An hour with CNN John Allen (2023)

christian churches and the catholic church in particular are shrinking think again i'm kate mcintyre and today on k pr presents some surprising trends in christianity and how they may change the face of the church in the years to come we'll hear from john allen senior vatican analyst for cnn and senior correspondent for the national catholic reporter he's the author of six books on church affairs his latest the future church houten trends are revolutionizing the catholic church allen also appears regularly on npr allen grew up in hayes kansas and received a master's degree in religious studies from the university of kansas in nineteen ninety two he spoke at as woodroof auditorium on april eleven two thousand eleven tonight's second the less a prodigious the subject than the future of the roman catholic church in the twenty first century and you were to set the table for that especially as john well i would like to begin tonight with a parable

as you know jesus falls began his publication of the parable and so what better example is there than so like terrible concerns a guy who is roughly my stage in life that is his mid forties and it's going through that absolutely inevitable midlife crisis and in the particular way he decides to tackle this crisis is he's going to physically rejuvenate its also he takes a membership out a global agenda is pumping iron and he becomes both untrained he seeks out the best plastic surgeon in town and he has the works facelift tummy tuck the whole deal and at the end of it he is feeling great about the results that he wants to strut his stuff so he goes to the local barnes and noble picks up a couple of extreme sport gen x and raided magazines and as he's checking out the counter he asks for by the way would you mind telling me how old you think i am so the court takes a look and says i'm an ominous a late twenties early thirties that the

guy says you know i'm actually forty seven and the clerk is forever his own like planets phenomenal you what's your secret about the guys feeling great and he wants to do it again so he leaves the barnes and noble he walks next door to the mcdonald's know it's lunch rush at the mcdonald's areas the wait is fine line that finally gets to the counter or says it whatever is happy meal and as he's paying for it he says to the person by the way would you mind telling me how old you think i mean again this person looks at him up and down and says say thirty one thirty two for sure no more than thirty five the guys as they are actually forty seven years old that's how you don't look back and wonder if so now the guy's on cloud nine anyone's one last show of affirmation so he weighs the mcdonald's he walks around the block a couple times and finally he comes to a bus stop at the end of the block there's a cluster of people around the bus stop he approaches one elderly woman and he says excuse me ma'am would you mind filling they would you just tell me how old you think

i and the woman says tim whatley what if you take off all of your clothes and run around in a circle and we're like oh i'll be able to leave all do no it i think is you know this is deeply weird because the terminology can beat the system and so he doesn't he strips naked he's fouling up the mood people of course were going nuts they're taking their cell phones and other pockets to call the cops just as things are on the brink of complete chaos he stops he wants a woman in the eyes of all right how little she says i tell you you're forty seven years old and the guys obviously don prices know that's impossible wanna have to know how you don't how does it work so i'll tell you how it works more on the story ladies and gentlemen is this beware of anyone who stands before you claiming to possess esoteric means a

revealing the essentially on no because if you take them too seriously you're going to end up naked running around in a circle and barking like a dog i don't study tea leaves i don't cast horoscopes the truth is i have no matter claim than anyone else knowing the future roman catholicism or anything else in the twenty first century many ways the future always exceeds or harass nevertheless nevertheless i would suggest to you that the effort to look down the wind of what might be coming is still justified not so much because of what it tells us about more but because of what it tells us about today but is it invites us to put on a particular pair of glasses to try to look beyond isolated events and random news headlines and try to get our hands around those forces which truly are most fundamental most pregnant with consequences you like it in terms of shaping the captain future so that's going to be doing here tonight through the guys buffalo of a project that i worked on for about two and a half years prior to

publication and that is ten trans which i believe curley or work during the catholic church towards its more now in the interest of time ladies and gentlemen we're probably only going to be able to get three or four of these trends tonight the army's corollary to which is if you want to stay in the others really have not sure this year's as that happened why the book with wide awake is available for sale and sinister and the immediately next to this now the other big table setting i need to do so but a prologue ominous so to speak number one is this is really about to date not so much about tomorrow the other bit of table setting i need to do is this this list is not intended as john allens private dream of the utopian church i am not trying to argue here tonight that these are the ten forces that all to be shaping the catholic future that would be a very interesting conversation to have i suspect many of us would have opinions on that subject and despite a lot of very fascinating time talking about a book that is

not tonight's business what we're in business might is a descriptive rather than a pre scripted exercise in other words tonight we are going to happen in habitable landed is rather than all i'm not trying to make an argument these are ten forces which should be caring center the future instead what i'm trying to say is that based on as i say about two and half years of experience interviewing catholic bishops theologians rank and file laity activists and in various experts hillary on across the highways and byways of the catholic world this is my best step of trying to identify tim forces which really or probably cutting through the church and caring in the future regardless of what you or i might cry that we think about that clear enough right with that what's really needed the first friend i want to discuss what it was like for the rise of the world church a world church now ladies and

