The Catholic Church is ripe for another reformation. That’s the message theologian Matthew Fox sends in his new book, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade has Imperiled the Church and How it Can be Saved.

Fox is a former Catholic priest who was silenced by Pope Benedict XVI (who was then Cardinal Ratzinger) after a 12-year-long battle over his writings. The book points to scandals, from the best-known to the unfamiliar, that are rotting the church from the inside out. The current pope, Fox contends, has filled the Church with yes-men (all men, of course), and it’s up to the Catholics in the pews to “push the restart button on Christianity.”

Religion Dispatches had a chance to talk with Fox about his new book and the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

RD: Tell us about your new book. How has Ratzinger—now Pope Benedict XVI—imperiled the Catholic Church?

MF: It’s about the last 30 years of Catholicism. I had a conversation with Father Edward Schillebeeckx, the Dutch Dominican theologian, about 15 years ago and he said to me, “I and many other European theologians, believe the present papacy is in schism.” That really came back to me as I was writing this book. “Schism” is a big word because historically and theologically it is when the Eastern Church split from the West in the 11th century and from the Roman Catholic point of view, the Protestant Reformation would have been a schism, too.

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