Reviving Truth and Trust

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Q. Will a new relationship with the laity emerge from all this tragedy?

A. I certainly hope so. I'm hoping for a relationship that respects the laity for their own integrity, their professional competence, their insight. We need the laity. It's clear — leading up to Dallas — that this won't be over until the laity says, O.K., we believe you.

Q. The American church is full of very educated Americans, trying to get the church to engage in a dialogue in good faith about issues like feminism and human sexuality. Is that unacceptable democracy?

A. The role of the Catholic Church and its moral leadership and witness is not to follow but to guide the moral discussions. And that's one of the things that's at the heart of the crisis. If we don't re-establish our credibility, we will lose our ability to speak about the great moral challenges we face as human beings. And, I might also add, one of the great difficulties is that there are forces that would love to see the Catholic Church reduced to becoming a lifeless, silenced voice. There were earlier times in the church when the clergy and laity worked much more collaboratively. That relationship did derail. You know, I'm not sure why. I think it's the power thing. The clerical and hierarchical community began to enjoy power and prestige more than we should.

Q. The sin of--

A. Pride.

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