A Blast from the Past
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Friday, Nov. 22, 1968
Catholic Freedom v. Authority

COVER STORY JULY 29, 1968, may prove to be a major landmark in the long history of the Roman Catholic Church—as significant, perhaps, as the moment when Martin Luther decided to post his theses on indulgences at Wittenberg Castle Church. On that day last summer, Pope Paul VI promulgated his seventh encyclical, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), which condemned all methods of contraception as against God's natural law. Since it reflected the views of a distinct minority of Catholic theologians and moralists, the encyclical created an unprecedented storm of protest and dissent within the church. Millions of laymen, priests and even bishops made it clear that they simply could not accept, without qualification, the teaching of Humanae Vitae. At the same time, many contended that their dissent in no way affected their standing as Catholics. By so doing, they raised much larger and more troubling questions about the rights of freedom v. authority in Catholicism—and the limitations on the Pope's right to speak as teacher for the church.

It would be too much to hope—or fear —that the church is on the verge of a second Reformation. There is little question, however, that it is suffering from an internal rebellion of critical proportions. Priest-Sociologist Andrew Greeley of Chicago, in a recent column for U.S. diocesan newspapers, quoted a bishop as saying that there are two Catholicisms—an "official church" belonging to the Pope and hierarchy, and an undefined "free church," which is attracting a growing number of laymen and priests. Similarly, Paulist Father

Thomas Stransky, an official of Rome's Secretariat for Christian Unity, suggests that the church is suffering from a "silent schism" of rebels who are remaining Catholic in name but are "hanging loose" from the institutional church.

Corrosive Criticism. No man is more aware of this dissension than Pope Paul VI, who issues new warnings almost daily against imprudence, rebellion, disobedience and the dangers of heresy. Last week he cautioned Catholics against tampering with "indispensable structures of the church" and partaking in intercommunion services with Protestants. "A spirit of corrosive criticism has become fashionable in certain sectors of Catholic life," he told an audience at Castel Gandolfo last September in a typical peroration. "Some want to go beyond what the solemn assemblies of the church have authorized, envisaging not only reforms but upheavals, which they think they themselves can authorize and which they consider all the more clever the less they are faithful to tradition. Where is the consistency and dignity which belong to true Christians? Where is love for the church?"

Paul is not the only Catholic bishop to be worried by this restlessness and turmoil. A dramatic illustration of the hierarchy's concern—and of some of the reasons for it—took place last week in Washington. At their regular semiannual conference, the 235 Catholic bishops of the U.S. found themselves the target of a bizarre series of demonstrations by dissident priests and laymen. On the day before the bishops met, 3,500 laymen rallied at the Mayflower hotel in support of 41 local priests who had been disciplined by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle for criticizing Humanae Vitae. The keynote speaker was one of the nation's best-known Catholic laymen, Senator Eugene McCarthy, a onetime novice in a Benedictine monastery.

Lobby Sit-in. Later, 130 priests burst into the lobby of the Washington Hilton hotel, where the bishops met, to stage a sit-in in support of the censured clerics. On another night, 120 laymen demonstrated in the Hilton lobby for two hours. They sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and Impossible Dream, prayed for the disciplined priests to be granted due process and for "the proper use of authority in the church."

Beset by their own internal divisions, the bishops labored in marathon sessions lasting as late as 4 a.m., trying to compose a pastoral letter on birth control that might ease the storm of dissent against Humanae Vitae among U.S. Catholics while not contradicting the Pope. They finally issued a statement which, while urging faithfulness to the Pope's teaching, made clear that U.S. Catholics who practice contraception will not be barred from the sacraments. "No one following the teaching of the church can deny the objective evil of contraception itself," the bishops said. "With pastoral solicitude we urge those who have resorted to artificial contraception never to lose heart but to continue to take full advantage of the strength which comes from the sacrament of penance and the grace, healing, and peace in the Eucharist." The American statement was similar to the stand taken by other hierarchies. It did not, however, go nearly so far as the declaration last week by the bishops of France who emphasized more strongly that couples who conscientiously feel the need to practice birth control should do so; they choose the "lesser evil" in disobeying the Pope's decrees.

Unquestionably, Pope Paul was thoroughly unprepared for the reaction to his encyclical. Perhaps the most dramatic repudiation of its teaching in the U.S. was a statement, prepared by the Rev. Charles E. Curran and other theologians from the Catholic University of America, insisting that couples had the right to practice contraception if their consciences dictated; so far, more than 600 priests, theologians and laymen have subscribed to the declaration. In West Germany, 5,000 laymen at the church's annual Katholikentag (Catholic Day) gave their voice vote to a resolution warning the Pope that they simply could not accept the encyclical's teachings. Swiss Theologian Hans Küng, among many individual thinkers voicing their protests, declared that "the encyclical is not an infallible teaching. I fear it creates a second Galileo case."

"Birth control," says one American scholar in Rome, "is the Pope's Viet Nam." But he has other battles to fight as well. Today there is hardly a dogma of the church that has not been either denied or redefined beyond recognition by some theologians. Any number of Biblical scholars concede, at least privately, that the virginity of Mary is a symbolic rather than a biological truth. Theologians prefer to emphasize the humanity of Jesus rather than his divinity, veiling the fact that some of them cannot subscribe to the traditional formulations of Christ as God's incarnate Son. The sacraments are seen not as quasi-magical dispensing machines for divine grace but as signs of spiritual commitment created by the religious community rather than God.

Love over Negatives. Almost all the stern "thou shall nots" of Catholic morality are being similarly reinterpreted via a person-centered ethic based on the imperatives of love rather than on categorical negatives. Recently, Msgr. Stephen J. Kelleher of New York's archdiocesan rota openly proposed that the church allow divorce and remarriage in certain "intolerable marriages." (Kelleher was promptly transferred to a suburban parish.) Jesuit Lawyer Robert Drinan has proposed that abortion should be a matter for private decision. Some Catholic college chaplains will concede that where a boy-girl relationship is truly loving, premarital sex no longer need be considered a sin.


Catholic dissent, however, is not basically a question of objecting to specific strictures. Far more often it involves unhappiness with an unwieldy, outdated organization that demands obedience to dogmas that no longer make sense or to rules that restrict Christian liberty. Moreover, obedience is compelled frequently not by scriptural testimony but by threats of punishment in hell—an eschatological scare increasingly rejected by Catholic theologians. Despite their commitment by solemn vow to this ecclesiastical machinery, priests have been among the most vociferous rebels. This year alone, at least 463 Catholic clerics in the U.S. have left the priesthood, many of them to marry. Rome's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has on file more than 3,000 requests for laicization, or approval of a priest's return to lay life. (Church officials customarily sit on these applications for months without taking action; many priests have discovered that when they marry illegally, their petitions are more quickly acted upon.)

Traditionally, docility has been considered the supreme virtue of the Catholic laity; today, laymen are less and less docile. Cardinal O'Boyle's stern treatment of his dissident priests has moved thousands of laymen to anger. Eugene McCarthy and Mrs. Philip Hart, wife of the Michigan Senator, are among several prominent Catholics in the capital who have lent their support to a new church center where several of the censured priests live. The five resident priests have set up a kind of campaign headquarters for local Catholic protesters in a three-story row house. In San Antonio, 4,700 laymen have signed a petition in support of the 68 priests who had publicly requested the Pope to retire Archbishop Robert E. Lucey.

Liberated Cathedral. Catholic rebellion also involves a new critical attitude toward secular society that frequently puts bishops and their flocks at odds—despite the generally progressive attitude of the church toward social problems in recent years. In Santiago, Chile, 214 priests, nuns and laymen "liberated" the National Cathedral for 15 hours in a demonstration against the Pope's visit to Bogotá, which they said would only reaffirm "the alliance of the church with military and economic power." Milwaukee's Father James E. Groppi, a civil-righteous advocate of Black Power, is a symbol of courage to many U.S. Catholics. So is the pacifist Jesuit poet Daniel Berrigan, who, with his brother Philip and seven others, was sentenced to a federal prison term two weeks ago for burning draft files at a Selective Service office in Maryland. Says Berrigan of many of today's Christians: "They pay lip service to Christ and military service to the powers of death." Quite a few Catholics would agree with Philosopher Michael Novak that "the quest for human values in our society has moved outside the churches" and that the heroes of the present are secular saints.

