Vulnerability as strength: Keenan’s key to dismantling clericalism

National Catholic Reporter

December 31, 2019

By Tom Roberts

Jesuit Fr. James Keenan really wants to turn the whole deal on its head. The highly regarded theologian, taking in the endless discussion of the priest sex abuse crisis, had one of those moments of recognition — of seeing the thing right in front of us that everyone else has been looking past in search of answers.

And here’s what I perceive to be the bottom line, the ultimate question he raises out of that awareness: “Is the God we worship vulnerable?”

If that is the case, and he believes so, then he asks: “Why couldn’t we develop an ecclesiology based on the risk-taking vulnerability of God?”

If that were to happen, we’d have a church that would look and act quite differently from the one we know today. Imagine the seminary recruitment brochure that highlighted vulnerability as a quality the institution treasured and hoped to develop in the men who applied.

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