A Vatican usher is implicated in a male prostitute ring.
Meanwhile in the US, the Bishops cede moral high ground on health care, only to be sharply rebuked by the nuns. Other voices join in.
The Vatican has launched an investigation of American nuns, who are pushing back against it. People speculate that the investigation is an effort to intimidate the liberal religious women, or to gain access to their resources to help pay off the American abuse scandals.
Powerful voices are calling to re-examine the place of women and the role of celibacy in the church. There are also demands for responsibility. An unhealthy and unnatural obsession with sex and fear of women seems to blind the old men in Rome who try to blame gays for their problems.
Are we seeing the crumbling of an institution, rotting from the top in the corruption of its prelate princes, to be saved only by a return to its roots? Perhaps the nuns will lead the way to a truer, more faithful church--not purer, but more, well, catholic. Perhaps it is time for the cardinals to give away their possessions to the poor, and for the faithful to bind up their sandals. Secrets can no longer be kept in an internet age, where the people are aware. It may be an equivalent revolution to the translation of the Bible into the vernacular, in empowering the laity. Perhaps this IS the emergent church.
As MadPriest writes,
I'm beginning to get an idea about "emergent" not being strictly a church thing, or even Christian thing. Maybe it's a new universal zeitgeist. The bosses, in politics, business and religion have let us down big time recently and capitalism has lost all claims to being our "saviour." Is the next shift in society a real move to "bottom up" paradigms? What part will the internet play in this? Can the emergent church (the bit based on liberation theology not evangelical leadership models) be a major player in this - even an initiator?