The Catholic Church has never been a democracy.
It’s also true, Carroll reports, that a Papal synod will convene in 2014 year to ponder “The Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The Vatican has asked Catholic dioceses to distribute “a questionnaire that asks about divorce, birth control, unmarried people living together, and gay marriage.”
So why ask if no changes are possible? Particularly when many Catholics feel the church has basically been selling annulments to the likes of Newt Gingrich and Teddy Kennedy, while treating divorce as a terrible sin. Hardly anybody thinks birth control wicked.
The church, of course, never claimed to be God. As a human institution, it’s prone to all the sin, folly and corruption we’re all capable of. In his own way, Pope Francis appears to be seeking forgiveness.
Gene Lyons is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.