Where there is CTA there are the McClorys

Where there is Call To Action there is Bob McClory, journalist, author, longtime NCR contributor, and CTA co-founder. And where there is Robert McClory there is Margaret McClory, CTA co-founder and organizer and CTA mind and heart for more than three decades.

Bob spoke Saturday morning, relating a meeting he and Margaret had with Holland’s Dominican theologian, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, who will celebrate his 95th birthday next Saturday.

The McClorys visited Schillebeeckx two years ago during an NCR assignment on the Dutch church.

The Belgian-born Schillebeeckx remains in Nijmegen, where he taught for so many years at the University of Nijmegen, and where, in a small house on a quiet street.

Schillebeeckz's theological ideas, expressed in some 400 books and articles, published in 14 languages, have influenced several generations of Catholic thinkers. Bob McClory called the theologian a theologian "for our time," explaining he was way ahead of his time in understanding that bishops and priests come out of the local Christian community and were not imposed upon them, at least for the first half of Christian history.

It was Schillebeeckx who contended in his 1980 book Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ that the church had gone awry by connecting the faithful’s right to Eucharist to some “magical power” of the hierarchy to ordain, thereby disconnecting it from the community of Christians. He noted that the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century had declared any ordination of a priest or deacon illegal, as well as null and void, unless the person being ordained had been chosen by a particular community to be its leader.

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