Essay about The Modern Era's Central Tensions in the Roman Catholic Church

Essay about The Modern Era's Central Tensions in the Roman Catholic Church

Length: 1367 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Modern Era's Central Tensions in the Roman Catholic Church


In his narrative of the time from the French Revolution to the present in Church History: Twenty Centuries of Catholic Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church, John C. Dwyer makes it apparent that he has several goals in mind for where the church ought to end up, and his account gives us a sense that it is all leading up to these goals. They are largely accomplished by the time he gets to the Second Vatican Council, though in some ways they are left undone even at the end. One of these goals is that the Church must forget about holding on to the Papal States, and more importantly, that the Pope should not waste his efforts in trying to hang on to them. Another is for the Church to become truly catholic by losing it's Latin focus, and accept that it is the church of many cultures around the world, not just of the Italians. Dwyer also seeks a general modernization of the conduct of Church business and decision-making, such as a more open and democratic process, and one that seeks input from all concerned parties and arrives at its decrees more by consensus than by fiat. In his descriptions of each of the Popes that he covers in this history, they are judged on how well or poorly they succeed in working towards these goals for the growth and improvement of the Church in the two centuries leading up to our time.

On the eve of the French Revolution, "the Papal States had become an obstacle to the independence and universality of the papacy, but the Popes of the time were utterly unaware of this". The problem of with the Papal States was that they involved the Popes "incessantly in internal Italian political squabbles" and made their relationship to the Catholic powers...


... middle of paper ...


...n an overall trend towards the kind of world view taken for granted by much of the West in the 21st century. The moves towards social justice and equality of the 19th century are tracked slowly and reluctantly by the Church, until the centralized power of the Pope is weakened to the point that it becomes impossible not to recognize that the real power of Catholicism lay outside the immediate grip of the Vatican. With this realization, the Church adopted a much more diverse and democratic outlook, while at the same time remaining at odds with the strongly-held beliefs of much of the laity. It is this central tension that remains with the Church today, and the pattern that Dwyer presents is one of slow and reluctant liberalization.


Works Cited

Dwyer, John C. Church History: Twenty Centuries of Catholic Christianity. Paulist Press. New York. Mahwah. 1998.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Fall of the Roman Empire

- The fall of the Roman Empire in the West is seen as one of the most pivotal points in all of human history. This event traditionally marks the transition from classical civilization to the birth of Europe. There is an absolutely tremendous scholarly interest in this subject; thousands of books have been published and endless numbers of essays and theories, as to the cause, have been written. Why did the Roman Empire in the West fall. It is difficult to pinpoint a simple explanation. Some scholars have tried to identify one main problem which caused the fall....   [tags: Roman History]

Powerful Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

How Roman Law Has Affected The Development Of Law Essay

- Roman law was evident from the time of the founding of the state in 753 BCE until its fall in the 5th century CE, but remained somewhat in use in the Eastern, Byzantine Empire until 1453 (Kiralfy). The term ‘Roman Law’ today, stands for more than just the laws and regulations of Roman society, but the legal institutions that evolved as a result. These establishments had a large amount of influence on the laws of other societies well after the dissolution of the Roman Empire (Kiralfy). Roman law has affected the development of law within most Western civilizations, as well as within some parts of the East, forming the basis of law codes of continental Europe (Kiralfy)....   [tags: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman law]

Powerful Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

Influences of the Ancient Roman Empire on Early Modern State Builders Essay

- Anthony Pagden and David Armitage have maintained that the influences of the ancient Roman Empire provided valuable lessons to early modern state builders. Medieval Europe was a feudal period of expansion of territory and consolidation of power. Once the powerful monarchs of Spain, England, and France had secured their supremacy, they competed amongst each other to be the undisputed Lord of All the World. Their imperial ambitions made America the proving ground in a competitive political contest....   [tags: World History]

Powerful Essays
1843 words (5.3 pages)