A decade ago, a priest or layman who found himself at odds with an accepted teaching of the church or an order from the hierarchy would have been forced by conscience to separate formally from the church. In his book, A Question of Conscience, British Theologian Charles Davis argues that Catholicism is a seamless whole and that those who cannot accept the decisions of authority should leave, as Davis did two years ago. Yet the most striking fact of the contemporary Catholic rebellion is that the vast majority of dissenters—except for priests whose marriages entail automatic excommunication—feel free to create and define their own faith and still consider themselves within the church. "Fewer are leaving than ever before," says Bishop Hugh Donohoe of Stockton, Calif. "Their attitude is 'We're not going to be thrown out of the church. We are going to fashion it to our own liking.' "

Historic Community. Many Catholic liberals regard Davis' all-or-nothing approach as curiously old-fashioned and unsophisticated. To be a Catholic, they argue, does not mean formally subscribing to a consistent body of dogma but belonging to a historic community, the self-proclaimed people of God. Liberals further argue that a true spirit of Christian freedom in this community should and even must allow for a diversity of opinion on spiritual issues. Says Philosopher Leslie Dewart (The Future of Belief): "I understand membership in the church not to depend at all on agreement with the Pope, or with any particular authority." Adds Philosopher-Journalist Daniel Callahan: "Even if a bishop should judge me heretical,* I don't grant him the right to judge what is heretical and what is not. I consider myself a Catholic, first of all, because I'm not anything else. This is the tradition out of which I work. This is the tradition in which I was born. If I'm going to remake any tradition, it might as well be my own."

Millions of Catholics simply cannot, and will not, accept Callahan's attitude toward tradition. There is a powerful spirit of conservatism in the church, and it is embodied in urbane archbishops and middle-class managers as well as devout but uneducated peasants. The dissenters are strongest in the U.S. and Western Europe, and except perhaps in The Netherlands, they constitute a minority of the faithful. Father Greeley estimates that no more than 1,000,000 of the 35 million churchgoing U.S. Catholics could be considered rebels. The pastoral problem for the bishops, however, is that the dissenters influence a great many concerned, educated laymen who take their faith seriously as a commitment rather than as a social club held together by ritual, dogma and Friday-night bingo. Their numbers are likely to grow. "I don't know a well-educated young lay person who has religious concerns who's not a dissenter," says Greeley. Among Catholic college students, alienation from the church as an institution is almost a badge of maturity.

Journalist John Cogley, a staff member of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, argues that the present crisis in Catholicism stems from a disparity between theology and structure. "We have the structures which fit a theology that is no longer accepted," he says, "but we don't have the structures to fit the emerging theology." The new understanding of the church as an organic spiritual community implies a spirit of democracy; of shared authority. Yet it is the firm view of Pope Paul—backed overwhelmingly by the bishops—that the church was founded by Jesus Christ as an absolute monarchy, and cannot be changed without doing violence to God's intentions.

Michael Novak has defined this attitude toward church structure as "nonhistorical orthodoxy." It is not supported by an analysis of Christian origins. The papal claim to monarchic supremacy is based, in part, upon Jesus' words in Matthew 16:18: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." Today, the majority of New Testament scholars agree with the view of Bishop Francis Simons of India, who notes in his new book, Infallibility and the Evidence (TIME, Nov. 1) that the sentence simply singles out Peter as first among the Apostles and says nothing at all about the rights and privileges of his successors.


The first Christian cells—under ground churchlets in constant fear of persecution—were united by a common faith rather than any formal organization. Initially, there was no strong distinction between clergy and laymen; bishops were frequently chosen by the people at informal assemblies. In the post-Apostolic period, the special place of Rome came to be recognized by other churches—not as having any monarchical jurisdiction but as a symbol of Christian unity and court of appeals in doctrinal disputes. Even so, the epoch-making decisions on heresy that beset the early church were resolved by general councils in Asia Minor; the bishop of Rome usually ratified their decisions but otherwise had little to do with their formulation.


During the fifth and sixth centuries, the spiritual prestige of Rome's bishop became complicated by the fact that he was a secular power as well. At the time of the barbarian invasions, the Popes emerged as Rome's most prestigious leaders. Leo I, who stopped Attila the Hun at the gates of Rome, was the first to use the term primacy in reference to the papacy. The Prankish King Pepin gave the Pope jurisdiction over central Italy—and for the next 1,000 years bishops of Rome were land-governing princes as well as the spiritual leaders of Western Christianity.

