred to as "murmurers." They have more in common with secular humanists (in their practiced and articulated value system) than with Catholics, as they easily discard their Catholicism when it suits.

(c) a more radically traditional subculture (like the SSPX and their supporters or sympathizers, but there are other traditional movements as well) which associate almost exclusively with themselves, regardless of developments in Rome or in the liberal wing of the American Church.

So in sum, the American Church is already functionally somewhat fractured, yet despite these wide variations, no formal schism has occurred. I do not believe any action on Rome's part would ignite a schism in the West; nothing appears likely on the horizon, and Rome is far too eager to maintain global unity. That does not mean that the Church as a whole is not affected by this lack of solidarity; it most certainly is affected: it affects evangelization, dramatically; it affects morale, especially over time; it affects vocations to some extent (probably); it affects the esteem in which secular entities hold it, etc.

What is more likely is that impatient and frustrated heterodox Catholics simply drift into informal structures that are more free of restrictions, but without a true head. (I don't know of any Bishops right now who are radical enough and dissatisfied enough with the traditional Church to want to lead such a movement in any formal sense.) In some small measure, that has happened in pockets, and mostly by the most radical of all: those women who have found someone to "ordain" them illicitly (not by any Catholic Bishop in good standing, naturally). Some of those ineffectively "ordained" women have set up small communities and even tiny "parishes" in which they preside over liturgies and live a "Catholic" life in the shadows, without support from recognized Catholic clergy.
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  #9  
Old Jun 11, '12, 1:29 am
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epan epan is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokomai View Post
I have been pondering what could happen after the SSPX is reincorporated into the mainstream Church after reading talk from its adherents about the impact they expect to have (an explosion). I also read Hans Kung's suggestion that by reincorporating them, the Pope would provoke a schism on the 'left' (my word). So here's the point of this thread: what would such a Church, splitting in support of so-called 'liberal' views, be like? This is purely speculative, and I am not saying that this is going to happen, or even that it is possible. Just a thought experiment.

My suggestions of what could be possible, or likely.

  • less emphasis on sex and related areas, with the idea of serious sexual sin restricted to extreme selfishness or abuse of others.
  • a greater role for women, but a continued restriction on entry to the full priesthood. Possibly women deacons. Half of the number of Cardinals to be women. The creation of leadership roles such as diocesan administrators to be available for women.
  • married priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes (only one of the last-mentioned at a time)
  • continued emphasis on apostolic succession and consequent enthusiastic but limited ecumenism
  • a much freer liturgy, with only essentials required: "if it is valid, and approved by the community, it is OK". Incorporation of non-Roman rites under this.
  • a rethinking of priestly and religious life towards temporary roles, with easy return to a lay state
  • emphasis on a collective leadership
  • acceptance of some past doctrines (infallibility, for example), but a new interpretation of them as 'past their time'
  • a 'truth and reconciliation' approach to past problems and abuses in the Church
  • less emphasis on aligning civil law with Church teaching on things like abortion, and more on getting the faithful to follow all Church teaching
And no, I still would not revert! But I think a great many others would. What think you, CAFers?
I've dealt with a priest and a bishop from the "liberal catholic church".

The priest was a practicing homosexual, who had been ordained as a Catholic Priest. The bishop used his influence over a dying man to steal his estate from his heirs. The bishop seemed a shady character to me. I don't know if he had been ordained or not. The courts had to intervene to set things right again.

I don't know if this is the "liberal catholic church" that you have in mind. I don't see how this organization could be reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church, based on my limited experience with them.
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  #10  
Old Jun 11, '12, 1:59 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

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I've dealt with a priest and a bishop from the "liberal catholic church".

The priest was a practicing homosexual, who had been ordained as a Catholic Priest. The bishop used his influence over a dying man to steal his estate from his heirs. The bishop seemed a shady character to me. I don't know if he had been ordained or not. The courts had to intervene to set things right again.

I don't know if this is the "liberal catholic church" that you have in mind. I don't see how this organization could be reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church, based on my limited experience with them.
No the Church I am thinking of exists only in my mind. For the sake of the argument let us assume that it does not collapse immediately because of the behaviour of its leaders. I think there might be room in this Church for a practising homosexual - I haven't thought that one through though.
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  #11  
Old Jun 11, '12, 2:05 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth502 View Post
First of all, Hokomai, I'm not sure if you realize how the Roman Church "works." Actual schism is a very dramatic event, one which the mere incorporation of the SSPX as mainstream would likely not preciptate a split. As JReducation pointed out recently, bishops have to get involved in schisms, and the SSPX is not large enough, important enough, or has enough influence to incite the bishops to break from Rome. Most bishops, and even most priests, are neutral (quiet) on the SSPX.