gentlemen the picture on the slide comes from pope benedict the sixteenth march two thousand and nine trip to africa the holy father visited cameron an end goal this moment came at the end of his trip to cameroon the last item on his itinerary is that he met with a delegation of local indigenous persons popularly known as picking his eyes and see they've been a little dance for the pope and then they presented him with a memento of his visit believe it a lot that moment though was a giant sea turtle now being the enterprising vatican for that i am i immediately squabble often the vatican spokesperson a jesuit priest but the name of federico lombardi to ask him what was going to become of this trip and i was told it was being airlifted to row now for the lombardi however declined comment on the obvious falwell question which is ok once it gets to rome what's its future is it going to be a pet one ingredient in a super

day i don't know what became of the sea turtle but what i can tell you is that this picture in a flash capture some of the dramatic demographic transformations that are underway in global sales the famed jesuit theologian carl reiner once said in the long run of history the second vatican council in the mid nineteen sixties would be remembered as that moment when catholicism became a self consciously global family of faith that is no longer tried exclusively to its european and we're north american heritage but truly global no water was making a theological argument but i would suggest to you is the catholic demography and the twentieth century lens tolerate empirical confirmation to that point in nineteen hundred the dawn of the twentieth century there were a grand total of two hundred and sixty six million catholics in the world of whom two hundred million lived in europe and north america just sixty six million in the entire rest of the plant they were principally and one american this of course was before the population explosion the twentieth

century in other words scarcely more than one hundred years ago the ethnic and demographic profile the catholic church was basically what it was at the time of the council of trent in the sixteenth century it was an overwhelmingly white first world family of faith just one hundred years later you can see what happen by the year two thousand there were one point one billion catholics in the world of whom seven hundred and twenty million lived in the southern hemisphere africa asia latin america with three hundred and eighty million in europe and north america another way of putting that point is they're just a century ago only twenty five percent of the global catholic population lived in the southern hemisphere by the year two thousand it was sixty five point five two thirds and run the clock forward in mid century the projection is that by the middle of this century the three quarters three out every four a catholic men women and shoulder ka wah will live in the global sell this with his enjoyment is the

most rapid most sweeping most profound transformation of catholic demography in more than two thousand years the church history and we're living through it right now now to pour corollaries to that are worth unpacking first let's do a little basic math there are sixty seven million catholics in the united states and there are one point two billion roman catholics in the world what that means is the american catholic population represents exactly six percent of the global catholic population six percent another way putting that point was that ninety four percent of the catholics in the world an important respects at like us and by the way if he ever wonder why the pope is not thinking american thoughts money gets out of bed in the morning this may have something to do you know it's a much bigger and more complicated global reality of that ok so a corollary what is that in the catholic church the twenty first century seeing issues explosively through the present

of american priorities and american experience simply won't cut it isn't adequate to understanding the catholic realities of the twenty first century there's the second quarter for those of us who were kept i know it is often tempting to bully of the dominant storyline of our times it's contract intriguing but things are getting smaller and this is because this is also what we say you mean depending on where you live in an estate certainly in most parts of your what we would say today is the church collapsing in on itself i mean we we have a pre shortage oh we have declining mass attendance rates we struggle in the faith on to the next generation those realities today and where you live may be very real but i am here to tell you it is and gentlemen it was not the global catholic story of the twentieth century the global catholic story of the twentieth century was instead massey runaway

explosively the twentieth century was actually the greatest period of missionary expansion in the history of the fall consider this in subsaharan africa in nineteen hundred there were one point nine that's one period nine million catholics in subsaharan africa at the beginning of the twentieth century by the end of the century the one hundred and thirty nine million that hopes is a growth rate of six thousand seven hundred and eighty percent put that your pipe and smoke about six thousand seven hundred and eighty percent wind work the region that's not a bad point three so the point is doing not to be seduced by the notion that decline is the only catholic story of our times in some parts of the world is a very real story but the overall global stories phenomenal expansion now obviously the question all this raises is what does it me right it's very interesting to know the

population numbers of all that but the real question is what is the impact of this transition from north to south on the way to fall season is going to look and taste and feel and smell on the twenty first century as we'll really went up now i'm going to try to answer that question for you in a moment before i do so i want to put an industrial sized grain of salt on the table because here's the deal any time somebody tries to sell you generalize statements about seven hundred and twenty million people he probably would be a little cautious i'm a because for any you know abstract statement i could make about catholicism the south there are literally millions if not tens of millions of exceptions that said i think i can defend these four generalizations about the kinds of things we will be hearing and seeing in sensing and tasty from our brothers and sisters in the global south africa twenty four century first when it comes