During the Middle Ages, the political strength of Popes ebbed and flowed with the tides of growing nationalism, but there was never a serious challenge to their position as head of the church. The Emperor Henry IV knelt penitentially in the snows of Canossa before Pope Gregory VII; France's King Philip the Fair, a few centuries later, made a virtual prisoner of Boniface VIII. Both monarchs acknowledged alike that the Roman pontiff was their spiritual overlord. Popes seldom made major church decisions apart from consultation with general councils, which assumed special importance in preserving unity during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), when there were as many as three rival claimants to the title of Pope.

From Secular to Spiritual. With the breakup of Christendom, the Popes lost much of their secular power. The watershed was the Reformation, which cost the papacy nearly half of its faithful subjects. Increasingly, bishops of Rome concentrated on purely spiritual matters, as a way of reasserting their authority. The Counter Reformation Council of Trent, which was closely directed by three strong-minded Popes, marked the beginning of the modern era of "papal maximalism." Theoretically at least, the question of papal prerogative seemed to have been settled by the First Vatican Council of 1870, which declared that the Pope, when he speaks ex cathedra for the church on matters of faith and morals, is infallible. The decree was opposed by more than one-fourth of the assembled bishops—several of them quit the council rather than have to vote on it—but psychologically the decision made a certain amount of sense.

It came at a time when the church was under strong attack from the secular forces of the Enlightenment. The papacy, for many Catholics, seemed like the only anchor of faith in a dark and hostile world.


The prestige of the papacy reached its peak during the lengthy reign of the learned, ascetic Pius XII, who issued the only ex cathedra statement of the century that was clearly labeled infallible: his 1950 decree that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven after her death.* John XXIII, although a humble man who thought of himself as the servant of the church rather than as its overlord, possessed an undeniable charisma that delighted Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Paul VI was a friend and protégé of Pius; by temperament and training, Paul believes in the necessity of a strong papacy as the church's defense against the threat of anarchy. Inevitably, he has been compared with his immediate predecessors, and not always favorably. Paul often suggests a not-so-brilliant version of Pius XII trying hard to live up to the image of John XXIII. More recently, Vatican clerics have begun to compare him with Pius IX, who reigned from 1846 to 1878. Rather as Paul did, Pius entered the papacy with a reputation for being a liberal. But after an abortive revolution in Rome forced him into exile from 1848 to 1850, he turned implacably conservative. His Syllabus of Errors in 1864 denounced almost every trend in modern secular thought as antiChristian. He virtually demanded that Vatican I proclaim his infallibility. After Garibaldi's troops took Rome in 1870, Pio Nono became the self-styled "prisoner of the Vatican," uttering impotent fulminations against a godless world.

Pilgrim Pope. Paul, however, is much too complex a figure to be dismissed as a reactionary. Certainly he is no Vatican prisoner. His ambitious trips to Jerusalem, New York, India, Turkey, Portugal and Colombia are dramatic evidence of his desire to be a "pilgrim Pope." Time and again he has expressed his dedication to the cause of world peace—in Viet Nam, Nigeria and elsewhere. Paul has introduced a subtle new diplomatic policy of negotiation with Communism that has improved the lot of his church in Eastern Europe and may lead to a more fruitful Christian-Marxist dialogue. His encyclical, Populorum Progressio, boldly amplified the writings of John XXIII in expressing sympathy for the economic ambitions of underdeveloped nations.

On many churchly affairs Paul has taken a moderately progressive path. He has expressed a genuine desire for ecumenical encounter, particularly with the Orthodox Church. He has continued to inaugurate a series of modest reforms in Catholic life. Last week, for example, the Vatican approved translations of three new alternative canons, or rites of consecration for the Mass—the first major change in that section of the liturgy in 1,300 years.

Paul has streamlined many of the baroque papal ceremonies and abolished the archaic privileges of Rome's Black Nobility. He has not only internationalized the Curia but also has brought about the most sweeping reform in that musty bureaucracy since 1588, by abolishing a number of useless offices, limiting appointments to five-year terms and providing the church with a kind of executive prime minister in the form of the Vatican's Secretary of State.

