Friday, November 19, 2010

David Korten on An Agenda for a New Economy: Insights for a New Catholic Reformation

Writing about the desperate need to create an agenda for a new economy in the U.S., David Korten notes,

I have abandoned my brief flirtation with the fantasy that Obama might be the exception and that contrary to what I have believed and taught for more than 20 years change might come from the top.

If change comes, the leadership will come from below through citizen action that originates from outside of the institutions that are failing us on so many fronts. Change from below can succeed only when a large number of people have a shared understanding of the roots of the problem and share a vision of the path to its resolution.

And it strikes me that these valuable insights might equally well be applied to the desperately needed reform of the Catholic church.  There, too, change is not going to come from the top, even when grinning glad-handers seek to put a humane face on the increasingly inhumane positions staked out by an entrenched hierarchy bitterly resistant to necessary change. 

 If change does happen in the Catholic church, it will come only from below, when a large number of Catholic layfolks--who fund the church in every respect, on whose docility and compliant giving the clerical elite depends absolutely--begin to envision together both the deep roots of the problems facing the church today, and the solution to those problems.  Change in the Catholic church will come, if it comes at all, from the very people the deeply entrenched hierarchy has shoved to the margins at this point in history, and from the many lay Catholics who begin to understand precisely why the hierarchy has been so intent on silencing these voices, and the shattering, illuminating truths those voices have continued speaking to power.

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