14 October 2021, The Tablet

A kairos moment for the Church


The slogan “If it isn’t hurting it isn’t working” would be a good one to adopt for the process of church renewal launched by Pope Francis last week. It is time the Catholic Church faced some uncomfortable truths about itself, and rid itself of some familiar illusions. The honest global conversation which the Pope has called for in the name of “synodality” is likely to be a painful one; indeed, that could be the test of its success.

The questions for this conversation to address could be posed in a number of ways, starting with “What went wrong?” The Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965, heralded a new era, which, it was hoped, would by now be bearing much fruit. A renewed Catholic Church would be a faithful symbol of the Gospel in everything it said and did. Instead, the good name of the Catholic Church has been undermined; and in country after country, from Europe to the Americas, the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy – and the cynical attempts of their superiors to protect abusers from prosecution – has brought shame upon it. Tremendous good has been done in the name of the Gospel, but it has been drowned out by this vast ocean of wickedness – with tens of thousands of young lives permanently damaged.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login