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Has the Catholic Church had its day?

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Carlo Acutis was a keen teenaged churchgoer — a fairly rare phenomenon now in Europe at least. At school, he had the reputation of being a cheerful and helpful computer genius. He was 15 when he died of a particularly malignant form of leukemia in 2006.

Last Sunday, he was beatified in the Italian city of Assisi, thus becoming one of the many people celebrated by Catholics all over the world as being especially close to God. The act of beatification was also a clear expression of the desire to extract a deeper meaning from immeasurable suffering.

Right now, the Catholic Church is in need of a powerful, human presence such as that possessed by Carlos Acutis. It is currently in its worst crisis since the Reformation and at risk of falling apart.

Alexander Görlach

Nothing makes this clearer than Francis' botched pontificate. Intellectually, the pope has not been able to give a theological foundation to his ideas for reform or establish them within the Church. This is not saying that he is a bad priest or an incapable person. After all, only God, if anyone, has the right to pass such a judgment.

However, as the supreme shepherd of his flock, he has failed to rise to the immense task entrusted to him when he was elected. Pope Francis reminds me of US President Barack Obama during his second term. At the time, the Republicans made it their principle that anything Obama tried to do should fail. They refused to cooperate in any way or make any concessions. Similarly, the cassock-wearing archconservatives who triggered the crisis by tolerating and hushing up the sexual abuse of children and young people by priests are now doing everything to undermine the pope's efforts to reform the Catholic Church.

Communion for the divorced? Never! Married priests? Heaven forbid! Then the whole world would know that many in the clergy are gay (nothing wrong with that, of course, but the Catholic Church, unfortunately, hasn't latched onto the fact). Women in leadership roles? Certainly not! Jesus Christ........

© Deutsche Welle

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