Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Effects of Reform

I remember a newspaper article that came out when Pope Benedict was chosen as Pope and the writer of the article was talking to his friend who happened to be a lapsed Catholic. The friend said that the Catholic Church should have voted in a more liberal Pope. When the writer asked his friend if he would go back to church if a more liberal Pope had been chosen, the friend replied no. The writer asked the friend why exactly the Catholic Church should have chosen a liberal Pope if it made no difference to lapsed members such as himself. It raises an interesting question. If the Church were to change certain aspects (e.g. ordaining women, ‘faithful’ history, etc.), how many ex-members would come back? If none, what difference would any reform make?


Sister Mary Lisa said...


I responded to your question over on Equality's blog. I could perhaps discuss it more deeply than I did there if you wish.

DPC said...

Based on the things that you mentioned in your comment on Equality’s blog, I get the feeling that attending the church in the hinterland (i.e. Florida) is much different than back West (you are from Montana, right?). In the branch that I was in before, here in Florida, our Ward Mission Leader was an islander with dreadlocks and by far the nicest man I had ever met and our Sunday School president was an ex-hippie who refused to wear a tie, cut his hair or wear anything other than jeans. Plus I wore a goatee and blue shirt to church many times and I don’t think anyone ever said anything negative about it. But I wonder where the impetus for reform will come from? Although the church doesn’t work for everybody (and I don’t think there is anything wrong with the people it doesn’t work for), it does work fairly well for those who follow the status quo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Plus I think you also have to worry about schisms. If you change too much, too quickly, the more conservative elements tend to break away, whereas the liberal elements tend to be more adaptable.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

True, the impetus for change has to directly concern or be felt by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, doesn't it? I guess that means we need to discover what their main objective is as a group.

I have theories on this. They may not be so nice. I have no wish to fight with you or tread on any reverence you may feel for these men, so I will refrain.

Yeah, I'm in Montana. I can guarantee you that if a guy in dreadlocks and blue shirt walked into another ward anywhere he wasn't already known, many many people would judge him on his appearance. Sadly. He sounds like someone I'd like to get to know. It'd be the same if I walked into your ward in Florida wearing pants instead of a skirt. Ah well. The same could be said of a Republican fundraising dinner party.

:) Have a great day, DPC.

Beat Dad said...

Hi DPC, I came here from main street plaza. I suppose this installment was not necessarily aimed at an exmo like me but.....

Personally I would not want the Church to change so that I felt comfortable coming back. They would have to drop the whole BofM etc. However, if I could pick reforms it would be to stop proselytizing and let people come to the Church themselves. Also, change the way they keep track of members. The church need not keep records of everyone ever was or is a member in order to justify themselves. (I realize that they have other reasons to keep track of members such as, welfare etc.)

Nice blog.

DPC said...

Thanks for your comments Wayne. Your views are appreciated regardless of your particular religious affiliation.