Way out

Addressing the crisis in the church could be done in two different ways. Either the church clears out the ills one by one or it exchanges the current system for an open network of Good Samaritans with a humanitarian philosophy.

 

One ill, covering up of child abuse has been made punishable in some countries.  Attempts to eliminate other ills one by one should show up on the 2021/2023 synodal path.

During deliberations bishops are expected to hear what structural changes are needed. Most of the synthesises bishops have commissioned so far, ask only for a change in mentality. Structural changes receive scant attention. Only in Germany, have consultations between bishops and the laity led to proposals to change something in the structure. They have proposed to abolish compulsory celibacy for priests and to open the ordination of deacons to women. Immediately, about a hundred bishops from other countries responded. They are afraid that such measures will endanger the unity of the church.

 

The open network could get a chance by a proposal from Austria that leaves the hierarchy alone. It also does not endanger unity. The proposal concerns the recognition, sanctioning and encouragement of the already existing practice of a qualified woman or man being chosen by a small community as pastor, servant, inspirer and guide. The proposal fits with words of Pope Francis about a prospective future with small communities. 

See perspective future with small communities