Political Power of Roman Essay

- On ancient Greece, Plato (427-347 BC), Xenophon (c. 430-354 BC), and Aristotle ("Father of Political Science") (384-322 BC) conducted an analysis of the political system in the philosophical works such as The Republic and Laws by Plato, and the Politics and the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. The analysis of historical records beyond those found in the works of earlier historians such as Herodotus and Thucydides. On ancient Roman, renowned historians such as Polybius, Livy and Plutarch documented how the early emergence of the Roman Republic, the organizations that exist in the Roman Republic, as well as the history of other nations during the height of the Roman imperial power....   [tags: power, nature, state, revolution]

Powerful Essays
1628 words (4.7 pages)

Medieval Art in a Modern World Essay

- Medieval Art in a Modern World When I was looking at different works of art from the Middle Ages in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (medieval wing), one in particular caught my attention. Entitled “Plaque with the Crucifixion and the Stabbing of Hades,” this piece embodies life and death, triumph and defeat, divinity and humanity. Carved in ivory, this plaque, depicting the Passion of Christ with an allusion to Hades (god of the underworld), is from the mid-tenth century, or Middle Byzantine era, and was made in Constantinople....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
625 words (1.8 pages)

Aphra Behn's Oroonoko as the First Modern Novel Essay

-     During the seventeenth century, the art of writing was like uncharted waters for women, in which most who ventured were rendered pathetically unsuccessful.  No matter the quality, publications written by women were typically ridiculed by their male contenders.  However, a handful of women defied the common standards and were prosperous; one of these was Aprha Behn.  Virgina Wolf says of Behn, "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds."  Although she was a woman of outstanding accomplishments, one of her publications truly glistens.  Oroonoko (1688), the epic tale of a heroic black slave, has o...   [tags: Oroonoko Essays]

Powerful Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

The Era Of The Roman Republic Essay

- Gaius Octavius Thurinus (better known as Augustus) was the man who would turn the Roman Republic into an Autocracy, ruled by one man: Himself. It is true that Augustus built the Roman Empire around himself, and refurbished Rome for the better however, he achieved his title Imperator through rather questionable means. He emerged as emperor by defeating people who were once allies, he forced Marc Antony to be exiled to Gaul successfully defeating him as a rival, and he also had many supporters and was extremely popular....   [tags: Augustus, Roman Empire, Julius Caesar]

Powerful Essays
1360 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Rome 's Cultural Beginnings And The Creation Of The World

- To truly understand Rome’s cultural beginnings, we need to start with the Etruscans, the earliest permanent settlers of the Italian peninsula. The ancient Greek culture had a considerable impact upon the Etruscans, who adopted the Greek gods and many parts of Greek mythology. Just like any other culture, the Romans have their own origin story. This is an excellent example of intrinsic sameness, as every culture around the globe desired to explain how their people came to be, which they usually explained with a story of the creation of the world....   [tags: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Augustus, Rome]

Powerful Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Palatine Hill Essay

- The Palatine Hill is central to the rest of Rome’s seven hills. According to Commendare Boni, the Palatine is the most of important of Roman Hills . The Palatine hill towers 40 feet above the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus. The hill was carved from volcanic sediments which had been eroded over years by the Tiber River. It was originally the location of a Bronze Age settlement as archeological digs have found evidence of human habitation as far back as 10th century BC. The hill also maintains a prominent prominent role in Roman Mythology....   [tags: Roman Republic, Italy]

Powerful Essays
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Mithraism Essay

- Mithraism Mithraism is the ancient Roman mystery cult of the god Mithras. Roman worship of Mithras began sometime during the early Roman empire, perhaps during the late first century of the Common Era (hereafter CE), and flourished from the second through the fourth centuries CE. While it is fairly certain that Romans encountered worship of the deity Mithras as part of Zoroastrianism in the eastern provinces of the empire, particularly in Asia Minor (now modern Turkey), the exact origins of cult practices in the Roman cult of Mithras remain controversial (see below)....   [tags: Cult Religion Rome Roman]

Powerful Essays
2794 words (8 pages)