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CHICAGO STUDIES

It will take much planning and the use of modem scientific methods. If theology can furnish the basic principles that guide us in understanding the goal to be reached, it will be religious sociology and its allies that will have to be called in to accomplish the job of implementation. Yet in the task of change one thing must he uppermost in our minds. We must change in such a way that we preserve the integrity of persons and the unity of the Church. Here we encounter a formidable undertaking; for within the Church in the ranks of laity, religious, priests, bishops, and the Roman Curia as well there are untold numbers who see structures as traditional, as instruments to be maintained at all costs. We are, therefore, confronted with the problem of working for necessary changes in the face of honest men who consider these changes of structure, at least implicitly, as the very betrayal of Christ. I would suggest that there is but one tactic open to us. It is not the tactics of sarcasm and vituperation; it is not the tactic of threat, condemnation, or subtle pressure; it is not the tactic of chicanery and trickery. These are unworthy of a christian dealing with fellow christians of good will. Rather, the tactic to be used is the far more difficult tactic of christian persuaswn. If we advocate change, we must show that we advocate it not for the sake of a new structure, nor for the sake of revolution, but simply because a change in structure in the given case is the way to preserve and foster the very values the old structure was meant to serve. We have to show that we love Christ more than any time-conditioned structure and that we seek that Christ be manifested and expressed in the best possible way by appropriate structures of our day. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever; the structures through which he expressed himself in this world are not and cannot be forever the same.

Profile for Chicago Studies

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

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