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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