In his 1974 book,1 Avery Dulles, S.J. presented five models of the Catholic Church - the Church as Institution, as Mystical Communication, as Sacrament, as Herald, and as Servant. To Father Dulles, the five models represent the principal images of the Church, images that are rooted in reality, reflect reality and illustrate the reality of the Church to the people.
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However, taken by itself
As Dulles explained, not any one of the five models, by itself, can represent the totality of Church history and praxis5. What may seem to be the dominant model or models of the Church may even prove to be inadequate in a time of sudden and earth-shaking changes, and need further elaboration as images of the Church. New models may even arise as the Church perseveres in using insights from the Gospel and its own praxis in adjusting to such changes and challenges.
More than 40 years have passed since the Gaudium et Spes (Church and the Modern World) laid the basis for the Church as Servant, a model that has shaped and still has a significant impact on both the Church itself and the total human community. Today we can glimpse at least part of the outcome of the Church's decision to update and renew
Vatican II was an unparalleled event and development in the two-millenium history of the Church. From 1962-1965, the Vatican II Council embodied and encouraged the spirit of renewal and openness to change, within the framework of basic truths revealed by Christ in the gospel. For the first time the Church bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, Pope John XXIII and upon his death, Pope Paul VI, focused their considerable collective energy and experience to examining the state of humanity.
The Vatican Council recognized and praised the many achievements of humanity in the field of economics, politics and culture. But it also pointed to the unfulfilled search of many individuals for their origin, life purpose and goal, encompassing not only the
Church as Servant 5
temporal but also the realm of spiritual life. The Council also lamented the fact that while human society has achieved so much, still millions remained poor.6 Following the
example of Christ, who devoted himself to ministering to both body and spirit, the Vatican Council laid the basis for the Servant Church that has continued to travel along this road up to the present.
The force behind Vatican II, Pope John XXIII, wrote the great encyclical Pacem in Terris.7 It was groundbreaking in 1963 and still valid almost 45 years later. The people's pope provided a definition of the rights and duties of human beings as well as human institutions such as governments. It contained an affirmation of women's equality and role in society, a "strong insistence on racial equality," and the inclusion of freedom along with truth, justice and charity as the bases of peace in the world. 8 Has the Servant Church upheld Pope John XXIII's statement on human rights, striking for its "generosity, breadth and contemporaneity" then and still so at present
Church as Servant ...
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The Church has on many occasions taken sides on the most issues relating to sexuality so as to advice its flock accordingly. The issues that the Catholic Church has been vocal about include; maintenance of celibacy rule for the clergy, using of condoms as a preventive measure of contacting AIDs, gay marriages, lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality, women serving as deacons or bishops, prostitution, mode of dressing for different sexes, use of contraceptives as a way of exercising family planning, pornography, sex education in schools and lastly same gender sexual activity are strongly opposed by the Catholic Church.
This was quite contradictory to many 1920s constitutions, notably the Irish Free State Constitution of 1922, which, following secularism, prohibited any discrimination based on religion or avoided religious issues entirely (Wikipedia, 2006)1.
A lot of people thought that this draft on the Irish constitution was a betrayal of sorts.
The name "Catholic Church" was given in 107 AD by Ignatius of Antioch to describe Jesus' church. The precise term "Roman Catholic" was created in the nineteenth century in Britain to distinguish Roman Catholics from other churches that are also Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Pope, currently Pope Benedict XVI.
This year's event was highlighted by a record turnout, as well as meeting the goal of raising money for the impoverished people in Haiti. Ethel Kiefer, organizer of the event commented, "We want to thank the entire community for their support. All the money we raise goes to supply food and medicine to the people in Haiti.
By contrast, the just-war theory justified violence under certain circumstances. These two perspectives on war and peace have a long and exceptionally complex history that covers the period from the Sermon on the Mount to the recent statements of Popes and bishops on the matters of war and peace.
Human Rights. 2005). The Report of the Think Tank on "Strengthening the United Nations Mechanisms for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights" in which Dr. Joseph Masciulli was an active participant makes the following observation. "Today, the universality and indivisibility of human rights are increasingly being acknowledged internationally, and range of individuals, organizations and institutions devoted to achieving full enjoyment of human rights throughout the world have emerged." (The Report of the Think Tank on "Strengthening the United Nations Mechanisms for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights").
It guided in the government in several delicate issues such as abortion, gay and feminine rights etc. Conversely, the completion of 'liberal agendas' in matters concerning divorce and birth control has destabilized the Church's control (Nutty).
Nowadays, being a Catholic in Ireland no longer has an impact in the pursuit of success in socio-economic endeavours.
Within a few short years of the Resurrection, the followers of Jesus began calling themselves "Christians" (Acts 11:26), and by the end of the first century, the word "catholic"-meaning "universal"-was applied to the Church.
Catholic religion provides a full-fledged membership with the application of the seven blessed sacraments which marks the life of every Catholic.
The waning influence of the Irish Catholic Church over the Irish Republic was reflected in the changes that were seen in the alterations that were brought about in Irish law in relation to the influence of
itself centuries earlier in the politics of Western Europe, and become part of the political intrigues and manipulations of Western European politics. In addition, the Catholic Church craved for political power and material wealth that led to practices in the Catholic Church,
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