Vol. V, No. 10
"A question of what our gods are"
What might be the issues most affecting in the Church in the New Millennium?
Bishop Joseph Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown, in his "Random Comments" column in the January 3, 2000 edition of his diocesan paper, Catholic Register, predicted conflict and division:
"Our faithfulness to the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council, or the lack thereof, will continue to be the source of division in the Church, probably even to a greater degree that it has thus far.
"It will basically be a question of what our gods are. Internal division over nonessentials is a dream for those who wish the Church ill. One of the sources of such division has been the disagreement over minutia involving liturgy and architecture. The archenemy appears to have infiltrated our ranks".
Bishop Adamec had used his "Random Comments" column in April 1998 to scold Catholics who had objected to the diocese’s inviting the "pro-choice" governor to speak at an official diocesan dinner.
The bishop commented that it was unfortunate that his flock chose to "criticize their bishop" just before Holy Week, but remarked that considering that "similar things happened to Jesus during that first Holy Week, when He was asked to defend himself, the matter takes on a more meaningful perspective".
Respect authority. Although Bishop Adamec admitted that the governor’s position on abortion is incompatible with Catholic teaching, this fact was not important enough to rescind the invitation. People’s concern that the event could cause confusion or scandal were groundless, the bishop said, because the Church’s teaching on abortion is clear, and "the event in itself will not be the cause for others to do evil".
Internal division over non-essentials?