Friday, July 13, 2007

John Allen on B-16's Pronouncements; The '60's Are Over

John Allen is the "Roman" reporter for the National Catholic Reporter, which is one of the more anti-Roman "Catholic" newspapers in the USA.

While one may argue that Allen's affiliation taints his reporting, others argue that as a reporter, Allen is outstanding. Either way, one pays attention to his writings.

This week he excerpts a bit from his forthcoming book on the Church; the excerpt is pertinent to the Pope's recent actions.

In 21st century Europe, Catholicism perceives itself as an embattled minority. The same sensation obtains to varying degrees in other parts of the developed world, such as Australia and New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. In response, Catholicism in these zones is doing what embattled minorities always do, practicing what sociologists call the "politics of identity" -- aggressively reinforcing traditional markers of thought, language, dress, and behavior, in order to resist assimilation to what Benedict XVI calls this "dictatorship of relativism."

New translations of the rites and rituals of the Catholic church which are closer to Roman patterns, and dusting off the pre-Vatican II Mass, illustrate the trend, along with a growing emphasis on individual confession and Eucharistic adoration. Marian devotion is also staging a strong comeback, measured in part by the success of pilgrimage sites such as Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje. In the priesthood and religious life, one finds a return to habits and Roman collars, especially among younger priests, deacons, brothers, and sisters. Debates in Catholic universities and hospitals about what makes them "Catholic," as well as efforts to tighten up on admissions and curricula in Catholic seminaries, are also part of this picture. Bishops insisting that Catholic politicians cannot defy church teaching and still wear the label "Catholic" likewise expresses the identity impulse

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has kept their eyes and ears open in the last 5-10 years; I would add that the appearances of JPII and Benedict XVI at "Youth Days", with milllions of under-25's cheering in mud-flat fields around the world adds wieght to Allen's thesis.

In other words, the 1960's Revolution, personified by such as Bp. Rembert Weakland, John Cdl. Dearden (RIP), Roger Cdl. Mahoney, Sr. Joan Chittister, and Jos. Cdl. Bernardin (RIP) in the US, not to mention dozens of others worldwide, is OVER, albeit that there are some old, tired, (and tiresome) relics and practitioners who are still trying to peddle their beads, tie-dyed Levi's, rock'n'roll, secular/non-denominational "theology-of-Mazes", architecture-of-circuses and Pete Seeger/Broadway "music-for-worship".

They are the ones who don't get it. They are, truly, the Past.

Someone should send them the memo.

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