New Essay by Jerry Slevin: “Thanksgiving, Catholic Hope and Pope Francis”


William D. Lindsey

For your weekend reading on what’s a long weekend for many American workers, I’d like to recommend to you Jerry Slevin’s new essay at his Christian Catholicism site entitled “Thanksgiving, Catholic Hope and Pope Francis.” As with everything Jerry writes, this posting is actually an essay, and it bears very careful reading. In offering you some excerpts and framing remarks about the essay, I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m summarizing it.

I can’t do so, in a few words. My hope is that the excerpts and framing remarks will tempt you to read the essay in its entirety.

Jerry frames his argument by noting that, a year ago at the time of the American Thanksgiving holiday, Catholics around the world appeared to have more hope than many Catholics now have that the new pope could effect significant reform of the Catholic church. The obstacle of which many of us are increasingly aware: the “entrenched and self-interested” managers of the church in Rome, who want Catholics to imagine that the way the church is presently governed is part of its “unchanging and unchangeable” essence.

And so Jerry sees the church plunging into deeper and deeper crisis, a crisis of which the laity are fully aware, but which eludes the self-interested managerial elite governing the church, and who are seeking to thwart any reforms Pope Francis wishes to initiate. As in several of his previous essays about the new pope and his potential to reform the church, Jerry argues that the crisis now facing the church is the most serious since the Reformation:

The Catholic Church is in the throes of its worst crisis since the Reformation. Vatican leaders in the 16th Century, aided by powerful outside military protectors, had mainly evaded making overdue structural changes, and their successors also managed with outside protection to avoid such changes mostly during the four centuries since.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.