Discernment
AFFIRMING AN INCLUSIVE PRIESTHOOD, ROOTED IN A REFORMED AND RENEWED CHURCH

Discernment

To What Is the Holy Spirit Calling Us Now?
Looking forward to the next three or four years to determine what CORPUS will look like and what will we be doing, we are presenting to our memberhsip the five following propositions.  Please study each one and then, looking ahead through 2020, indicate your first and second choice.  (You can add one or more if you like.)

1. LET'S LET CORPUS DIE.
PRO: Members are graying, balding, wrinkling, and dying. No young ones are joining us. Plan an exit strategy! Let's turn out the lights, lock the door, and throw away the key.
CON: The old gray mare ain't what she used to be but she's still breathing, so let's see if we can do something so she survives.

2. LET'S GO FOR MORE MEMBERS AND MORE DONORS TO SEE IF WE CAN RESUSCITATE HER.
PRO: She has a long history of being a leader and has done so much for so many people over the years. She deserves to live a little longer.
CON: Our numbers are dwindling, there aren't that many priests leaving anymore and those that are, have no interest in us. Maybe it's time to let her fade away.

3. LET'S JOIN WITH OTHER RENEWAL ORGANIZATIONS SO THAT, JOINED TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A REALLY LOUD NOISE FOR REFORM.
PRO: We can increase our numbers and thus have a loud, clear, powerful voice to urge for optional celibacy and the ordination of women.
CON: A significant number of "renewal organizations" are experiencing the same thing we are: dwindling numbers, lack of interest, lessening income. Our joining with them will just be prolonging the agony.

4. LET'S FOLLOW BRAZIL'S EXAMPLE AND URGE OUR AMERICAN BISHOPS TO PETITION THE POPE FOR PERMISSION TO ORDAIN MARRIED MEN THROUGHOUT THE CHURCH.
PRO: The Latin Rite bishops of Brazil are gathering to plan for the ordination of married men in the Western Church and the Pope is encouraging them to ask him to do that. Now is the time to strike! We can urge our American bishops to join with them in a like petition.
CON: When we advocate for a married priesthood in the entire Roman Catholic Church communion, we are not advocating for the renewal of the priesthood, but for the continuation of the same old clericalism with a new coat of paint on its face. The "fix" can't just spread the misery around in a new way!

5. LET'S TRY SOMETHING THAT IS OLD BUT NEW.
PRO: The starting point is recognizing that the Church needs to change its failed strategy. "Among U.S. Catholics who have stopped participating and remain unaffiliated, nearly 80 percent did so before the age of 24" (N.C.R., Mar. 2, 2017). This has to do less with a lack of belief than the fact that people want a church they can believe in. Younger people embrace community-building and outreach, they value questioning constrictive Christian doctrine. Doing "the same ole, same ole" is not renewal. Mindlessly repeating past actions while expecting different results without changing anything is one definition of "crazy." Do we have to prove we don't know what time it is? Or do we allow ourselves to feel expansive, constructive, hopeful, even helpful? Remember the beginnings of Christianity. Consider CORPUS members fostering small groups to meet in "block churches," homes, house churches, convents. Think small base communities (Boff, O'Murchu). In these informal and friendly groups experimentation and exploration can be the normal thing. Justice and mercy in our Church will really begin to be served when those who are not offended and victimized are as outraged as those who are!
CON: We'd have to change our ideas as to how to be "church." We'd have to look at the Eucharist as a sacred meal to which all are invited instead of a sacrificial offering for the initiated few. That's hard to do. Besides, you know the old way is the way we've always done it. We are getting too old to change our ways and we're getting tired. Are we "up" to such a monumental task? And keep in mind what Lord Acton wisely wrote: "Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance."

Please make your choices

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