to church and state matters of faith and politics i think we're going to find that catholicism the south strikes us as pretty conservative on matters of sexual morality pretty liberal or progressive on what we would consider broader questions of social justice and public policy now no impact that in a minute but first going to be pushed this business of dividing humanity up into liberals and conservatives into left and right this is an artifact of western culture and this is our taxonomy it doesn't necessarily occur naturally to people in other parts of the world toy story was recently in uganda and i was spending some time at macquarie university which is the elite national interest income pollock is the national capital and i spent an evening having dinner with a dirt road from political science majors and political science majors and in the course of conversation i asked him so you guys liberals or conservatives i said well you know we study those times in class we can know what they mean but you know helps out what what you looking for i said

well ok let's start with this do you believe that a strong central government or do you believe that that government governs best that governs weeks so now i see the artistry doesn't work let's try something easier george bush to like him or not and there's a while you although he did some good things for africa writes a lot about them one rack and you know in a way was a we had like a twenty minute conversation about what the typical american means by liberal or conservative and the end of it there for full answer was the only thing we can tell you is that were both a minute ok so this business of forcing people to choose again it's a czar affect your political culture is not necessarily a risk nevertheless because these times mean something to us i think they can be useful to kind of refine reading what's up all on what we in the west would consider the coltrane once hot button issues like abortion gay rights and gay marriage and gender roles the family that hope poster of

what we sometimes call the light visions you will find a mainstream meat and potatoes consensus in the church from the global south like the poll from the south generally but by our western standards comes comes off as remarkably conservative or remarkably tradition in one example of how this plays out in a religious context look at what is going on in the anglican communion together they the american branch which of course is the episcopal church of the united states the anglican communion is on the blank of a historic schism between progressive anglican churches in north america possibly can and in the states that are pressing ahead with the ordination of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same sex unions and all of that has been ferociously resisted by a traditionalist anglican movement which certainly has some falling in the states where the ad is hip or more fully in africa and by the way what is a gentleman who want some indication of the way the winds are blowing consider this of the seventy nine million anglicans in the world today forty one million of them now live in africa

there are now more practicing anglicans defined as anglicans who attend church services at least once a week more practicing anglicans in the nation nigeria long than there are in great britain but you know the mother ship and they wouldn't emit very clear indication of which way the winds are blowing ok so on the culture wars i think we will sense from the catholicism the celtic christianity in the south generally is a strong conservative push but when you change the subject to almost anything else broader questions of what we in the west would talk about a sort of social justice issues things like the ethics of free market global capitalism the justice of international trading relationships war and peace the environment race relations ha va that whole cocktail of questions once again i think you will find a meat and potatoes consensus on the global south that by our western standards comes off as remarkably progressive or remarkably liberal versus soundbite version of that point since april two thousand and three the beginning of the us led invasion of iraq

i have probably interview two hundred and fifty catholic bishops from the global south i have yet to find one and i literally mean not moi who wouldn't say but that violated the church's traditional tests for just one i realize that's a debatable point we could have a conversation about what i was trying to describe the climate of opinion and so on matters of economic justice foreign policy the use of armed force a international relations generally you're going to get at an impetus or words of crime are rising from the global south is that strike us pretty liberal so that picture is it's going to be this counterintuitive mix of positions on some issues have seen the softly conservative on other issues seem just awfully liberal now another way of putting that of course is that it comes fairly close to what the late cardinal joseph bernadine of chicago once described as a consistent ethic of life that is trying to put the church's pro life in peace and justice positions back together but how

everyone analyze it i think that's what we're going to be seeing an experience i'm second point the point of departure for catholicism the south was very much the fall world of the bible isn't speculative academic theology ok so it's the narrative universe of the old testament in the synoptic gospels you know not the sentences appear long or something like that what an important what that means is that the kind of religious cosmology of the self in that cosmology the supernatural is really hey it's pope oh you can almost reach out and touch it and you're constantly expecting it to rocket and daily experience of things like miracles and wonder is he awakes revelations exorcisms and the ma i combat and all that stuff that austin seem kind of quaint or archaic or harming their minds around this is meat and potatoes daily spiritual experience for people and most of the rest of the world now that has

implications all across the board but let me give you want health care it does not come naturally for most people on the planet to interpret the less exclusively in terms of physical cause and effect they also interpreted in front of the operation spirits good spirits and bad spirits and if you don't know that and if you're not able to work with that you will not be treating the whole course so in other words understanding this cosmology and its implications is increasingly the price of admission to be able to do pastoral ministry to reach out to the people who increasingly be setting the tone of the catholic church in the twenty percent or four points pluralism rather than secularism is the challenge here is not only in the west our church leaders spent an awful lot of time worrying about the threat of settlers right we were we worry that we're losing our young people the settlers all we get all worked up over the latest books by famous atheists like you know dawkins and kitchens and that crowd and

constantly fighting this ideological battle against the sort of linger of the ideology and the post modern world and you know that speaks to a sort of fine arts agrees outside of the west i would actually argue outside of europe for the most part but certainly outside of the ways you actually have to look pretty long and pretty hard to find an honest to god secularist if by that you mean somebody who's kind of thrown in the towel on religious faith and practice in most other parts of the world catholic leaders are not getting out of bed in the morning worrying about secularism it's not their fault line pastoral challenge their challenge is instead the competitive dynamics of the flourishing religious marketplace is so for example if you work ethic we're in sub saharan africa what you read about some sectors where you live is alive or is long or is christian pentecostalism or it is revived forms of intuitive indigenous tribe or religion

