I “rejected” this comment but thought it merited some thoughts.
GOOGLER GOD YOU SURE SOUND LIKE GOD ALMIGHT, UR I HATE ORTHODOX CATHOLICS IS CSHOWING MAN, WHATCHA GONA DO WHEN SSPX IS RECONCILED IN TOTO WITH ROME, UR GONNA HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER NON HETERDOX BISHOP PRIEST AND OR SOCIETY TO KICK ASS . JEEEE WIZ U MAKE ME FEEL LIKE UR THE SAME ENTITIES THAT CRIED IN ANGER UPON HEARING THE NAME JOSEPH RATZINGER, RIGHT AFTER HABEMUS PAPUM. COULD IT BE THAT YOU REALIZD THE WATERED DOWN CUMBYA FEELY FEELY LEFTIST YUM YUM LIBERAL CATHOLICISM IS COMING TO A SCREECHING HALT AND BEFORE PEOPLE LIKE THE HALF BILLION STRONG EASTERN ORTHODOX WILL EVEN LOOK AT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THEY MUST SEE THAT IT IS RETURNING TO CATHOLICISM, ORTHODOXY AND SHUCKING OFF IT’S PHONE WANNA BE A PROTESTANT CATHOLIC VERSION OF VAT 2. TIMES ARE CHANGING AND IF THE SOCIAL, LEFT, LIB THEOLOGY PC CATHOLICS DON’T LIKE IT, CAN’T STAND IT REJECT IT AND CONTINUE TO BE DISOBEDIENT TO THE POPE, MAGISTERIUM, THEN THE WATERED DOWN LIBERALS OF THE LAST 40 YRS CAN ALWAY JOIN THE “WHAT EVER U WANNA BELIEVE EPISCOPALIANS AKA CHURCH OF ENGLAND AKA ANGLICANS OR BETTER YET U MIGHT BE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNITARIANS
Um, no. I’m not an Episcopalian. I’m not a Unitarian. I’m not a Wiccan. I don’t like the song Kum-by-ya! But as I travel around the country I notice a few things about young adults, in particular, (people in their 20s and 30s who I minister with and to) that I found interesting.
a) The events of the world often shape their religious responses and participation. Columbine, 9-11, Katrina, the Indian Tsunami and Virginia Tech all have had a huge influence on them. Many think that because they have some desire for “traditional” worship practices and like some of the old-school traditions (like adoration, the rosary and even yes, the Latin Mass) that this means that they are harkening back to a time before the council, retrieving some of the ancient rituals from long ago and reviving them. But these people and even their parents in some cases have had no experience of the church before the council, so what is going on is different here. I claim that it is a reaction to a culture of insecurity. People long for security in a world gone mad with terrorism, violence and even natural disasters and they look for religion to provide what the world cannot. Our opportunity as ministers is not to mistake this longing for some kind of political affiliation with conservatism but rather to engage their longing and give them appropriate opportunities for worship that also explain and engages their minds as well as their hearts with these rituals.
I would also say I notice something that a friend recently pointed out to me. At let’s say at a Catholic event focused on social justice–there are great things going on, great witness by people living out gospel values and even great community, but there seems to be very little regard for prayer, contemplation and personal piety.
At Catholic events that are more focused on family, life issues or even liturgy there seems to be only a contemplative focus and not much on social justice, community, diversity or culture.
Aren’t BOTH of these things important?
Now the writer above, claims that I hate “orthodox” Catholics. I say two things in response.
1) I am an orthodox Catholic. The Jesuits who I met at Fordham were orthodox. The Paulists I work for now are orthodox. As are anybody who are in the big tent of Catholicism. We are all in the SAME church and do the same things and are engaging the same tradition. Being orthodox means being part of the entire experience of our church. It also means that we don’t reject the Second Vatican Council which is the exact heresy that the “Bishops” who are running the Society of St Pius X were in fact, excommunicated for. Pope Benedict has already said without an adherence to all that the council has placed into our tradition there cannot be ANY reconciliation (this includes the holocaust in light of the document Nostra Aetate)
2) What I am not is a fundamentalist. I don’t read a literal translation of the bible. I don’t think that the Second Vatican Council was a bunch of hogwash. I don’t blindly toss away people’s questions when they ask them and tell them to simply read the bible or the catechism and that their questions will magically dissolve. I engage Catholicism with culture and with experience and try to help people navigate that path and show where they are less divergent than what they may think.
3) I also am not someone who thinks we should just ignore everything that the Second Vatican Council says, but rather we should be critical about what we didn’t do well after the council, namely Catechesis, explanation (one Sunday they just turned the altar around!) and a lack of ritual done with mystery and reverence at times. The Second Vatican Council provided some great things for the church that we should not blindly think about tossing away (the proverbial baby with the bathwater) in favor of a reversion to a time before the council. However, we did lose some of what was good about ritual and liturgy from before the council. There was a sense of mystery and rhythm that perhaps we don’t do as well currently. Something different and “other-worldly” was going on at mass which perhaps today seems more common to our experience. And yet, people don’t know what’s going on at mass even when it is in English! So going back to Latin mass may not do anything except serve to confuse even the most ardent mass attender. Perhaps we’re asking the wrong questions and I think many of our brothers and sisters who find value in the Society of St Pius X are onto something. Most of these people are not like the so-called Bishop Williamson who denies the value of the second vatican council and the holocaust. I think most of the people who follow the SSPX are simply people who long for a sense of mystery in liturgy and who are tired of having an experience on Sunday that is very much like their experience of daily life. They are looking to TRANSCEND daily life for an experience that brings them into a mysterious connection with the divine.
So no, “anonymous” (who didn’t even have the guts to write their name), I don’t hate those who use the title Orthodox. I’m actually one of the few people who actually looks at your experience and values it and doesn’t dismiss it.
I’m a Catholic. I love our Pope. I love Cardinals (see, here I am with Cardinal George). I love the church. And I hope our experiences can be less judgmental of one another and more focused on providing a window into where we all long for a connection for God.
And I also know how to write in complete sentences.