Pope Benedict XVI resigns: Does the church need to reform?
What Jon Sweeney and well known author Louis DeThomasis believe are necessary for the church's future
- Duration 13:31
- Date Feb 15, 2013
What Jon Sweeney and well known author Louis DeThomasis believe are necessary for the church's future
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The pope's historic decision to step down it's motivated many critics to call for widespread reform and -- church.
Does the Catholic -- need major reform and -- so what kind.
That is the topic for the three panel today and joining me from Minneapolis -- Lewis.
Author of flying in the face of vision and joining me from Chicago is John -- author of the Pope will quit.
Welcome you -- Thank you very much.
I don't know I should I should mention that when you're talking about the Pope -- quit you have not rushed to print any kind of book about Pope Benedict.
It's really about quote great read but while Clinton actually -- -- the Celestine defense -- -- I am I correct.
Yes -- is about -- in the fifth and 1294.
Yes exactly and the reason why this is where Anderson because even though we go back to vote great -- as well as being the last group who actually step down.
Is Pope Celestine the fifth that Benedict resignation actually -- mirrors why is that.
Well I would love to clear this up for you actually it hasn't been 600 years since the Pope willingly and on his own accord stepped down.
It's been more than 700 years it was in 1294.
And the singular example was cellist in the fifth.
That that number that we keep hearing 600 years is a reference to 1415.
Which was the end of what's called the great schism in the church.
And it was a time when there were three competing -- Two of them agreed to step down.
A third agreed did not agree and so they actually ex communicated him.
So it was more like cease and desist it was an end of hostilities in a way it was not the kind of thing that happened this past Monday.
Which hasn't happened since 1294.
Very in this -- you know.
Unless I want to bring you an honest because in honor this other issue.
The church perhaps needing reform.
Do you see that this is an opportunity I mean whether or not the church wants to change it is it.
Benedict resignation basically forces it to change in some way because this is -- historic event.
But do you think the church need some kind of reform.
I'm senator John.
-- -- -- were you asking me that quest when I'm actually asking.
Louis in -- Minnesota about -- much for yet.
He he he hears me -- -- John what are you asked that went on to that answer that question then you know it does is is urgent need of some kind of reform.
-- to be honest is it's a little outside my pay grade to answer that sort of question I -- my mind is more of a historical take.
I would love to see the church.
Undergo some reform I think the way in which Pope Benedict has stepped down.
Is signals that there is some kind of change coming I mean there's -- so business like about the way he did it.
And and given that he was so close with Pope John Paul the second.
And you know we all watched as John Paul the second.
Went through the agonizing last stages of his parkinson's.
And led symbolically.
Its interest -- to me the Pope Benedict decided he didn't -- leads symbolically that he only wanted to sort of lead in real time and if he couldn't do that.
He was going to step down so that that's sort of decision I think points to there might be a different future for the church.
You know what's fact Celestine -- the fifth because one of those stories I read about it.
Is that you could almost see Pope Benedict giving us hints that this is some money he would.
He would any -- that he would actually follow his footsteps do you see that as well when you when you look at hindsight.
Oh yeah effect in the Pope who quit the whole last chapter is about how this could happen today and I I survey a bit of what happened with John Paul the second.
The speculation that he could quit particularly in those agonizing days of illness where you know we watched him fall asleep on a day a -- You know stumble.
And then that and then I talk about it with Pope Benedict as well what happened in and the biggest signal ball was in April of 2009.
Pope Benedict went to like he left Italy.
To make up pastoral visit after an earthquake.
And that happens to be the location of the basilica where the remnants of Celestine in the fifth are kept.
And there was and there international headlines after that earthquake of firefighters running in and and saving the relics of of the put the one hoping history who had quit.
So the later in April of 2009 when Pope Benedict visited that the silica and that community and the people of that part of that that remote part of Italy.
He took the Paoli him off of his shoulders which is a stole it's a scarf sort of thing that a Pope wears around his shoulders.
And it's -- primary symbol of his.
Episcopal authority he took it off it he laid it on the tomb of Celestine the fifth and he just left it there.
And the media were watching and they asked what this gesture meant and it was never explained.
Well -- Eight exactly and then that there are people like you probably got it that this is what the fallacy that has probably known for.
-- -- to be honest they're they're the only thing I got was that that Pope Benedict clearly felt some affinity.
For -- the fifth cellist in the fifth.
By the way after he stepped down and walked away he too like Benedict he wanted to just pray he wanted to in his case.
Go back to the mountains where he was from where he had been a hermit and pray.
And the person who replaced him -- Bonn office the eighth.
Didn't like the idea of there being another Pope walking around so my book tells the story he actually had him hunted down.
Imprisoned in -- castle where he died two years later.
You know I wanna bring in Lewis again on the conversation because I do want to talk about this sort of break in -- church and this.
Changed that may signal a larger change or that the church does need some kind of change.
Louis you actually.
Have a list of things that -- the church to do to change that ordain women we define what it means to be a good Catholic.
