My good friend and brother bishop, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, recently wrote an outstanding column in his diocesan newspaper, the Rhode Island Catholic. I thought you might be interested in reading it.
Here’s an excerpt:
Now, I don’t think I’m at all naïve about these things. I stay in close contact with the news – international, national, local and ecclesial; I interact regularly with the secular media; I meet frequently with consultative groups in the Diocese who share freely their experiences and expertise; At the office I hear everyday from all sorts of folks who love me or hate me, folks with good and bad news; In the fall I hosted a series of listening sessions with laity from around the Diocese; and I visit with people in our parishes all the time for liturgical and pastoral events. In other words, I think I know what’s going on.
Does the Church have huge challenges and problems? Of course! Have the leaders of the Church, including priests and bishops, too frequently failed to keep their commitments and serve the people well? You bet! And should the Church seek more effective ways of communicating, educating and responding to contemporary issues and the ever-changing needs of our time? Absolutely!
But, is the sky falling and the Catholic Church about to fold? I don’t think so. The vision of the Church I see is far different than that of the letter-writers and authors cited above.
You can read the whole column here.