Chapter

Low-Profile Politics

Peter McDonough and Eugene C. Bianchi

in Passionate Uncertainty

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520230552
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930773 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520230552.003.0012
Low-Profile Politics

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Jesuits are at a critical juncture in the evolution of Catholicism. A hollowing-out of traditional beliefs and customs is apparent. Prohibitions against discussing possible alternatives and solutions—the ordination of women, the authorization of a married clergy, and the like—compound the problem of organizational debility. The patterns—the low profile, the conservative, and the ambivalent—are coping mechanisms, enabling Jesuits to get on with their lives with a sense of fulfillment, even if they are hobbled by doubt or resentment. A complex of structural changes has shattered the social and cultural terrain of Catholicism and has undermined the feasibility of a restorationist revival. The gist of such interpretations is the dual nature of the crisis facing the Society: a steady decline in membership and the damage wreaked by a reactionary Vatican.

Keywords: low profile; conservative; structural changes; Catholicism; organizational debility

Chapter.  10257 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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