Friday, 8 March 2013

Church Authority

It has been a tumultuous start to the year for the Catholic Church. Allegations of sexual abuse have been simmering beneath the surface for decades but things seem to be finally reaching boiling point with Cardinal Keith O'Brien's resignation. Pope Benedict resigned shortly after, citing ill health. The first pope to resign for nearly 600 years.

A conversation on the Jesus Radicals website has been taking place on whether Dorothy Day, a radical pacifist and anarchist, should be canonized (see here and here). This discussion is interesting but I find an even better one to be why Day remained a faithful Catholic given the Church's fundamentalism, abuse and hypocrisy. Here is a tv interview with Matthew Fox, a defrocked Catholic priest, talking about Church abuse and their suppression of Liberation Theology in South America.

Hierarchical Protestant churches don't fare much better as they too have been corrupted by ambition and pride. They can be just as authoritarian and are framed by the monarchy and/or state; Church of England, Church of Scotland, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)… Really?

All this has made me question…

Can one be a Christian anarchist and remain part of an authoritarian church (Catholic or Protestant)?