Religion: A Question of Authority

"France is the eldest daughter of the church," a wit once observed, "but she's the youngest daughter when it comes to getting into mischief." The mischievous daughter was fairly vibrating with volubility this week over an old question: the parental authority of Rome.

The immediate issue was the future of the worker-priests—a vexed question especially dear to the hearts of Catholic liberals and leftists. Nobody paid much attention in 1950 when the Pope went out of his way (in the encyclical Humani Generis) to blow a warning whistle on

French theologians who showed signs of straying from traditional Thomism. But priests in overalls...

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