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The credibility of the Catholic Church as public actor

O'Loughlin, Thomas

Authors

Thomas O'Loughlin



Abstract

This article assumes that there is a profound crisis of credibility in the Catholic Church today. This is distinct from the issue of the credibility of Christian faith or the credibility of theism, for many who believe, indeed many Catholics, are affected by this sense that the Church, as a public actor, lacks credibility. Moreover, while it
would be a mistake to seek the roots of this lack of credibility within general appeals to “modern unbelief,” so it would also be a mistake to imagine that it is purely a matter of “image” or as a direct result of the
revelations about clerical child-abuse and its cover-up. It argues that modern society has evolved, through painful experience, a healthy scepticism about large organisations and with this has developed a set of social values (e.g. mutual responsibility and transparency) that
are at odds with many of the values (e.g. hierarchy) that the Church has inherited from its past. Far from seeing these developments as part of a pathology of modernity, they can be seen as the work of the Spirit and a challenge to the Church to embrace new ways of being a witness to the truth and new ways of embodying the Christ in its living.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 11, 2013
Journal New Blackfriars
Print ISSN 0028-4289
Electronic ISSN 0028-4289
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue 1050
Institution Citation O'Loughlin, T. (2013). The credibility of the Catholic Church as public actor. New Blackfriars, 94(1050), doi:10.1111/nbfr.12011
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/nbfr.12011
Keywords Catholic, Church, Credibility, Transparency, Authority
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nbfr.12011/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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