Thursday, October 16, 2008

I have completed Russell Shaw's book Nothing to Hide and have a few thoughts. (I am now engrossed in Havana Noctune about Cuba before the revolution).

Shaw's book puts forth the idea that the communication in the Church should be open and free flowing and cites examples of abuse of secrecy. His overall idea is very good and is a great example of a faithful Catholic who sees things in the Church that need reform and lays out the case for reform. This should be the path those who advocate changes in the Church should follow.

A good point Shaw made in the book is - the ignorance of Church members is not a reason to keep information from them but a challenge to explain and teach that info. In other words the fact that many of us do not understand financial statements does not mean they shouldn't be published but that they should be explained and made as clear as possible. The 'they won't understand' mentality is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Shaw also believes the Diocesan newspapers should be opened up to being more than just 'house organs'. I would like to see these papers become more like the National Catholic Register in terms of quality and coverage. But I also see a need for these newspapers to be 'house organs'. It is interesting to note Shaw's desire to see these papers become 'vehicles for public expression' considering his negative views of blogs, which are almost the online version of the letters to the editor section. Overall, this book is an excellent look at an aspect of the Church that could be improved greatly.

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