THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: February 11, 2013
To the Editor:
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI may be the most influential act of his papacy. It opens a window of opportunity for serious reform, starting with the papacy, in a church roiled in multiple crises. If the scandal of the papacy as one of the last absolute monarchies in a democratizing world is not addressed, all other reforms will falter. Catholic scholarship is clear. There is no evidence that a papal monarchy was Jesus idea.
Of course, if you accept that Peter was the first pope, there would be lessons. Peter was married. A happily married pope with a strong spouse and children could think more clearly on sexual and reproductive issues and not let the church get mired in obsessions that obscure the message of justice and peace that Jesus preached.
Of course, no change will occur if the Catholic laity act like sheep awaiting word from their all-male shepherds.
DANIEL C. MAGUIRE
Milwaukee, Feb. 11, 2013
The writer is a professor of moral theology at Marquette University.
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