if you're a catholic leader on the indian subcontinent in your fear isn't secularism is hindu radicalism if you live in latin america it's certainly is christian and past wars one of the great religions stories of the twentieth century is the massive shift of the population one in america the religion of what was once an almost entirely catholic time it to a much more pluralistic environment in which the major beneficiary of the net and winner of that shift was christian pentecostalism there was actually a study done for the catholic bishops of what america nineteen nineties which found that eighty thousand latin american catholics were leaving the church to become a costly every day eight thousand a day it is a statistical fact that more people deserted catholicism from protestantism in latin america in the twentieth century the day ended so in europe in the century after the protestant reformation i've told almost all of that shift was in favor of the panic costs of guatemala's a great case in point guatemala a generation ago was ninety seven

percent catholic to date is latin america's first majority protestant state again almost all the incident in favor of the public schools the largest protest in churches and in the western hemisphere is in guatemala city it's on the outskirts of the universal king of christ the savior oh it's one of those soccer stadium style church is fully concede about three thousand people for sunday services and they have thirteen services every side they fill up every time and in the inimitable fashion of the apostles and also has corporate sponsorship they have the name of the road the tissue up the church's it's burger king drive that is the ceo of burger king guatemala city than at the church well my point is that if you're a catholic leader in latin america certainly guatemala you know obviously you would not define secularism is the primary thing you're concerned about you would be asking why are so many more people taking their religious business across the street and now that he has a couple of implications one it means that the emerald hue of church leaders in the global south hadley typically is not at a

lot in the same way that our church leaders often are that is they're not fighting abstract intellectual battles against unbelief and most of the rest of the world people are not choosing between belief and unbelief they take belief for granted when they're choosing among the different options on the road with the shortest which means that for the church in the south the kind of the the mood in the way of seeing things typically is less ideological much more practical it's a kind of sleeves rolled up pastoral question of how we meet our people's needs of an uncle across the street second edition is it changes the social profile of our system of changes the way people look at the church and in the west of course were accustomed to thinking of the catholic church is a very conservative institution and obviously of which are comparing it to is western secularism that is how it's going to walk right what if what you're comparing the catholic church to is enormous and it is long on one side and radical christian pentecostalism on the other catholicism often comes off looking like the

moderate modern rational sophisticated open religious options in other words it just changed the way the typical person in the street thinks about roman catholicism for them finally knew that optimism if you want a defining characteristic of catholicism the global south ladies and gentlemen this is it here is a demographic factor wait for you are you aware of that according to the united nations population edition ninety percent that's nine as the world ninety percent of the human population that is today under fourteen years of age lives in the southern hemisphere it is a fact that the catholic church in the southern hemisphere reflects those demographics it is overwhelmingly young i will tell you from personal experience that i had been in la and how many catholic parishes in subsaharan africa half the time you don't know if you're a church or a daycare center because kids are literally hanging from my after some and we all know in terms of

human psychology what that does win win your real market so that speaks to use young it creates a sense of hope of optimism and dynamism of energy of opening to the future and that very much is the temple of catholicism the global south there is a growing conviction among the leadership class for the church in the south but there are historical moment to lead has come and i have covered too soon as a bishop state for africa a senate is an event in which two the pope pulled together bishops from around the world to advise him on some topic for my sins of covered about ten of them but the two of them have had been devoted to africa one was in nineteen eighty four and the other was in two thousand and ten and i will tell you the difference in mood was night and day in nineteen ninety four the african bishops came to rome thinking of themselves as junior partners in a multinational enterprise there were coming to the home office begins directions in two thousand and two and they came around thinking of themselves as the leaders of the most dynamic and rapidly growing catholic community on the plain and they came

as fully else ready to take part in an adult conversation about where the churches and go in the twenty first century and microcosm i think that's what we see i think there is any a merging leadership class in the global self believes this is their time so increasingly i think these the kinds of things we will see for up to twenty first century terms of what sets the tone in the church obviously what that wal mart is not going to disappear in a europe it's not runaway the united states is not going way in many ways the church in the west continue to occupy a disproportionate share of resources and so one so it's not that they are going to drop off the map but in terms of the energy that drives the train in the church i think this is the kind of thing that will increasingly be shaping the new uk of catholicism the twenty percent are ever first trip has focused on the global south are second trend is focused more on the global north and it's what i call the rise of evangelical catholicism and here i am obviously borrowing a triumphant are protestant brothers and sisters and sort of translating it back

