Throughout her history, the Catholic Church has always had to struggle to address controversial issues of all kinds, and what we are facing in our own age is nothing new. Open your bible to the New Testament and you will read about the Apostles themselves had controversies, even with each other. In what has been termed the Antioch incident (Galatians, 2), St Paul “rebukes” St Peter over the maintaining Jewish practices in the Catholic faith. Today, there is certainly no shortage of controversial issues, and no shortage of Catholics, of all types, “rebuking” one another. What is perhaps unique in our time is not so much the number of controversies within the Church, but rather the amount of information surrounding each controversy and the ease of access to that information. Today, anyone can get “informed” on the “facts and issues” surrounding Church politics and scandals of all types. What effect does the amount of, and ease of access to, information, have on our perception of the condition of the Church?
Prior to modern technology, controversies in the Church were largely restricted geographically, and knowledge of the issues surrounding them was limited, and even that only a few of them. Today the opposite is true. Hundreds of pages of information from all over the world can be downloaded at the click of a button on any modern ‘Antiochian Incident’ in the Church. One can see the “spirit of rebuke” is alive and well in modern Catholicism.
You may be thinking: From where else am I supposed to get information so that I come to an understanding of issues challenging the Church? Consider the following: