Halik: Catholic Church needs radical transformation

Renowned religious philosopher Msgr Tomas Halik has urged the Catholic Church to undergo a radical transformation.

In an interview with Austrian newspaper “Kleine Zeitung” Halik emphasised the need for the Church to move away from a perceived attitude of arrogance and exclusivity.

“The Church must shed the pride and arrogance of those who possess the whole truth” Halik stated.

He advocated for a shift towards a more open and receptive approach.

“We must be a listening church, not only a teaching church but above all a learning church” said Halik.

Msgr Halik believes a move towards inclusivity should accompany what would be a radical transformation.

He envisions the Church becoming “a house for all”, fostering dialogue within Christianity (ecumenism) and across religious and cultural boundaries.

According to Halik, this vision necessitates a heightened awareness of the Church’s ecological responsibility for the planet.

“It is necessary to find a way out of the structure of its closed confessional clerical system towards universality in the sense of a deeper and broader ecumenism” said the religious sociologist.

Renewed hope

The philosopher acknowledged attempts at reform in the past, citing the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a step in the right direction. However he believed these efforts yielded “only partial results”.

Halik said he finds renewed hope in the ongoing synodal process initiated by Pope Francis, which aims to increase collaboration and dialogue within the Church.

According to Halik, the future will bring many different forms of Christianity. However, this presupposes the development of a culture of respect and mutual recognition.

Halik argued for liberation from “the zeal and fanaticism of revolutionaries and inquisitors” who seek to achieve an ideal state by their own means. He also urged freedom from the temptation to be satisfied with the current state of the Church and religious knowledge.

“Theology must not become an ideology. In our theology there must always be room for mystery, for further seeking, questioning and silent adoration” concluded Halik.



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