Written by Sherry
Monday, 28 April 2008 12:31
From a excellent post this morning by Amy Welborn that is music to our ears (thanks to Keith Strohm for bringing to my attention):
Here is the Catholic problem that I see when Benedict’s words bounce around my head. Let me see if I can say this concisely:
For hundreds and hundreds of years, the Catholic “way” of being in this world has been rooted in some assumptions. For my purposes, I’ll highlight this one: The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. This is obvious to anyone with eyes to see and the relationship between one’s individual faith, Christ, and the Church is clear and intuitive.
Sherry's note: Of course, it isn't obvious anymore - not to the majority of those born and raised within the Church apparently (or the majority of our baptized members would not be awol) and certainly not for those outside and soaked in our post-modern culture. (who are nevertheless culturally disposed to seek a personal faith for themselves if we can be bothered to propose the Gospel to them explicitly and meaningfully).
"You take that, and mix it with 1500 years of being able to maintain this assumption without any competing viewpoints, and you have a formula for being ill-equipped to make those connections in the contemporary world."
Absolutely. The nice thing is that Amy can say this sort of thing without be accused of being a covert Protestant. :-}
And as I see it, this is the core of what Benedict is trying to help us all do. Focus on Christ, take an honest look at the world around us, the questions people ask and the reasons people don’t believe and then be in this world, as the Body of Christ, in a way that makes it clear that Jesus Christ came to answers those questions, quench that thirst, give eternal life, and that the Church is where he is found.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Which is exactly what our seminar Making Disciples is all about.
"In other words…the “new evangelization” called for by these last two Popes is not about reaffirming Catholic identity in some abstract or institutional sense. It’s about confidently believing that Jesus Christ is the answer and then just as confidently helping people see and experience Christ in the Church: in its spiritual tradition, sacramental life, teachings, artistic heritage and sacrificial service to the poor, sick and dying.
In other words: Cultural Catholicism, RIP.
What will rise in its stead?"
Exactly. If we are to avoid "reaffirming Catholic identity in some abstract or institutional sense" everything we do, all our institutions and traditions and the Church herself must be seen and proposed in light of their beginning and ending in Christ.