Michael Leach, an editor-at-large and publisher emeritus at Orbis Books, explains why he remains a committed Catholic in the age of falling attendance and the clerical sexual abuse crisis. His new book, Why Stay Catholic?, lists 100 people, places and ideas that make the Catholic Church a compelling institution. On that list: the papacy, Andrew Greeley, Walter Burghardt, S.J., the Catholic Church Extension Society and the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
I was a bit unsatisfied with Michael’s idea that things will change in time (e.g. when he mentioned Peter, Paul, and the circumcision question). This may or may not be true for any given difficulty, but what would he suggest that people do in the here-and-now? If you perceive a given issue as a matter of justice, then what should you do in the face of perceived injustice by the Church? (Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book, so perhaps this is discussed more there.)
On a related note, Tim, at the end of the podcast, could you please read the comments address of “americamagazine dot podbean doct com” more slowly and clearly? I subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, not by directly downloading it from this site, so it wasn’t until yesterday that I figured out what you were saying (by going through the podcast listings on the America website). It might also be helpful to link to the podbean site from the podcasts listing on the America website’s podcast directory (the podbean site is listed in the RSS feed, but the pages for the individual podcasts don’t list the podbean site that I could see). I’m a bit surprised at the lack of comments left about the podcasts, and this may be a reason why.
His words were validating and enlightening. The straight wive of a man who told me he was gay and had repressed it to marry me as the “right thing to do,” I was very close to leaving the Catholic Church because of its teachings about homosexuality and what it did to my husband (who, after our divorce, died alone, without partner or faith). But, as with Michael, there was too much spiritual sustenance in the church for me to leave it and, I did not want to give the Vatican the power to take away my faith.