Dan Rather Reports

Season 5 Episode 38

True Believers

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Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 07, 2010 on HDNet
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True Believers
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(12/7/2010) For over a century, the Catholic Church has played a role in shaping American society. In the late 1960s, it looked like an open, less dogmatic view of Catholicism would shape the Vatican for years to come. But without much fanfare or notice in the press, the Church has recently become more conservative. The story has broken onto the front pages only once, in 2009, when Pope Benedict rescinded the excommunications of the leaders of a group called the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, or SSPX. One of them was a Holocaust denier, and uproar threatened Catholic-Jewish relations. But the uproar over one crazy clergyman died down without anyone examining the real story: what did the Pope's overtures towards SSPX mean for the future of the Church? We go inside SSPX, interviewing its leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay, whose excommunication was also lifted. We also spend time with a liberal Catholic community in Minneapolis called the Spirit of Saint Stephen's. The Vatican thinks they strayed too far from Catholic law, and around the same time it was beginning dialogue with SSPX, it told Spirit of Saint Stephen's to shape up, or get out of the church where they'd been practicing for 40 years. With this new conservative vision taking hold, reformers who had hoped for a more modern Church, are wondering whether they belong.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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