Thursday, 26 February 2015

" House trained Catholics "

It’s no exaggeration to see recent Irish ecclesiastical history as just one crisis after another. Younger people, for example, have scarcely seen a Church not mired in controversy. This has taken a heavy toll on the morale of Catholics – priests and people alike.
And while there are definite green shoots – including an increasing thirst for adult faith formation – there is also a sense that the Church in Ireland will never be the same. At one level, this is simply a truism since the wisdom of Heraclitus that “you cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in” remains.
Despite this there are some who would like to turn back the clock. Interestingly, this is something that one often finds amongst self-described liberals and self-described conservatives – for very different reasons.
Sometimes, a simplistic narrative sees all of the ills of the Church today as a result of not sticking rigidly to tradition. Vatican II is seen with extreme suspicion, and the reform of the liturgy is blamed for the mass exodus of many from the Church without reference to the enormous cultural shifts.
Many others – often people who would identify themselves as liberal Catholics – have a nostalgia for the past for very different reasons. They long for a time when the Church was a respected pillar of society and was thought well of by the political and media elite. They cringe when they see the Church out of step with contemporary thought on issues like same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia.
There is almost a sort of neo-clericalism at work as regret is expressed over the fact that priests and bishops are no longer sought after guests at fashionable dinner parties.

Read full article from "The Irish Catholic" by Michael Kelly here

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