Ed Peters takes up the perennial question that comes up when dealing with liberal Catholic reform groups: Whose Church is it? The latest group calls itself “Take Back Our Church” and I talked about them back on July 6:
Robert Blair Kaiser, dissenting Catholic and former Time writer covering the Church, has started a new web site called “Take Back the Church,” which is nothing more than the same old Call to Action gruel reheated and served up lukewarm.
Ed says that usually such groups aren’t worth the attention of the Church, but in this case a closer look might be warranted. Apart from flawed interpretations of canon law, the group might itself be violating the law:
1983 CIC 1374 states: “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”
Now consider some TBOC assertions: “[W]e do plead guilty in our wish to overturn, at least in the United States, what the last pope called ‘the divinely instituted hierarchical constitution of the Church.’” or: “[We Americans] must elect our own bishops. And retain the power to un-elect them if they fail to serve us.” and ask: at what point do expressions of opinion, protected by 1983 CIC 212, become machinations against the Church penalized under Canon 1374? TBOC, it seems, is daring Church leadership to answer that question. Maybe this time it should.
Meanwhile, Ed also answers the initial question. It’s not my Church, it’s not TBOC’s Church, it’s not even the bishops’ Church. The Church belongs to Christ.