Controversy and criticism continue to swirl around Pope Paul VI. Even his closest advisers ask: "What does the future hold for the Catholic Church?" Here is a glimpse into that future. The Catholic Church today is a house divided. "Rome must do something, or the Church in each country will go its own way and the Pope will become a figure only for the tourists, or a kind of Dalai Lama" So warns theologian Piet Schoonenberg. The time-honored phrase, "Rome has spoken, the case is closed," has been rendered virtually meaningless among 20th century Catholics. The result is a growing crisis of confidence and authority facing Pope Paul and Church leaders. This crisis has led to an important change in Vatican thinking.
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