Imagine More

John Flett wrote a good piece on LinkedIn recently on imagining better as an important precursor to business success.  I agree with his assessment.  However, I wasn’t to the end of the first paragraph when I began to think about the lack of imagination in the operation of the Church.

All I say within these “pages” should be understood to come from someone deeply committed to the one true, universal church.  This attestation notwithstanding, I think it obvious that the humans are the problem.  And humans in charge are the biggest problem.

The fact that the Catholic Church changes slowly is, on the one hand, a virtue.  It demonstrates a two thousand year history of deep, thoughtful discernment (perhaps that is redundant). On the other hand, however, I have witnessed a significant reluctance to all change in the Catholic hierarchy over the years.

I’m not a theologian.  So even if I thought that church teaching should change, I would be unlikely to advocate for it.  I am, however, a strategist. And the kind of change  most needed in the Church is strategic.

There is far too much sentiment from both the laity and the clergy that is reactionary; that says we should somehow return to practices of the past; that tries to hold tight to existing structure.  This grip on the past has more downsides than up.  Most importantly, it blocks our collective imagination.  It breeds frustration.

A couple years back I wrote about the opportunity that Pope Francis is providing to the local Church (dioceses and parishes).  The opportunity is for structural, methodological change- not dogmatic, theological change.  Were we, at the local level, to follow the Holy Father’s lead, we would grow the faith dramatically.

Unfortunately, I have seen little evidence in the last two years that suggests that we are prepared at the local level to make those changes.  We are lacking in imagination.

 

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