"On matters of structure," says one official of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Paul is willing to modernize. But not on matters of faith and morals." Theologically, the Pope is not a progressive thinker. He has repeatedly referred to himself as a student of Jacques Maritain, the gentle French philosopher whose "integral humanism" was a sensitive rethinking of the insights of Thomas Aquinas. Maritain was a fresh and life-giving force within Catholicism during the '30s and '40s, most notably in his defense of political democracy against the charms of fascism (Paul, in his years of service with the Vatican Secretariat of State, strongly opposed Mussolini). Since the Second Vatican Council, however, Maritain has turned his back on any kind of theological or philosophical progress. So has Paul. Some Vatican officials date the increasingly negative tone of Paul's speeches from the publication two years ago of The Peasant of the Garonne, in which Maritain railed against the errors of theologians who would abandon the "perennial philosophy" for the seductive lure of existentialism or other modern "fads."


Vulgar Objects. Like Maritain, the Pope firmly believes that the tradition of scholastic philosophy is a timeless mode of expressing the truths of the Christian faith. His encyclical on the Eucharist contended that the late-medieval word transubstantiation was the only way of expressing the mystery of the consecration, when the bread and wine at Mass become Christ's body and blood. His new creed, promulgated last July, was a disappointingly unimaginative restatement of doctrinal orthodoxy that differed only in minor details from the language of the Council of Trent. His argument against contraception in Humanae Vitae rested on a traditional understanding of natural law—the theory that the function of human organs is defined by their nature. This particular interpretation has been abandoned by most Catholic philosophers as crude and mechanistic.


Despite Paul's admirably progressive reform of the Curia, the men who administer it are still for the most part conservative. The Secretary of State is the venerable Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, 83, and his chief assistant is the equally reactionary Archbishop Giovanni Benelli, 47. A brilliant administrator, Benelli is gradually emerging as one of the most important men in the Vatican—largely because he is considered the principal pipeline for information from the outside world to the Pope. At the same time, some liberal prelates named by Paul to the Curia have found themselves stymied by conservative peers.

"Pope Paul has tried liberalism," says one official in the Curia, "and found it wanting." In terms of the men he trusts and consults, that is unquestionably true. During the council, Paul frequently relied upon the advice of such progressive non-Italian prelates as Leo-Joseph Cardinal Suenens of Belgium, Julius Cardinal Döpfner of Munich, Franziskus Cardinal König of Vienna. Apparently, all three have been dismissed from favor as unsympathetic. Today, the Pope's most trusted adviser is Bishop Carlo Colombo, 59, who is a knowledgeable master of standard textbook theology. Another confidant is Dominican Father Luigi Ciappi, the Pope's official theologian. Both Colombo and Ciappi advised Paul during the writing of Humanae Vitae.


The querulous tone of his public statements tends to obscure the rare personal qualities of Pope Paul, which have been amply visible on his pilgrim voyages. Even his critics concede that Paul displayed considerable courage in issuing a birth-control decision that ran counter to the wishes of most of the faithful. Although he lacks the obvious warmth of John XXIII, Paul is an impressive and sympathetic figure before small audiences. "He is a man of anguish who communicates his anguish to others," says one Chicago priest. Unlike the aloof Pius XII, Paul almost never dines alone; unlike even John, who affected a quaint Renaissance mode of dress, Paul seldom wears anything more elaborate than a simple white cassock. On busy days he may meet aides with his collar open; sometimes, with cassock doffed, he is in shirtsleeves. Like Pius XII, he often pecks out short memos and private letters on a battered Olivetti portable.

It appears to be Paul's view that the Second Vatican Council marked the limits of possible reform. For many Catholic progressives, the conciliar decrees were just a starting point. Vatican II, for example, established the principle of collegiality—meaning that bishops share ruling power over the church with the Pope. Many theologians argue that Paul's unilateral decision on birth control makes a mockery of this principle. And they further argue that collegiality ought to be extended downward to encompass the entire church.

The Catholic crisis has led some thinkers to wonder whether the church is not ripe for the convening of Vatican III. "So much has happened that the fathers of Vatican II could not have anticipated," says Publisher Dan Herr of Chicago's bimonthly Critic, "that another council cannot be delayed." One obvious topic for the agenda would be a new ruling on contraception to reflect the consensus of the faithful. Another, suggests Theologian Gregory Baum of Toronto, would be a definition "of the limits of papal authority and the freedom to be given local churches." It is taken for granted by those who dream of Vatican III that priests and laymen would be represented, as well as bishops. Philosopher Novak half-seriously proposes that the proper setting would be the catacombs, rather than the baroquely splendid nave of St. Peter's. Unfortunately, Pope Paul will almost certainly not call another council in his lifetime, although Vatican sources hint that he will summon a second Synod of Bishops next year.

