Diagnosis of today’s church


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Diagnosis of today’s church

  1. 1. “Mother Church is sick”“hierarchology”Disquieted when confronted with the outside world on equal terms.
  2. 2. “church must rely on those who live in the world and are versed in different institutions and specialties…” Gaudiem et Spes, 44
  3. 3. DIAGNOSIS OF A CHURCH HISTORIAN Reformation- reform the Church in head and members. Return to the core of the Christian faith. We are saved by God’s gratuitous initiative in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
  4. 4.  Trent and Counter-Reformation “hierarchical society.ory Perfect summary of the history of the Catholic Church from Trent (1545-1563) to the Vatican II Council (1962- 1965). Luther, monarchs of the 17th century, Enlightenment, French Revolution, Marx, Modernism, Socialism. Result- fortress. Vatican I Supernatural, unchangeable, perfect institution, guided by a monarch, surrounded by an elite corps of generals , with a unified doctrine, unified worship, and unified laws.
  5. 5.  Superior institution- necessary for the salvation of souls. Vatican II- renewal: polarization in the church Panic-stricken church officials who wanted to return to the more secure pre-Vatican II fortress.
  6. 6. DIAGNOSIS OF A SOCIOLOGIST Many church leaders are allies of rich politicians- Bsp. De dios Church privileges (tax exemptions) etc. – reciprocated through its silence or actual support of dubious state programs. “Respect the Church-State separation. Bishops are in- charge of souls and thus should stay out of politics.”
  7. 7.  In Latin America, we have a capitalist society controlled by a small elite which tries to consolidate its power by creating strong ties with the local church leadership, a leadership which is partly in control of the realm of ideology. Bishops and clergy , pampered by the rich, would tend to create the same pattern of domination within the Church. The clergy control the means of production within the institution. They produce the sacraments and rituals which are ‘consumed’ by the laity  Church: Charism & Power- Leonardo Boff
  8. 8.  Hegemony of the rich; Ecclesiastical hegemony-develops own ideology, develops its own theology to support its power structure. Ideological manipulation of theology-presentation of the four marks of the church in pre-Vatican II apologetics.
  9. 9.  Oneness- uniformity in liturgies, doctrine, laws, and moral codes, and the following of one leader, the pope. Holiness- found in obedience. Holy-obedient religious Apostolicity- owned by the hierarchy. (popes and bishops are the successors of the apostles, hence they alone are apostolic. Catholicity- seen in terms of number. Creed- “Church is apostolic”
  10. 10. BOFF Re-interpretation from the point of view of the whole people of God- concern for the poor and the oppressed. Oneness- common option and mission to reach out to the poor; Holiness- militant struggle to bring about justice. Apostolicity- resides in the whole people of God. Catholicity-search to bring about a new world in w/c the universal values of justice and peace will reign.
  11. 11.  “The Church has always compromised to be at the side of the winner.” “The Church is not God’s kingdom; it tries to be a sign of the kingdom. Christianity- reduced to one unique and exclusive expression of dogma’ laws, liturgy and power structures
  12. 12. DIAGNOSIS OF A SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST Matthew Fox- behavior patterns of church leaders: dysfunctional family. Addict-try to hide the fact from anyone outside their limited family circle. No outside professional help is sought (suffer in silence). Pattern- dysfunctional organization. Fortress Church of the Post-Enlightenment era and the post Vatican II recreate such fortress-example of dysfunctional organization.
  13. 13. CHARACTERISTICS Obsession with power and sex; Grandiosity; Desire to control everything; Loss of memory; Failure to focus on one mission; Refusal to engage in self-criticism;
  14. 14. DIAGNOSIS OF A FEMINIST AUTHOR JCT- impregnated with a male bias w/c define women as secondary and inferior members of the human species. “cursed be the man who teaches his daughter Torah.” Early Christian tradition which did not permit a woman “to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” (1 Tim. 2:12) Prevented women w/in the church to become shapers of religious culture.
  15. 15.  Not the whole of the Christian story: Men and women are equal in the image of God and restored to that equality through baptism in Christ (Gal. 3:28) Foreign prophecy- to set lose the demands for women’s equality. Deaf: Insensitivity of the leadership of the Church for issues:
  16. 16.  Clerical celibacy; Hierarchical control over women religious; Divorce; reproductive rights; Homosexuality; Ordination of women.
