15 October, 2009

What's the Church for?

It goes without saying that the Church is the People of God and its purpose is to help bring about the Reign of God.

Bringing about the Reign of God is the essential mission of the People of God; it is much more important than preserving any particular structure of the Institutional Church.  "Being church" for the nurture of the members is necessary but not sufficient. The Church really exists to "do Church" in this world, that is, to reach out to everyone and everything in the world. Its mission is to participate in establishing the Reign of God.

Except for its emphasis on the abortion issue, the Church, in recent years, has spent more time and effort on protecting and preserving current institutional structures and nurturing the People than on its essential mission to the world. Little attention has been given to traditional social justice issues like just wages or newer ecumenical approaches to protecting and nurturing the environment as a call to stewardship of creation.

I wonder if the paedophilia scandal has so disabled the bishops that they are afraid to speak out boldly on anything other than sexual issues. I wonder if concern to maintain existing power relations within the Church require so much attention to internal affairs that the clergy have no time or energy left to foster or support social action in the "world." What do you think?

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