Tuesday 24 January 2017

What can replace the Church's teaching as a guide to life?

Published 19/10/2016 | 02:30

Pope Francis preaching at the Vatican. Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis preaching at the Vatican. Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The tragic fault that weakens so many institutions is the suppression of the critical voice. This applies in equal measure to both religious and secular institutions.

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With regard to religious institutions, there has always been a tension between the priestly caste that ministers to the status quo and the prophetic voice of constructive critique that points to further horizons.

In any hierarchical organisation, evaluative insight does not trickle down from the top; it attempts to trickle upwards but tends to be stopped in its tracks by the inculcation, with increased intensity, of orthodoxy and resignation.

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