The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
For a better world, we destroy discrimination, sexism and racism. Revolutions in thought see governments allowing same-sex marriages, yet a structure that is meant to reflect peace, love and understanding continues to harbour discrimination. This structure is the Roman Catholic Church.
Source: Wikimedia www.wikimedia.org
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines “church” as “The body of all Christians, or a specific Christian group.” It is the people’s duty to determine who they want leading their religion and the values they wish to be taught. Is the Vatican a good model for Catholics’ belief?
The Vatican has not been modernized since 1962, when Pope John XXIII established Vatican II. Through Vatican II, apologies and a request for forgiveness were extended to Protestants, Jews and the Eastern Orthodoxy. Changes to the Mass also occurred, whereby priests now face the congregation, they celebrate Mass instead of say it and they use the local language, not liturgical Latin.
However, much of the world has changed since 1962 in drastic ways, but the Roman Catholic Church has not yet reconciled itself to the fact.
Female ordination made its way back into the spotlight this summer when it was highlighted as being on the same level of criminality as pedophilia (graviora delicta, or grave crime). Romancatholicblog.typepad.com says there are different levels of graviora delicta, yet then goes on to say this:
“On the ‘attempted ordination of a woman,’ the norms essentially restated a 2008 decree from the doctrinal congregation that said a woman who attempts to be ordained a Catholic priest and the person attempting to ordain her are automatically excommunicated.”
What about the shunning of same-sex relationships or the willful concealment of child abuse cases within the church? These are all signs that the institution is not meeting the needs of the people, nor is the Vatican adequately addressing the issues. A lack of concrete leadership is a liability to any community.
To make a difference, the entire community must be heard.
Raising the Catholic voice through lectures, conferences and programs will make a difference.
Education and awareness are the first steps toward changing the system. However, scattered voices will not be deemed an indicator of the whole Catholic faith and may not get a clear message to those who run the system.
The body of Catholicism is not the Vatican.
It is time for believers, the true body of the church, to say what they believe, rather than follow outdated dogma.