A prominent U.S. archbishop has warned that the divisive nature of the nation’s politics — particularly the separation of people into disparate ideological camps — may be seeping into the American Catholic church, leading to a “balkanization” of the faithful.
Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin also warned against a trend in the U.S. church to “oversimplify what are really complicated questions in the hope of discovering who to blame.”
“At the present moment, this behavior helps to contribute to the balkanization of American Catholics into so-called right wing and left wing, or progressive and traditionalist, factions, who point fingers at each other,” Tobin said Friday, speaking at a theological convention.
“In my opinion, finger pointing does a great harm to religious life because it makes us defensive,” Tobin continued. Under such finger pointing, he said, “we feel constantly compelled to defend ourselves against other parties in the church.”
“Such self protection will make us less likely to humbly examine the distance between our ideals and the present moment, which is the point of departure for a life of continuing conversion,” said the archbishop.
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Do I agree? You bet I do! Did our Lord cling to the left or the right? Neither.. He stayed directly in the center of the cross….