IQ: The Catholic Church 

The Catholic Church is negotiating some stormy seas. While the Church has been protecting pedophiles within the ranks, it continues to shut out women -- and prohibit married priests from priesthood. Is it time for a change?

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Karen Zalmanek
Elementary school teacher Mountain Shadows

What is the Catholic Church's biggest problem? Church leaders aren't sufficiently accountable. But that's true of nearly any sector of society -- religion, schools, corporations.

Do you see a gap between Catholic theology and everyday life? Religion has to address the realities of the present, and I don't see the Catholic Church doing that. The Church isn't providing useful guidance.

Should women be priests? Spiritual leadership isn't gender-limited. If you're called to minister, what you can contribute has nothing to do with whether you're male or female.

What's wrong with birth control? I have utmost respect for people who chose not to reproduce. They should have that option.

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Melinda Treml
CC Research and Planning Downtown

What is the Catholic Church's biggest problem? Hypocrisy. The Pope excommunicates anybody who gets a divorce, but protects priests who sexually prey on young people.

Is there a gap between Catholic theology and real life? Catholic theology worked well for the time, place and social structure for which it was created -- the Middle Ages. Catholicism isn't meeting its responsibility to help people live more fully in the modern world.

Should women be priests? Men and women bring different viewpoints to religion and connections to spirit. Allowing women priests would alleviate the patriarchal assumptions that gave the church birth, which would revolutionize Church culture. Women would make incredible priests.

What's wrong with birth control? Catholicism has a huge problem with sex. The Church's doesn't want sex practiced just for pleasure. They can't see that sexual pleasure is a way to connect with spirit, so they tie sex to procreation as a way to keep it under control.

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Martha Hazlett
Middle school teacher Pierce, Colo.

How can the Catholic Church re-establish trust? Change their organization and hierarchy instead of hiding their wrongdoing.

Should priests be allowed to marry? I think that being married and having families would allow priests to understand and counsel people more effectively. That would be a healthy development.

Should women be priests? Women priests would have better understanding of women's problems. Women priests would enrich the church.

Are you a Catholic? I was until I became disillusioned with the Church when I began working with poor families in Honduras, where I come from. Women in poor countries desperately need birth control, but they can't be an active part of the Church if they use it.

What's your favorite thing about Pope John-Paul? His obvious spirituality.

-- Bob Campbell


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