A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Bishops caught in an Institutional Straitjacket?


Mary McAleese, a Catholic theologian and former President of Ireland, bluntly put it this way: “In my view this understanding of magisterial control over Church members is no longer sustainable. For generations it has been based on unchallenged presumptions which have shaped and protected a dominant church culture of celibate male hierarchicalism and clericalism, which silenced and scorned the voices of the faithful especially the laity, especially women and especially those who dissent both lay and clerical.” In her talk to the Root and Branch Conference last year in Bristol England, McAleese opined that “the Church will continue to haemorrhage members and experience a lessening of both external and internal impact unless it shifts from a culture of imposed obligation to a culture of invitation, from a catechesis of imposed obligation to a catechesis of open invitation.”

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