“If the bishops in this country are incapable of addressing women’s ordination—perhaps partly because of loyalty, partly because the church never makes mistakes, partly because of fear, and partly because they simply are not informed enough to speak—and if the theologians in this country who are informed enough to speak are also incapable of addressing women’s ordination—perhaps partly because they have been told by the bishops to be quiet, partly because of fear, and partly because of the prospect of jeopardizing their academic careers—then who is able to speak?”
“All of this induced silence raises the question of the role of the bishops and the theologians in the church. If they are our teachers, how can they have so little concern for intelligent, informed, and engaged pedagogy?”
“What is the impact of squelched, truncated, and timid thinking—over two decades of a forced and enervating silence—not just on the ordination of women but also on any open, honest, and fruitful discussion of the ministerial needs of the church?”
“What happens to the church when it is separated from a living theology?”
“Do we realize the price we are paying for an un-called-for and unhealthy failure to speak?”
“Do we realize what happens to our theology when it is separated from the living church?”
“At this point, do our bishops and theologians—so similar in so many ways—only serve as a pale reminder of the events, the promise, the fortitude, and the aliveness of yesteryear?”
“Are we still recovering from the Americanist heresy?”
“Is Vatican II a reality for us or just another event to be chronicled? Have we devolved—in pacifying yet paralyzing pusillanimity—to the point where the only good church is a silenced church, a gathering of the voiceless and leaderless, a Vatican-fettered church we cheerfully accept not only as patently sexist and rigidly controlling but also as dialogically dead?”
Is skewed patriarchal thinking the best we can bring?
Are historical explanations the same as theological explanations?
Is a folk theory of gender the essence of revelation?
Was Jesus wonderfully patriarchal?
Is the past prologue or is it meant to be an endless present of male superiority and privilege?”
Visit ACP website t read article and letters here
Called to become an Adult Church (YouTube video: John J Shea Jan 2016)