into a catholic context here is that i mean first of all a revival of traditional catholic identity so those traditional markers of catholic speech catholic thought in catholic practice that over the centuries have set us apart from the rest of the world and told us who we are so i kind of but now visible wobble one talking about things like priests wearing roman collars o members of religious communities wearing the habit of talking to people arrested generation marrying devotion and so forth all of those markers of catholic identity that to some extent in the years immediately after the second vatican council that went out of fashion that are now quite clearly staging a comeback second white evangelical him in public public proclamation the effort to engage voters say you don't find your faith under a bushel basket and shout from the rooftops that after all is the essence of being eventually and then third i mean faith as a matter of personal choice rather than something is simply imbibing from vermont in this religious neighborhoods or schools or cultures or would get done that

since evangelical catholicism is a natural byproduct of secularity because this is precisely what secularism goes into roads post modernist catholic and clubs but i also was a gesture night that evangelical catholicism this effort to foster a kind of food body sense of traditional catholic identity this is a carefully and consciously adopting strategy why the policymaking so the level of the catholic church these days to try to inoculate the church against being seduced by an assimilated to the secular culture in which we live in other words folks this is that this is the take away if you want to understand why decisions are being made the way they are a catholicism today ok why the vatican will say britain's zack why decisions are being made as they are in the bishop's conference are buying individual bishops in most parts of the world this is easily the most important trend to get your minder and just to make the point this is not my

private theory this is at a brief q and a with the number two official in the vatican these days about the risk of the most important person in the power structure in the holy see after the pope himself once an italian parliament an amateur sees uber tony was the vatican secretary of state the most trusted aide of benedict the sixteenth and in march two thousand and seven bertone was meeting with a group of business and then no one in italy and he was asked this question what is the main objective of the pontificate of benedict the sixteenth and you can see his answer to recover authentic christian identity in the context of widespread secular is ok so this fall may it around catholic identity in this effort by official them to foster a stronger clearer less apologetic embrace of traditional catholic identity this is not my private theory it is the stated policy of the pontificate of benedict the sixteenth and i actually think you could argue

it was also a stated policy of the papacy of john paul the second so in many ways this has been an engine driving the policymaking train in catholicism for more than a quarter century however i also want to say at that you're going to miss diagnosed this evangelical wave coursing through the church or you're going to get a role if you think of it exclusively as a top down menu because there is also a very strong degree of evangelical momentum in the church from the bottom up and not to tell you where you see it was clear you see it today all hmong a certain kind of the younger cats now listen i'm not talking about the broad mass of twenty and thirty something year old catholics who of course are all over the map in terms of their faith and practice in their attitudes and values and so forth but i'm talking about that in our core of young catholics those most actively engaged in the wife of the church who are most likely to discern a vocation of the priesthood and religious life most likely to enroll in graduate programs of theology most likely to pursue a career

with the church with that in our core of young catholics these days there is a whole evangelical movement and that's why this stage is no longer just a matter of anecdotal experience a room on what one hears it is an ironclad empirical fact millennials that is younger religious these days are for more likely to just to stress stability to the church as a value to them and to choose a religious community and the basis for its reputation for fidelity they are much more likely to wear habits distressed tradition devotions like you first generation liturgy of the hours they were far more positive attitude towards authority including authority in the church and if you want the money quote from this study my opinion in terms of the clearest possible indication of which way things are finding it is this they took a look at women's religious orders in the united states now in the united states there are two umbrella groups for women's religious communities ok there's the leadership conference of women's religious or else he'd have the war which my reputation

would be the more liberal or progressive or there's the council of major superior someone in which my reputation would be the more conservative or traditional and for those women's communities in the estates that belong just to the ill suited the war the liberal group and some other women one but for those that belong just the deals he'd of the war fewer than one percent of them have ten or more new members that is ten or more members in the initial stages of formation less than one percent whereas for those communities along the more traditional or conservative group twenty eight percent of the adult least ten new members that is ten members in the initial stages of formation in other words folks my point is this we have a double whammy in catholic life in the north these days we have a strong concern with catholic identity coming to us from the top and imbedded in policy choices and we have this strong hunger for identity is probable evangelical ethos coming from the bottom up and shaping the next generation of church

leaders the conclusion is obvious for men over catholic identity is going to be a defining feature of catholic way for some time to come and you see everywhere there is no zone of catholic white no ministry of the church nothing the church does that is immune to pressures around catholic identity questions like how are we know what you're doing is authentically catholic how we foster and defend the caf was communicated to the outside world one good example of this is in the liturgy i take it simply because it's something that all catholics kind of experience and trip across this concern for identity is why benedict sixteenth issued a document in two thousand seven authorizing wider celebration of the old latin mass that so called for admitting right because over the centuries it has been a classic vehicle for shaping catholic identity of this is why in the english speaking world we have over the last couple of decades gone through an exhaustive process of re translating the what's called the