Adapt to the globalized world embrace a new communion -- -- AM physiology.
Why do you think the church needs this.
Well I think the church needs it because it's obvious.
In this country alone.
We -- losing so many Catholics especially the young people.
And something has to be done about that and really throughout the whole world.
We seem to be losing Catholics and the difficulties we have -- explaining some of the official church's position.
In regard to how they handle you know the sex abuse case and -- -- transparency with finances.
What about though is it the church that was changed or is it very.
Church has to have have a better way of communicating the things that it wants you know George Michael's written a new book called evangelical catholicism.
In which is as you can't dumb down the Catholic -- or the Catholic faith is just no more he says.
You've got to raise the bar keep the faith demanding and challenging and -- it's presented -- Malia and compellingly enough.
People will respond is it really how it churches delivering the message -- the message itself.
Luring you make it a bit that the most essential point and here it is this according to Vatican two.
Is is the people of god it's everybody all the faithful.
When we make constructive criticisms about how things are done.
We're not talking about -- church were talking about the institutional.
And how that is organized that's what I believe at least from my -- That I'm trying to address is that the institutional.
Church needs change.
And unlike some of the -- the comments I didn't -- A single that I wary about first what I'm in all of a Pope Benedict X -- resignation it it's the right thing.
But what I am worried about is the single begins.
When he is not only staying in Rome.
But he's living right in -- did in other words he'll be the next door neighbor.
Of the new Pope.
And it's going to be difficult enough -- to -- to -- change anything with the living -- -- a form of Pope.
A lot you know he lied but I know he's next door neighbor who what do you call -- -- -- you know who's delivering its it -- we still -- We'll ex presidents you know Mr.
President so what do you call the -- we've never had to probes what are things I want to bring up though you mentioned Vatican two -- -- the second.
I'm sorry Pope Benedict the sixteenth.
So the cardinals -- it really be need to embrace the true spirit of Vatican two what do you think he meant by this the true spirit of Vatican two.
Well I think it's very obvious that.
Vatican two was.
An opening of the window we use that expression the windows were open.
Pope John Paul the second any Pope Benedict it seems like they're closing the windows again.
What we have to go back to Vatican two.
In fact in in theological terms Pope Benedict told -- talks about -- Herman nude couple continuity.
It's a fancy word for saying.
We we got to bring back that the traditional way we did things and that's certainly isn't the world we live in today.
Yeah that you know what the transparency and openness that is needed.
So what and accountability.
And we don't have that in the infrastructure of the institutional.
Church is very important always to talk about the institutional church.
And the other thing I would I would like to mention to know.
Is that they're a 117 cardinals.
Going into this kind play right 6767.
Were selected by Pope Benedict and the other fifty by Pope John Paul the -- It really is that the thinking wherever you Weber is there's going to be part of that.
You know one of the things that it will be happening and in -- -- so too is that only members under the age eighty can vote.
And and yes.
You know ages it is age going to fact we have a -- coming in from conservative.
For me -- says what job would anyone do at 85 years of age and in failing health.
That's of major factor what about age.
I think ages of every significant factor in that.
What the revisions that are needed for the people of god in selecting their lead at the poll.
Is that it can't be just that 117.
But we need to find new ways of bringing in.
All the faithful to -- people -- religious.
That the people who are Catholic.
Then we have to bring in all Christians in some way shape or form.
To give input.
That will -- no longer in a world.
-- -- You know we can misinterpret what we need about the spiritual dimension of the church there's no doubt in my mind as -- faithful Catholic.
But I believe the church is inspired.
By the holy spirit.
But that doesn't mean individuals.
But as we've if -- look at -- -- even -- who could we could be we don't need too much evidence to say.
Well they're being inspired by the holy spirit does it mean that each individual -- Is gonna do the right thing all the time -- each individual bishop there are so we need.
Yeah I mean hate accountability right and John I want dedicated honesty because another shot that's coming in from pumpkins conservatives -- for me.
His -- -- if the church could elect a younger approach.
Many also come -- this is I'm glad he's doing the right thing I personally wouldn't want anyone at that age working so would it.
Really be better if they simply kept a younger Pope.
And made that sort of the rule that you know you have to be under the age of seventy or something to be actually be elected Pope.
Well this sort of consideration that happens -- -- behind those closed doors in the conclave is they say to each other.
We could elect of that sixty year old guy but if we do we might -- we might be stuck with -- for a quarter of a century.
So oftentimes they elect an older man precisely because it allows them to change the -- a little more office.
Wow and -- -- what do you think.
Well I think age it it is certainly important we do need younger people.
But it's not the only thing we have young people young Catholics who are more conservative.
A seven you're an eighty year old person there's no question -- alone isn't the fact there.
It's it's being open truly to the people of god to.
We see in the church we used the word as sentences for the daily and that sense of the faithful.
Who will make it his business.
To be open to input from the faithful people -- and -- at any age it doesn't matter the age.
All right and I thank you very much -- many analysts see you tomorrow losses.
Coming just for the -- panel that they talk about a quote thank you so much.