From ................ National Catholic Reporter

January 17, 1997

page 23

- I am no fan of Mother Angelica or Bishop [Fabian] Bruskewitz. I support some of the goals of [the 'We Are Church" referendum]: participation of the faithful in the selection of bishops and pastors, optional celibacy for priests, ordination of women.

But some other goals seem questionable.

Does "equality of all the faithful" mean that bishops have no more teaching or decision-making authority than anyone else in the diocese? Does "the primacy of conscience" mean that each of us can determine the morality of our choices solely by our own discernment? Does "the human rights of all persons regardless of sexual orientation" mean that homosexual acts are the moral equivalent of committed heterosexual marriage?

If the answer is yes, then I cannot support such goals, for I believe they would lead to moral and ecclesial anarchy

My uneasiness is reinforced when I read NCR's reports of some of the speeches at Call to Action, such as Sr. Miriam Therese Winter proclaiming that "the primary source of revelation is not in the Bible. It's in life. ...... We have to write our own script."

Again, what does this mean?

It sounds like neither the scriptures, nor tradition, nor church authority are normative for Christian belief and praxis. What's left? My own personal experience? The consensus of people who think like me? The opinion of the latest theological guru?

By all means, Call to Action, call the church to greater accountability. But don't substitute modern American individualism and subjectivism for disciplined theological reflection.

(Fr.) MARTIN PABLE, OFM Cap. Milwaukee, Wisc.