Is This the New and Improved Catholic Church?

My first experience in graduate school was studying a now mostly lost branch of economics called “Institutional Economics.”  It was heavily influenced by both sociology and political science.

It studied the actual goal of institutions versus their stated goal.  I wonder there if there is today a academic study of the difference between firms ”mission statements” and their actual goals as seen by documented actions.

If there was a generalization one could make about large organizations/institutions it would be something like this.  Most large institutions need to say they are focusing on one thing even though they are focusing on something else.  For example, a corporation’s mission statement may say, “… our mission is to serve the customer,” or “our mission is to sell a safe product.”  Corporation’s mostly do not focus on these issues.

It’s fun reading up on each new appointee to high levels in the Catholic Church as that institution struggles to change under the new Pope.   The appointees are almost uniformly from a different faction within the institution than were those of the last two Popes.  Yet, there are the proforma statements that church theology has not changed–everything is just as it was.

The link discusses the appointment of Rainer Maria Woelk to head Cologne Archdiocese, the wealthiest and most influential Diocese in Germany.  Germany is the wealthiest country in Europe.

He is the kind of Cardinal who seems ready make more friendly toward gays.  He works on this while maintaining the Church’s position has not changed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/16/cardinal-rainer-maria-woelki_n_5587938.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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9 Responses to Is This the New and Improved Catholic Church?

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    Looks like you are confusing theology with ecclesiology – - – - again.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      don’t they kinda go hand in hand? can’t really have one without the other can you?

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        One is what you believe, the other is how you do it. – - – One is content, the other is organization and administration. The confusion is when the “how” becomes more important than the “what”.

        • Wolfy32 says:

          I would agree with that statement. There are many biblical references to the “how” being important though.

          I’m not implying that you think it isn’t important. I’m just saying it seems pretty important. From Abrahm being challenged to show his faith by performing a sacrafice of his son to believing that sacrafices need to be made to be found worthy with God. Prior to Jesus, it was thought that blood sacrafices were crucial to being forgiven of sins and to live eternal life. That was the “how” just as important as the What: Having God in one’s life.

          And jesus replacing the sacrafices to be the final sacrafice implies that the why: The reason for the sacrafice was something all of humanity needs to thrive.

          I agree humanity needs to find ways to forgive itself of its crimes. No doubt about that to move forward. Having a sacrafice is a lot easier than working through the mistakes one has made throughout life. No responsibility needed. That’s my issue with the whole “how and what”.

          In some ways, I think that concept is why most every culture, community of humanity has religion play some role in its life. So, we can live with the mistakes we make. That isn’t a bad thing. It’s just questionable if any or all of them are legitimately serving something else other than the self serving human get out of jail free card.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Wolfy: I have no idea where you get the idea of “No responsibility needed”. Ideally, taking responsibility should be an automatic. That however requires one to admit being in the wrong. If they are wrong, and don’t admit it, is not a part of Christianity. No “confession”, no absolution. “Responsibility” is required, before, during and after the event. On the civil side, a lot of people don’t take responsibility unless found guilty, through jail, fines, etc. Indeed, most will hire lawyers to avoid taking responsibility. Sometimes they readily admit responsibility, and pay the debt willingly, not so much. But again, this is on the civil side, not the sacred side. (For example; robbing a bank /killing, etc. vs. non-civil matters, for example; gossip, screwing the willing neighbor’s wife, etc. but in these cases, taking responsibility is still a part of Christianity. ) I don’t believe you have thought this through very well. It could be that your past Christian experience emphasized guilt more than forgiveness, and your understanding is distorted. Being forgiven on the sacred side, is not a get out of jail ticket on the civil. I believe there are a lot of forgiven people paying their civil penalty in prison. There is ample testimony of those who found forgiveness after being imprisoned. Some call it “A come to Jesus moment”. Some claim it, because it looks good on their resume for parole, and that would be a false responsibility.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            True progress requires a combination of willingness to face one’s mistakes, shortfalls, and identify areas that need improvement then seek out methods of improving those areas. whether it’s personality / behavioral shortfalls, requiring therapy. Or medical issues such as depression, bi-polar, and other mental disorders that may require medications and/or therapy. to professional skill improvements, or stress reduction methodologies.

            Christianity says come lay all your problems at the cross and God will take them for you… That’s not dealing with your problems, that’s giving them to a magical rock and hoping the problem fairy replaces the problems with magical rainbows.

            Imagine if we said, hmmm, I’m not the greatest welder.. God, download new welding skills into my brain. hmmm… Would be nice, but haven’t heard of that happening without someone going to school for welding.

            It’s the same thing for anything else. giving one’s problems to God, asking for forgiveness or going to the alter and crying for 3 hours to beg God to help you, isn’t going to change what’s wrong. It may have therapeautic effects on the brain, alter the seratonin levels or something so one can think of ideas of what to do. But that doesn’t change that the problems are still there.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            @8:52; Re. 1st paragraph: If you think any of that is absent in Christianity, you’re nuts ! ! Sounds like you got these ideas from a cult.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The remainder of your post is simply drivel.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Wolfy: To press the point farther. Only one of many examples. We just had a Christian person in town that went for in-patient alcohol treatment, and is following up with AA. Literally every point you mentioned is taken into the program of recovery. Every one has his/her own specific needs that are approached using your points, and others you missed. This also works for non-Christians. I personally know them.

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