Here are two contrasting views of the Catholic Church’s relationship to the contemporary world.
First, eminent historian from Oxford University, Diarmaid MacCulloch, manages to pack in nearly every slogan of liberal reformers in this brief interview with The Guardian:
I do think there’s a real big crisis in the Church, and it actually feels a bit like 1989, when you turned on the news and there was another government fallen. …You can keep your head inside a paper bag for so long, but in the end you have to take the paper bag off. …
Then, Swiss Cardinal Georges Cottier, 93, Dominican and former theologian of the papal household, rejects an opening up of the Church that leads to adaptation to the modern world.
On Tuesday he warned of a “more open” church, to that extent that this would mean that the Church bends to the “will of the world.” Then the Church would be left with a decision between “compromise” and “mediocrity.” An “opening” could consist of many wishes and ideas that are not all compatible.
Viewed theologically, the church is already “open,” the cardinal said, on the basis of her vocation, which is the proclamation of Jesus. The Church is “catholic” in that she is open and accessible to the entire world.