In "Which Call?" (Old Life, April 29, 2015), D. G. Hart comments on a conference on polarization in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States hosted by The University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society. (See the plenary session round table here.)
Hart notes that while the folks at Notre Dame recognize diversity in the Church, conservative Catholics tend to see unity as the "real" condition of their communion, ignoring the large groups of problem children within the Church.
From here, Hart compares and contrasts the "Called to Communion" paradigm of such Catholics with an older liberal "Called to be Catholic" proposal revisited recently by Commonweal here. He closes by bringing up a third possibility after remarking as follows on the Commmonweal discussion:
Not much there about motives of credibility, papal audacity, Thomas Aquinas, or John Henry Newman.The problem isn't Sacred Tradition, as such, but the lack of clarity about the professed relation of contemporary Catholicism to that Tradition. As one reader recently wrote:
So which is it? Is it Called to Communion or Called to be Catholic? You can only chalk up such questions to Protestant perversity for so long before you finally admit a problem. Or you change your theme to Called to Denial.
"Rome: please share.... just what IS the authentic faith? Helping people? Seeing the goodness of all, and simply basking in God's redemptive action as an accomplished fact? Or declaring sin, salvation, and the peril of the present moment?[Hat tip to JM]
"Because based on the words I read online, I have no idea where Church leaders' hearts are. And I know I am not alone. How about some real, man-to-man and man-to-woman frankness, as opposed to common man posing? Just what is it that you believe? From Rome, I would argue the message right now is anyone's guess. 'God has spoken.' OK, can we hear what he had to say, clearly and reliably and without coy set reporter spin?"