April 09, 2005

Disputes among the faithful show challenges facing the Roman Catholic Church



By NIKI SULLIVAN / Associated Press

Linda Dove and Judy Ringle, both devout Roman Catholics, started holding weekly meetings at St. Mary's Church in Corvallis at the beginning of the year when their faith-sharing group became too large to hold in private homes.

As a guide for discussion, the group read "In Search of Belief," a book by Benedictine sister Joan Chittister that advocates the ordination of women priests and challenges other church traditions as well.

Some members of the parish thought the book's message encouraged dissent, and said Ringle and Dove weren't interested in discussing the merits of Chittister's ideas.

"They would call us the dissenters, I would call them the dissenters," the 66-year-old Ringle said in a telephone interview from Corvallis. ...

Another issue in Oregon is the priest sexual abuse scandal. Last year, the Archdiocese of Portland became the first in the nation to file for bankruptcy in the face of mounting sex abuse claims. The archdiocese has already settled about 130 lawsuits dating from 1950 through 2003 for about $53 million.

Posted by kshaw at April 9, 2005 04:04 PM