The theme of the book is picked up straight away in the introduction: the trauma of the existing crisis is essentially lengthy-standing, going back at least thirty, and closer to fifty years, in the course of which time the conciliar promises of a a lot more locally accountable and synodally governed Church had been in no way materialized–had been, certainly, rolled back. So the crisis of abuse has been but the most recent in a lengthy line of hierarchical betrayals major, the author repeatedly says, to sadness, rage, and grief: all 3 are manifestations of trauma, as I discussed right here.
These betrayals had been led by guys who, Arbuckle rightly points out, feared “scandal” a lot more than the truth–a point I also produced in my discussion, right here, of the makes use of and abuses of the complete notion of “scandal,” a word which, in episcopal usage, implies “what tends to make me as bishop appear terrible.”
The author moves immediately into a discussion of cultural theory and the unbelievable resistance constructed into cultures, such as ecclesial culture, to any significant efforts at modify. He notes, rightly as several of us have been saying for some time, that this should be an all-hands-on-deck affair: not just “prayer and fasting” kinds of modify, not just “new evangelization,” and not just new structures: the reform needed is a radical modify in the way we consider, pray, structure our life, and act with each other. 1 discipline that will support us see the far-reaching and extensive nature of the modifications required is cultural anthropology. Right here Arbuckle references such crucial players as Clifford Geertz and, later on, Mary Douglas, whom I am reading with my students this semester.
I had forgotten what an exhilarating ride Douglas is in Organic Symbols as properly as Purity and Danger and other operates. But I also hadn’t realized how merciless she is in the former book, also, which is so tightly written it really is practically an act of warfare. She lobs a single dense, higher-powered sentence soon after a different without the need of warning, introduction, transition. She packs an unbelievable quantity of higher theory into a really brief book and clearly requires no prisoners.
The author concludes his introduction by laying out the program of the book. Chapter 1 will appear at cultural dynamics in the Church major to cover-up two will ask what tends to make the Church uniquely prone to such cover-ups three will concentrate on grief in the Church right now 4 will appear at new leadership five at new structures and six at other assorted action plans going forward.
In the coming days we will proceed systematically via the book, 1st discovering what the author argues and then critically analyzing it.