Chairman of the Board. Not even the most far-out Catholic radical favors replacing the Pope with, say, a committee of theologians. On the other hand, there is widespread feeling in the church that the office of the papacy must be stripped of most of its monarchic pretensions and its right to govern all aspects of the church's life. Thomas Schick, 28, of Cincinnati, an ex-seminarian turned journalist, suggests that the Pope in the future should be regarded as a kind of board chairman—a primus inter pares who would be a symbol of faith rather in the manner of an Eastern Orthodox patriarch.

"Recent Popes have acted as if they were entitled to behave in an autocratic manner," says Leslie Dewart. "But it is an ancient tradition that the faith is the faith of a community." In his view, it is impossible today for the hierarchy to order what people should believe: "You can't teach people by telling them what's true." Callahan argues that the pronouncements of church authority do not exist outside and apart from the community. They are binding only insofar as the community accepts them as binding." He adds that "it used to be that if the authority said it was true, then it was true. It is legitimate to say today: 'The authority has spoken. Now is it true?' " In the church of the future, as envisioned by many reformers, authority would speak out only in consultation with all the faithful and only to articulate a dogmatic stance that was a felt need of the universal church.


Toying with Heresy. By issuing an encyclical that is simply not acceptable to a large segment of the Catholic community, Pope Paul has inadvertently raised the question of papal authority for open debate. He has done so, warns one Roman observer, at a time when the church was already suffering from an unhealthy polarization of its progressive and conservative wings. And there is a danger that both sides are overreacting to the crisis. Already, many Dutch Catholic thinkers are suggesting that their national church might have to become as autonomous as Anglicanism in order to preserve its soul. A creative renewal movement within the church is not likely to be encouraged by Roman efforts to silence dissident theologians like Dominican Father Edward Schillebeeckx (TIME, Oct. 4).

Perhaps because it involves so personal a question as birth control, the present dissension in the church has a disturbingly visceral quality. The Pope has been criticized in abusive bumper-sticker slogans, and Bishop Donohoe correctly notes that some comments on Humanae Vitae were expressed in a tone of dogmatic certainty that would have been too majestic for even an ex cathedra decree. "They seem to have infallibly decreed," he says, "that their views will not be put aside." Millions of Catholics, who never practiced birth control during their lives, would have found it hard to accept an encyclical decreeing that contraception was no longer a sin. For some, birth control is a symbol of the inerrancy of the church. If previous Popes have been wrong on this question, they could have been wrong on everything else. And where would the church be then?

Nothing for Everything. Serious questions are raised by the Protestant-like diversity suggested for the church by some reformers. A certain monolithic uniformity in ritual and belief has been the unique glory of Catholicism—at times, even, its salvation as a definable entity. Even Protestants dissatisfied with what often seems to be the spiritless confusion of their own churches would contend that Catholicism should profit by the Reformation but not use it as an example. For better or worse, millions of Catholics like the church the way it is.


They want to be told what to believe and how to act. And they share the suspicion of Cardinal O'Boyle, who told a group of his priests recently: "You new people, you want to tear down everything and put nothing in its place."

Whether the "new people" turn out to be saintly reformers whom future Catholicism will revere or angry heresiarchs who will leave the fold in discouragement and dismay depends in large measure on the skill and sensitivity of Pope Paul. An accomplished ecclesiastical diplomat, he has successfully weathered one potential crisis by bringing Vatican II to a peaceful conclusion after the death of John XXIII. Some Catholic voices calling for reform he may rightly ignore as imprudent or irresponsible. Others he would probably do well to heed. If not, the "silent schism" of Catholicism may turn out to be very much noisier than it already is.


*In fact, Bishop Charles H. Helmsing of Kansas City—St. Joseph, in his formal condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter, singled out an article by Callahan on papal infallibility as verging on heresy. *Although it is still an article of faith, the dogma has little bearing on the lives of Catholics; many theologians take for granted that it will wither away, especially since it remains a strong barrier to ecumenism.

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