Can Church Divisions Be Healed?
We worry – with good reason – about the deep divisions in public life today, because they more and more resemble a kind of Cold Civil War. When people who have to live alongside one another find that they cannot – and begin publicly “canceling” one another – the prospects aren’t good for the minimal peace and order necessary to human society.
And now we find that, besides public disorder – and intimately related to it – divisions are growing within the Church, a much more serious problem because the Church’s reason for being is to preach the Good News to the whole world, a fundamental and eternal unity beyond all differences under God.
When the body entrusted with that divine mission is itself riven by division, it’s bad enough. But the situation is doubly worrying because many steps that Church authorities have been taking – or not taking – to deal with it seem to be making matters worse.
Worries have risen, for instance, about the “decentralization” that Pope Francis has – as is his habit – loosely spoken about. We’re even hearing of giving individual bishops “true doctrinal authority.”