Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NCR Headline: "Church Teaching Doesn't Change"--Really?!

I wonder who wrote the headline for the article by Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service that National Catholic Reporter is now running. It reads, "Church Teaching Doesn't Change, but Church Laws Can."

Whoever wrote the headline should be ashamed to disseminate such patently false information--information that almost all Catholics with even a passing acquaintance with church history know is false. Church teaching most certainly has changed. Read the New Testament and pay attention to its description of the practice and credal formulations of the first Christian communities, and then compare that snapshot of church life and belief with the practice and creed of Catholic communities today, and you'd be an utter fool to maintain that church teaching can't and doesn't change.

As John Henry Newman pointed out, and as Vatican II affirmed, church teaching has to change because history moves on. Culture changes. Church teaching has to change to adapt to changes in the culture around the church, or the church finds itself unable to communicate its gospel message--which is its core and unchanging message--to the world around it.

NCR should be ashamed to run a headline that insults the intelligence of the Catholic community and transmits information that is obviously wrong to both the Catholic community and the wider culture.

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