sacrament or you're the roman missile the collection of prayers recites mass and the other sacraments of the church this is the gentleman is why on some sunday and then when you show up at your local parish for the liturgy and the celebrant says to the lord be with me your answer will no longer be and also with you for those are you know say it with me will be and also with your spirit and with your spirit because this is a more faithful translation of the latin a ritual at one spirit o'toole my point is you're going to get this wrong if you see an isolation you have to see it as a small piece of a much bigger picture which is the consigned to foster and promote peace wrong clearer sense of catholic identity so that we do not end up sort of like salt that has lost its flavor in a sold out and seduced by post modern secular or fuel on a loftier phrase for what jacques rogge town the famous french catholic philosopher was described as kneeling before the world they in order to avoid that as an

outcome this project of fostering in promoting catholic identity it is the sort of project usual now the difference between a pencil for a largely on and for that is they come from inside catholic life or whenever it briefly at least touch upon a couple would come from the outside but that nevertheless or pregnant with consequence in terms of catholic fortunes one is the biotech revolution all these mind bending new ways of science and technology prisons these days to manipulate life including human life at its earliest stages and its most basic level it's my fundamental claim was assigned to the change it is going to create new ethical questions which will occupy an increasing share of catholic time and energy in the twenty first century that in an era in which human personality can be manipulated behind a computer screen like a piece of software in which different traits physical intellectual emotional spiritual traits can be encoded into a genome and then implanted into human being to come to fruition

in an area which bases membership has become fungible in which dna to prostheses boundaries the way some of us across county lines on the way to work in such an era where there's a bedrock principles of human identity in human dignity the wood shore protection of the dignity of human life now i don't know how many of you have been to a hospital recently that if you were an you've got a blood transfusion there is a better than even chance that at one stage of the blog that is now in your veins was moving through the circulatory system of a hole dona list of homes actually have the circulatory system that was closely parallels that of an adult human being so what is happening is because there's a shortage in blood donors and ray allen caught or being injected with human what proteins or leben manufacturers proteins as they come due with bolton and the what is removed synthesize purified and turn into human blood and what that means is they're about fifty thousand homes in the united states right now we're walking around with human dna

now you may say okay that's relatively ethically and problematic polygamy another case there is a research scientist at stanford but in a neighboring reisman who a number of years ago carried out a research protocol in which he injected embryonic mice with a sufficient amount of human brain cells that when they agreed with altered one percent of their adult brains was composed of human neurological maturity in other words he injected a tiny sliver of a human brain into these mines the idea of course is things like wind howls climbers and parkinson's and so forth now you may think a mouse with one percent of the human brain it's a rapport thinking about that well little miss that man weissman says new research protocol which has been green lighted by the stanford ethics committee did not get carried out is to inject embryonic mice with a sufficient amount of human or logical material that when they come to adulthood one hundred percent of their binds are composed of human brain cells from one of your woman catholic bioethics a moral one

what is the moral status of the recent ones now granted given the differences in architecture the brands and so forth and in these mice are not going to do in the new york times crossword puzzle will really morning tee you know the martini writing essays and cons critique of pure reason but nevertheless given how central the brain is a carrier of human identity in personality does the fact that these mice are going ahead miniature human brains does that change the moral taxonomy is a somehow make them more than animal albeit less and still fully human and if so are they carriers of new rights and we have new duties towards please don't throw up your hands volunteer answer because i sure is still don't have one might like weight simply is this is an example that kind of flabbergasted really new ethical question that increasingly will be forced to confront as the twenty first century rules on this is that you think about the old bio ethical debate things like abortion homosexuality yes were still badly divided by them but in many ways more comfortable with them these questions and then around for more than two thousand years kind of stuff are talking about here hasn't been around for

two decades and unfortunately there is no ethical analog moore's law right although moore's law that the competition a capacity of computers will double over twenty four months where there is no guarantee that our ethical wisdom is going to double over twenty four months and every reason to believe it will continue to lag behind the pace of chemical change a lot of the wrong i'm not saying we need to be frightened by these technologies i think they're rich with potential to cure disease and liberate human possibilities but they're also fraught with very serious ethical questions and increasingly we're going to be pressed to mine that was treated there and final august refrain globalization combined airline primarily economic globalization this one isn't someone is that famous picture from september nineteen eighty nine when the rock star bono of the band to you too trauma lot to castle gandolfo the pope's summer residence in the chest only the hills outside rome to meet with pope john paul the second to talk about how pop stars and the pope could confide their forces in the great jubilee year of two thousand to promote

debt relief for the world's poor and as a footnote obama was accompanied on this trip by another rock star got the name of bob dole who was the lead singer for the boomtown rats and i'm probably dating myself i tell you i love that song i don't like mondays and in the company of jeffrey jeffrey sachs the year the harvard economist now i actually had the opportunity to interview bono immediately after the session broke up and he told me the story of this picture doesn't even obama will know that his trademark lokken says powder blue sunglasses singers sharon so few new orleans and this audience would deport any notice for the first fifteen minutes or so the pope was staring at us and what's actually deciding when she's maybe this is an appropriately took them off a book like this analyst john paul still focused like a laser beam on the sunglasses so at the end of this forty five minute show and they you know he's brought up to meet the pope and he takes sunglasses often says holy father would you

