If the Catholic church was all black, or bad, I would have still asked to be baptised in it. Why? Just for one simple reason: because of the documents of Vatican II. There is no other church or organisation who could boast of such documents which were truly avantgarde. It was truly a big step forward for the Catholic Church and all the world. Many non-catholics were invited to that meeting which took place between 1962-1965. So many theologians, who heard the cry of the people, were summoned and wrote their reflections…and amazingly their ideas were adopted into the official documents. Many people returned to church. Even non-Catholic ones were touched by such an experience. It gave hope to many. Some people called it the Spring of the Catholic Church.

Now after 50 years, the church is in disarray. Some authors have described it as the worst period of time in the history of the church! What happened in such a  short period of time when compared to the 2 centuries of history within the church? It’s not only because of the sexual abuse of the clergy on small innocent children but rather the alienation of the clergy from the true aspirations, challenges of the common people.

For people who have studied theology, they have noticed this many years ago. But surprisingly, the call for change was put aside. Old ways and systems have replaced what was supposed to be the new theology. Pope Paul VI started closing the door again and taking the wrong decisions. The most famous one was about the contraceptive pill where he went against the opinion of a commission which he himself had set up. People were hurt because the non married Pope had just put aside the opinion of the people and imposed his own opinion and put it as divine will. After so many years, some people are still baffled what made the Pope act like a dictator.

Then the charismatic Polish Pope made people love the chair of Peter. Yet secretly he was actually going against the Second Vatican Council. He reversed most of the theological points discussed in Vatican II. He appointed bishops which were truly conservatives. Till this day most of the appointed bishops are towing the official line. It’s very rare that a bishop would talk in a different way. The few who dared to do so were immediately silenced and put aside.  Surprisingly the bishops who have been held accountable for the sexual abuse of innocent children are still in the church!!

The only positive thing which we can see in the last years of the Catholic Church is the ordination of Anglican priests who are being accepted as married priests in the Catholic Church.  This is already training people to accept married priests. Hopefully some of them would reach the higher steps of the ladder and consequently they could change the image of the church by changing the way we study, live and pray theology. A married priest would look at things totally different than a man who lives protected in a monastery where his daily needs are usually looked after.

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