June 27, 2019
By Mary Pezzulo
I have just finished reading a thought-provoking book by my friend Adam A. J. DeVille.
The book is entitled Everything Hidden Shall Be Revealed: Ridding the Church of Abuses of Sex and Power. It provides some intriguing ideas on how to reform and heal the Church from the horrendous culture of abuse that we’ve seen revealed in the news again and again for a year now. Deville is an Eastern Catholic pointing out ways in which the Latin church could benefit from changing her canons to be run and disciplined more like the East, or more like the Latin Church was at some point in her past. The changes he suggests are in the bureaucracy of our church, not in her teaching. And while they are relatively drastic changes, DeVille gives very solid theological reasoning for all of them.
One of DeVille’s major premises is that the laity are not just a lesser breed of Catholic, destined only to blindly follow clerics here and there. He refers to the laity as “laics” and stresses that they themselves are ordained to a sort of priesthood– not the same as the priesthood of the clergy, but not a lesser Catholic either, only a different member of the Body of Christ. And this is something I agree with one hundred per cent. If we are ever to reform the Church and recover from the sex abuse crisis, we must end the idolatry of clericalism and the arrogant contempt that priests in general have shown for the laics.
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