like to put these on to which john paul replied yeah that's what i've been wanting to do for the last forty five minutes a pencil point john paul was one of these freak of nature historic geniuses in terms of communications ability he knew that this picture would save more in a flash the news analysis ever what about the intersection of the sacred and the secular indefensible world's poor and in fact this kind of odd couple coalition throughout the year two thousand did accomplish not complete debt relief what's significant debt relief when president clinton signed the american debt relief act into law in the rose garden ceremony in december to a knight in any night it actually referred to this picture he said when you have the pope and pop stars singing from the same hymnal it tells you which way the stories are a lot direct quote my point would be the threat the twenty first century increasingly these efforts to work in coalition with other christians with followers of other

religions and coleman and men and women of goodwill will increasingly be twenty on common humanitarian concerns will increasingly be a four brunner concern of the catholic church in this because in the twentieth century we face a kind of bizarre and very complicated best of times worst of times to any first of all in the best of times it is a fact that the spread of global free market capitalism in the twentieth century lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than any other force since the dawn of time and the emergence of a middle class in china and india long really only since nineteen seventy the last quarter century cut the share of the world's population that is living in desperate poverty defined by the united nations has less than a dollar a day cut in half from forty percent to twenty percent from that what it really is a gentleman you could make the argument that the advent of a lot more free market has been the most successful humanitarian program the most successful anti poverty program ever

devised now i say this because i think sometimes in peace and justice circles in the catholic church there is a temptation to sort of mimic the anti globalization rhetoric of the secular left when in reality the situation is much more complicated than that but the challenge we face is not deconstructing the global economy it is instead expanding the circles of opportunities of that those who were left outside can get in on the deal now on the worst of times the outside of what her on the other hand there were some staggering matters of concern it is a fact but one point two billion people on the face of the planet it's still live in desperate poverty but it is a fact that there are ten million children every year and die from the disease of poverty things like the theory of cholera time when malaria a disease for which you do not need some glittering new a biotech fix all you need is the political will to get the resources to the people who need them and in the most staggering index of the inequities of our world it is also with the

fact that the bank accounts of three dots warren buffet bill gates and carlos slim the mexican telecommunications mogul a bank accounts of those three guys contain assets greater than the group gross domestic product of forty two nations on earth can by representing a population wants two hundred million people now obviously those kinds of inequities those kind of challenges to the human conference with some of the response from any person of good will increasingly diesel be front runner and concerns for catholicism cover because these are also the frontline pastoral realities with which catholic leaders in the global south are confronted on a daily basis they can refine the underside of globalization that that the victim so to speak about the new global order you can find them everywhere of course virgil will find the money particularly concentrated form in the global south and therefore for bishops theologians lay activists and just rank and file catholics across the global south these are

the kinds of issues that they think it would you ask them what are the priorities facing the church they wanted one last point in the middle of it but i find the four friends we've talked about and for that matter the six we have to be rich with an exciting to be to be rich with a potential for unleashing creative new energy summoning to new thinking and so on but if we are to be honest with ourselves they are also fraught with care and the perilous this these are all complicated matters rent and there is going to be more than one catholic opinion about what the right response to any one of these issues should be and if we're full patterns the president to prevail in the church therefore these trends might actually exacerbate and deepen the existing divisions in the church producing more heartache more internal division more paralysis a rather than propelling us towards the future so it seems to me that before we can get into the specific challenges those of us in the catholic church in the city who are

from other backgrounds i suspect they will find parallels in or want your own path seems to me the fundamental challenge we face is recaptured kind of spirit walid commune in the church and a place at the table motion but all the different tribes the topic at the landscape of a place at the table my mother finally answers in the church in other words we need to recapture emphasis on what unites us rather than what divides us or otherwise these challenges are going to take us forward they are going to drive us apart if you'll bear with me i went to one last story to drive that point home and i promise we will finish story is this some of you in this room may know that i grew up out on the high plains of western kansas now where if you have you ever been out of that part of the world in any way other than just driving thrown the i seventy two words points beyond you will know that is not exactly a thriving crossroads of the tourist industry the only time i forgot where i grew up the only time we really get significant numbers about a town visitors in the fall because that pheasant hunting season

and there's a certain kind of guy and yes these or pre little was guys who find the idea of putting on fatigues and lasting shotguns in the sky over the course of a weekend to be a real hoot now typically this has done more consuming copious amounts of beers are generally they are a far greater threat to one another narrative the pheasant population but nevertheless they can't just give you a sense of the cultural elite i'm describing my ninety six year old grandma god bless her she was out on tiny western kansas hamlet cold hill city is actually my candidate for the worst place name in america because there is no hill and they're sure as hell is no city now what isn't someone i have trouble from the widely honored jungle second i took about fifty trips to sixty five countries have taken all of benedict's sixteen seventeen foreign trips i've also on my own initiative travel the highways and byways of the world i've stayed in some pretty funky lodging city but i'm here to tell you one hotel where motel well something

