As I was reading Mollie Wilson O’Reilly’s post-game, it occurred to me it’s some contrast with Ross Douthat’s fracture. Perhaps the Church is more governed by the Holy Spirit when people sit down and talk than when one side or another prefers monolithism to faithfulness.
But nobody really won—no one could have won a conflict that never should have happened this way to begin with, one that exposed real fault lines in the church relating to sex and power and the relationship between the two and ended without directly addressing, much less repairing them.
I think the end of hostilities is enough for one day. Or month. I think if the rest of us can sustain a Francis Effect for several years–and preferably on our own without imposition from above–we might yet address those matters of sex and power in the Church. But I think we can all agree the climate is somewhat changed from 1978-2013. Maybe the Church has grown up a bit, and we’re all able to handle disagreements above the table. And give the culturewar an example to follow.
I suspect political commentators will continue to scratch their heads and wonder. But the example is only as good as when it gets followed on the ground in local parishes and dioceses.
Families, presumably, have conflicts unable to be resolved. What good does it do those facing divorce when Catholic institutions can’t reconcile? Gone are the days when a husband could insist on treating a wife like chattel and enforce a marriage by might. I think we need more examples of dialogue with respect for the other. Maybe something will rub off in San Francisco.