  17. 17. MARKS OF THE CHURCH Defining characteristics of the church, stated in the creeds of christendom. Four adjectives- notes/marks
  18. 18. ONEDisunited at the institutional level.Apparent tension: theoretical belief in ‘one church’ and the observable reality of a plurality of churches.
  19. 19. IMPERIALIST APPROACH One empirical, observable church- deserves to be known and treated as the true church. All others are pretenders to the title Vatican I Vatican II- recognized others Christian churches as “separated” Christian brothers and sisters.
  20. 20. PLATONIC APPROACH Fundamental distinction between the empirical church and the ideal church. Better interpreted along escathological lines.
  21. 21. ESCHATOLOGICAL APPROACH Present disunity in the church will be abolished in the last day. Present situation is temporary and will be resolved at the time of eschatological fulfillment.
  22. 22. BIOLOGICAL APPROACH Historical evolution of the church is likened to the development of the branches of a tree. Different empirical churches seen as possessing an organic unity, despite their institutional differences.
  23. 23.  Ubi Christus, ibi ecclesia Unity of the Church: Christ rather than historical or cultural factor. NT: diversity of local churches is not regarded as compromising the unity of the church. Possesses unity throughout its common calling from God which expresses itself in different communities in different cultures and situations.
  24. 24.  “Unity” must not be understood sociologically or organizationally, ‘THEOLOGICALLY’ Unity of the church is grounded in the saving work of God in Christ
  25. 25.  “The unity of the church presupposes a multiplicity of churches; the various churches do not need to deny their origins or their specific situations; their language, their history, their customs and traditions, their way of life and thought, their personal structure will differ fundamentally, and no one has the right to take this from them. The same thing is not suitable for everyone, at every time, and in every place.  The Church- Hans Küng
  26. 26.  Essentials common to the whole church of God; Distinctive features lie in its application of the Gospel to a specific historical situation. Fundamental unity of the Christian church, while noting the need for adaptation to local circumstances.
  27. 27. HOLY ‘morality’, ‘purity’, ‘sanctity’ Bear little relation to the behavior of fallen human beings. Kadad- “being cut off”; “being separated” Strong overtones of dedication People are “holy” in that they are dedicated to God. Church- separated from the world, in order to bear witness to the grace and salvation of God. Theological not moral
  28. 28. CATHOLICUniversal & all-embracing church- underlies and undergirds individual local churches.Local church was the representative of the universal church.
  29. 29.  A church which is orthodox in its theology Strongly prescriptive and polemical tone. “Catholicism” is now contrasted with “schism” and “heresy” Individuals place themselves outside the boundaries of a doctrinally orthodox church.
  30. 30.  A church which extends throughout the world. 1st phase of the Christian church- implausible (localized character) Strongly missionary character led to the expansion of the church throughout the Mediterranean.
  31. 31. Senses of katholikos The church is thus called “catholic” because it is spread throughout the entire inhabited world (oikumenei), from one end to the other, and because it teaches in its totality (katholikos) and without leaving anything out every doctrine which people need to know relating to things visible and invisible, whether in heaven and earth. It is also called “catholic” because it brings to obedience every sort of person-whether rulers or their subjects, the educated and the unlearned. It also makes available a universal (katholikos) remedy and cure to every kind of sin  Cyril of Jerusalem
  32. 32.  “The church is catholic, universal, first with respect to place, because it is throughout the entire world (per totum mundum), against the Donatist. This Church, moreover, has three parts. One is on earth, another is in heaven, and the third is in purgatory. Secondly,, the cburch is universal with respect to the condition of people, because no one is rejected, whether master or slave, male or female. Thirdly, it is universal with respect to time. For some have said that the church should last until a certain time, but this is false, because this church began from the time of Abel and will last to the end of the world.”  Thomas of Aquinas
  33. 33.  Catholic- retained the central and universally recognized elements of Christian doctrine. Maintained continuity with the apostolic church at the level of teaching by eliminating non-biblical practices.
  34. 34. APOSTOLIC Originating from the Apostles; having a direct link with the apostles. Some one who was commissioned by Christ, and charged with the task of preaching the good news of the kingdom Someone who was a witness of the risen Christ, or to whom Christ revealed himself as risen.
  35. 35. Apostolicity Planted in the world by the Apostles; Adhering to the teachings of the Apostles; (expressed in Creeds) (Apostolic writings); Carrying on the succession of the Apostolic ministry