a hill city called the western hills motel it is the only place on god's earth i've ever stay where there is a laminated sign in the bathroom that reads please do not cut your birds in the sink the point when i first had my wife there she asked is this some kind of weird sexual double entendre this way no honey this is face value stuff aren't so this this or this story is set on one weekend or unpleasantly season we've got an outsider what's called a lawyer for me who has come out to grant county america for a bag and soulful bird and it's been a long frustrating weekend with no success so now a sunday afternoon and he needs to leave before he does so his eyes take in one final shot so he sees a pheasant moving across that his shoulders is what he

fires and miracle of americans he brings down the border and so now flush with triumph he sits across the field the pickens trophy and just as it's there he comes across a barbed wire fence that says private property keep out but he's invested weighed too much blood toil tears and sweat at this stage show his first to coined the fence and as he does so but western kansas farmer pulls up in his tractor and says the body what you want this is what's my friends and i'm going to pick up and there's no you're not that bird landed on my property belongs to me and lorrie were status hot tired frustrated and he rocks says you understand i am a senior partner in the top ten law firm in new york saying if you know what we have that were i'm in suu back to the stone age nine are saying it's pretty much well we already live i grew up there so was ok for me anyway the former with cinnamon smiles and says well

that maybe things are you comfortable around here we will also hold a free kick strategic rules out about this very simple i could do three times then you kicked me three times we keep going whoever eventually gives up loses temper and lara thinks what's probably cheaper than last and besides with that looks a hundred years old like animal we take images all right let's do actually square off against one another for nurses or are you ready ware says you're suddenly understand the farmers wearing these heavy mud clod western kansas workers' rights or gives him one shuttle missions the guy screams and paint another shot the solar plexus this time as howls of agony can be heard the nebraska border i can slow and a smattering of people another western kansas yeah it's the first arrest for more than five years and was shot in addition this time the warriors barely conscious of seeing started finally finally with his last best counselor for he staggers to his feet he doesn't sell off puts the slogan grim determination on his face stares the

former deadly isis is already he'll toot now it's my turn to the farmer works and smiles and says that's already but you could have the bird this is how we were all wasn't as a style what is unsettling i would submit to you that you often our conversation in the catholic church and again in this way is a faithful reflection of the broader american culture in which we live our conversation the catholic church too often wills down to a kind of ecclesiastical version of the three kids that is too often we're not really interested in a patient's search for understanding with catholics who may think differently than we do when we worship differently than we do when they vote differently than we do too often instead we're really interested in scoring a rhetorical cheap shots against people we perceive to be here at a watchman theological and it's now under any set of circumstances that would be repugnant it would be impossible to

reconcile the centuries of cap typically theology but in this brave new world of trying to describe a breathtaking new challenges welling up from within and crashing up on us from the outside this kind of etiologies eyes to tribal laws were a wall against what all is a death sentence it is a prescription for not rising to the challenges of the twentieth century but instead being steam rolled by and therefore fewer pick one place to begin trying to think your way through this brave new world it would be trying to rebuild a popular spiritual of thing in our church and in our culture in which we are more inclined to see one another through the harmonica charity rather than the common utica of suspicion and ed watchful were for because we can't do that if we can do that will not summon the best of our church we will continue to spend a time travel vessel like and leave you with one final plea here tonight one final farina it would be to go forth

and become the art and science of community at the architects of this new spirituality of meaning in their own spheres of influence in her school's neighborhoods are families in your parachutes and so forth because this make no mistake this is how creative change and the church always happens it wells up in the grassroots first is not imposed from the top down so if this virtual exchange is to be achieved it is our work in the first place and as short chronicle were endorsed ride the guy gets paid to watch which i'm doing and scuttle off and talk about on tv or write about it and i look forward to watching you rise to this occasion which i have no doubt not at all that you will do thank you about what you just heard john allen the senior vatican analyst for cnn and senior correspondent for the national catholic reporter where he writes the weekly column all things catholic he's also the author of

six books on the church his latest the future church houten trends are revolutionizing the catholic church allen grew up in hayes kansas and received a master's degree in religious studies from the university of kansas in nineteen ninety two he spoke at use woodruff auditorium on april eleventh two thousand eleven john allen referred to two photographs and his top the first of pope benedict with some pygmy dancers from his two thousand nine trip to africa the second photo of pope john paul the second with pop star by now you can see both of those photographs on our website k pr that pay you back edu i'm kate mcintyre if you have any questions or comments about today's k pr present i'd love to hear from you my email if kate mcintyre at k u that edu that's k n c i n t y r e k u e d u or you can leave your comments on kansas public radio's james

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