“The church must speak with one voice,” Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the papal nuncio to the United States, said in an address in June to American bishops at their meeting in Atlanta. “We all know that the fundamental tactic of the enemy is to show a church divided.”
This statement sums up the major failure of the church.
First, no organization with more than three people in it has only one voice – to presume otherwise is to ignore reality. Civilization has become diverse and the cultural patterns in any organization derive from a host of sources. There can be no single voice.
Second, I have to wonder: What and who is this “enemy” of the church? Dissenting preists? The 95% of Catholic women who have used birth control? The 52% of Catholics who support same sex marriage? Secular organizations? Ordinary people who find the church’s claim to higher moral authority in deep and continual conflict with the church’s deliberate abuse of humanist ideals and precepts?
It is obvious that the Church has many enemies. And it is obvious that the Church cannot see that the Church itself is the most insidious enemy of them all.
Until the church can be big enough to include the nuns who spearhead its social work, until it can enlarge itself to accept same sex marriage, until it can accommodate the voices of those it marginalizes, the Church will continue to tear itself apart. It will continue to lose membership, it will continue to lose income and it will continue on its current path toward even greater irrelevance. The Vatican will become like Vienna: a gloriously beautiful reminder of empire that used to be. It will be nothing more than an empty gilded shell signifying failure.