February 08, 2005

A Church At The Crossroads

Sojourners Magazine

by Heidi Schlumpf

Maria Teresa Martinez grew up in Mexico and came to the United States 33 years ago, eventually landing in Chicago. When sheís not watching her 3-year-old and 3-month-old grandchildren, the 60-year-old bundle of energy is volunteering at the legal clinic at her parish on the northwest side of the city. She canít say enough good things about her pastor and doesnít see much wrong with the Catholic Church.

Suzanne Morse lives in Boston and sees plenty wrong with the institutional church. Born after Vatican II, she never grew up with that "Fatherís always right" attitude. So when The Boston Globe began exposing priest sex abusers, Morse, who was working in communications for a nonprofit research institution, got involved with the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful. Today she serves as the groupís public relations point person.

On the surface, Martinez and Morse - aside from both being Catholic women - may not seem to share much in common. One is a working-class Midwestern Latino woman with relatively traditional views about Catholicism. The other is a middle-class Eastern Anglo working for change in the church.

Both, however, are the faces of the future of the Catholic Church in the United States.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2005 06:10 PM