Why I remain Catholic…

/ 18 August 2012

Persecution is never something to be sought. It is never something to be enjoyed. It is never something to be thankful for. But it can, on occasion, prompt responses that are gifts in themselves. Here is Sandra Schneiders’ response upon receiving an award at the recent meeting of the LCWR. Read the whole thing! But here is an excerpt that I found particularly compelling this morning:

The Church is a unique kind of community, the union of those baptized into Christ, formed by his Word which is not bound (see 2 Tim. 2:8-9) -- never fully grasped nor controlled by anyone -- gathered around the table where we share Christ’s Body in order to become his Body for the world. It is a community in which there is no slave or master, no national or ethnic superiorities, no gender domination, no inequality that is theologically or spiritually significant except holiness, and in which even distinctions of role and function are not titles to power but differences which must serve the unity of the whole. It is a community in which all vie for the lowest place, wash one another’s feet, lift rather than impose burdens, and dwell among their sisters and brothers as those who serve.

From this stance Schneiders goes on to ask what the characteristics of leadership for the Church are, listing three of them: leaders emerge from the community, they are anticipatory leaders (that is, "it is an active fostering of discernment about what is coming toward us from the future and how we can be prepared, like good stewards drawing on treasures both old and new (see Mt. 13:52), to meet those new challenges with the riches of the Gospel tradition but also with the best contemporary resources and communal reflection"), and such leaders act not only act efficaciously but live with integrity.

It is very difficult these days to remain a part of the Roman Catholic Church, but the courage, integrity and wisdom of women religious such as Sandra Schneiders demand that I do so.