The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, has become a monstrosity. The head is very large, but the body is shrunken’ (Pope Pius XI).
Jesuit theologian Gerry O’Hanlon reflects on the current crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland (post Ferns, Ryan and Murphy Reports) and worldwide. He discusses how the vision of Church as People of God in the Second Vatican Council failed to be implemented, due to lack of appropriate collegial structures. He argues that we need to deepen this vision for today, and to embody it in new structures which will allow the full participation of the lay faithful, and in particular of women. He proposes the need for a National Assembly of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and ultimately for another worldwide Ecumenical Council.
His analysis will be of interest to all who are concerned about the current crisis in the Catholic Church.
About the Author
Gerry O’Hanlon entered the Jesuits in 1965, having been to school in Belvedere College. He was ordained in 1978 and taught Systematic Theology at the Milltown Institute from the early 80s until 1997. He has written several books and many articles, often on the themes of social theology and church renewal. He was an Irish Province delegate at GC 34 (1995) and Provincial from 1998-2004. Since 2005 he has been at the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice where he continues to engage in theological reflection, with a particular focus on the Great Recession and on Church reform. He has served on several Episcopal bodies – as part of the inter-Church Ballymascanlon talks in the 80s and 90s, and more recently on the Council for Justice and Peace.