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The crisis in religions

Re: "CLERICAL CELIBACY??? Renaissance Popes", Paul Simon says: "If you haven't read it, Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly has a great section on the Church scandals that preceded the Reformation". The question is whether the present scandals will lead to something like the Reformation, perhaps an independent American Catholic Church. The present Church establishment seems incapable of doing anything decisive. There was something pathetic about the weak old Pope, backed by Swiss Guards with their Renaissance halberds, addressing an array of bewildered old Cardinals. The American Catholic Church has been abandoned my many Americans in response to its being taken over by Mexicans and others, who now dominate in the large diocese of Los Angeles. Even they are beginning to question the Vatican, although the coming canonization of Juan Diego is bolstering their simple faith.

All faiths face their own crises. The Jewish-Islamic war of religion may have the same effect on both sides as such wars did in Europe in the Reformation period, weakening the ancient faith and casting doubt on established religions, viewed as a cause of war. Even Buddhism is in crisis. The overarching crisis in religions is the old religion versus faith dispute, which cannot simply be dismissed. There must be an honest dialog between them. Movements like United Religions will have to be transformed into United Religions and Science. Otherwise religions will be dismissed as opium for the credulous.

Ronald Hilton - 4/25/02