A true doctrinal or juridical crisis would have to occur, such as the Pope suggesting something radically controversial or repressive or regressive, and to the point where Catholic everyday expectations of parish/Church life were altered so much as to be unacceptable & uncomfortable, and which the Bishops in turn would also not support (because of concern for their flock and because of concern for the continuity of a recognizable Church). Our recent and current Popes have been far too sane & stable for that. They are not erratic or arbitrary men.
I see what you mean. But we live in rapidly-changing times. There are huge changes (collapse of communism; economic crisis in the west; changes in the family, rapid secularization; complete societal about-turns on sexual matters; environmental crisis; technological changes; the rise of China etc). How confident are you that the Church structures developed centuries ago will withstand all this without schism?
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  #12  
Old Jun 11, '12, 2:06 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

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Originally Posted by Elizabeth502 View Post

What is more likely is that impatient and frustrated heterodox Catholics simply drift into informal structures that are more free of restrictions, but without a true head. (I don't know of any Bishops right now who are radical enough and dissatisfied enough with the traditional Church to want to lead such a movement in any formal sense.) In some small measure, that has happened in pockets, and mostly by the most radical of all: those women who have found someone to "ordain" them illicitly (not by any Catholic Bishop in good standing, naturally). Some of those ineffectively "ordained" women have set up small communities and even tiny "parishes" in which they preside over liturgies and live a "Catholic" life in the shadows, without support from recognized Catholic clergy.
TThanks for your thoughtful post Elizabethhis is what I thought, more or less, until I read what Hans Kung had to say:

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/201...g-becomes.html

.
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Old Jun 11, '12, 10:09 am
Elizabeth502 Elizabeth502 is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

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How confident are you that the Church structures developed centuries ago will withstand all this without schism?
Very confident. Catholic structures derive their authority and legitimacy from Rome. "Going rogue" (which is what you're suggesting) may be a fantasy, and in some small measure (which I described) may persist. But without the lay faithful joining those rogue efforts in significant numbers, you and I aren't going to see such efforts materialize on a massive enough scale to attract bishops and to amount to a significant threat to ecclesial unity.

When Rome hears about them, it issues definitive warnings, and few lay people consider it worth the risk to be what is called "out of communion with Rome." That is, lay people who value the sacramental life of the church more than "political" positions (issues of doctrine and issues of practice). Most Catholics who remain practicing Catholics place a priority on the sacraments. Bishops and priests out of communion with Rome lose their sacramental faculties, which invalidates their attempt to administer sacraments.
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  #14  
Old Jun 12, '12, 10:34 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

Hokomai,

You're way behind. Such a thing already exists and has for decades. http://www.thelcc.org/

And yet it remains a tiny niche, no explosive growth. The Church is called to be prophetic, to speak the truth that needs to be heard. People don't like that which is why being a prophet tends to get you killed, or at least reviled. But it sure gets you noticed. Going about telling people "I'm OK, you're OK, heaven is here right now, God loves the way we are and nobody needs to change one thing" isn't going to inspire anybody to be eaten by lions. It's just not. They'll always be a niche group.

Deep down, humans recognize our failures and our need for God's mercy and Grace. Something inside us recognizes Him when He speaks. False prophets who speak to our appetites, egos and desires have a short lived and altogether shallower appeal.
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  #15  
Old Jun 12, '12, 10:49 am
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CHRISTINE77 CHRISTINE77 is offline
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Default Re: The new, liberal Roman Catholic Church: a thought experiment.

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I have been pondering what could happen after the SSPX is reincorporated into the mainstream Church after reading talk from its adherents about the impact they expect to have (an explosion). I also read Hans Kung's suggestion that by reincorporating them, the Pope would provoke a schism on the 'left' (my word). So here's the point of this thread: what would such a Church, splitting in support of so-called 'liberal' views, be like? This is purely speculative, and I am not saying that this is going to happen, or even that it is possible. Just a thought experiment.

My suggestions of what could be possible, or likely.

  • less emphasis on sex and related areas, with the idea of serious sexual sin restricted to extreme selfishness or abuse of others.
  • a greater role for women, but a continued restriction on entry to the full priesthood. Possibly women deacons. Half of the number of Cardinals to be women. The creation of leadership roles such as diocesan administrators to be available for women.
  • married priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes (only one of the last-mentioned at a time)
  • continued emphasis on apostolic succession and consequent enthusiastic but limited ecumenism
  • a much freer liturgy, with only essentials required: "if it is valid, and approved by the community, it is OK". Incorporation of non-Roman rites under this.
  • a rethinking of priestly and religious life towards temporary roles, with easy return to a lay state
  • emphasis on a collective leadership
  • acceptance of some past doctrines (infallibility, for example), but a new interpretation of them as 'past their time'
  • a 'truth and reconciliation' approach to past problems and abuses in the Church
  • less emphasis on aligning civil law with Church teaching on things like abortion, and more on getting the faithful to follow all Church teaching
And no, I still would not revert! But I think a great many others would. What think you, CAFers?
Why change it? What is your interest in changing it? Why do you have so many specific suggestions?
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