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The question of reform in the Catholic Church stirs up reader opinions

Our Catholic readership answered the question on whether or not the Catholic Church is in need of reform. As usual, we heard from those in favor and those opposed.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Christmas Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010

Do you think the Catholic Church needs reform?

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Catholic theologians call for an end to compulsory celibacy

Reform the Church? Yes! Start by sacking those 144 heritics who are called "theologians." -- GYMK, US

No, the Church is not in need of reform, the 144 theologians are in need of discipline. If John Paul II was "authoritarian," Obama is a tyrant. -- Bill, US

St. Stanislaus church is in the midst of a conflict with the Archdiocese. Congratulations to the European priests. I wish some of the US clergy were part of the movement. -- Joyce, US

Of course, the Catholic Church is in need of reform! So what's new? The (institutional) Church has always been in need of reform since the days of Saints Peter and Paul e.g. Council of Jerusalem (Acts. 15: 26-29) - The Second Vatican Council. However, let's remember that when we talk about the 'Church' there are two aspects that need to be remembered. The Church is first and foremost the Mystical Body of Christ, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ who is ever present in His Church, Spiritually and Physically and prevents Her, the Church, through the Popes from teaching any false doctrines and morals. Doctrinal and moral error. There is no way of thinking that we humans can 'change' the Divine Will as found in the Catholic and Apostolic Church. The second aspect of the Church is that it is made up of us human sinners. We can make mistakes and teach falsehood and suggest all kinds silly things, even suggesting changing faith and morals to suit 'modern man.' -- Paul, UK

I served the Catholic Church for close to 50 years but now worship with a small community of disillusioned Catholics. We yearn for the ordination of women to the priesthood as long as they bring a more feminine style to the hierarchy. In truth we would like to see a more democratic form of governance. We wish the priests in the US were more liberal but we see little hope for a renewed Catholic community. -- Cynthia, US

Vatican II stated that the Church is always in need of conversion. The Church, the People of God, has the Holy Spirit dwelling more powerfully in the lived experience of the laity than the Institutional dimension of the Church. It is by listening to this lived experience of the Holy Spirit that reform and conversion will happen and God's Kingdom will transform the world. -- Gene, US

The Roman Catholic Church is in dire need of reform. The changes brought about by Vatican II must be kept in force and more changes must be added. Priests need no longer be celibate, women must be ordained, priests must provide for the spiritual needs of their people with help from the laity. Catholic schools must be done away with and the time and money invested in spiritual development rather than dogmas. The New Roman Missal should not be used. Readings at liturgy must be from scripture as well as other appropriate material. -- Betty, US

No, the Church does not need reform unless someone wants to be another protestant, which means protestor against the Catholic Church. I love women but no woman can stand in to represent Jesus at Mass as a priest. If Jesus wanted women priests he would have had them at the last supper. He would have had his mother at the last supper. I suppose priests could get married though. Some of the apostles were. All the books in the Bible are under male names. Jesus worked through men to build his church. Women did have their parts but limited. They did not take the place of Jesus though as he instructed men to do. -- Randy, US

What good would it do? John Paul did not become less authoritarian, but more so. What talks is money. We need to stop supporting the Vatican. -- Cathy, US

Yes, the Catholic Church is very much in need of reform. Optional celibacy would lead to reform of antiquated views of women, sexuality, and marriage. Thank you for your coverage of the theologians calling for an end to mandatory celibacy. -- Rosanne, US

I agree the Catholic Church is in great need of reform. Would Christ exclude women from the priesthood today? Would he support celibacy? I don't think so. I have been an active Catholic for all my life and have been waiting and praying for reforms. -- Colleen, US

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Rob Turner

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