Fear: The Reason For Disunity in the Church

"Listen to one another", that is what Reverend Timothy Radcliffe, OP had to say regarding the differences between the conservatives and the liberals of the Catholic Church. On Monday evening of this past week I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by the renowned theologian at Saint Mary's Abbey, while I was on retreat. The theme of the night was "The Contemporary Church."

Being of the conservative bent, I thought this session would be filled with progressive theological statements regarding how one should view and react to the Church. What I found was an attempt to bridge the two sides of the ecclesiastical coin with an understanding that the divide is fear that causes the parties from hearing one another.

On the conservative side it is the fear that change from the former/present way of life and on the liberal side the fear is that of not changing to meet the needs of the present/future. Radcliffe stated that it these fears that block the entities from hearing one another. But, isn't that the way it is with most debates to begin with? Truth be known, I am more willing to listen with a sincere heart when I know that the audience is receptive to the words I utter. The defenses are lowered.