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Friday, 16 February 2007

That Crisis Study

Crisis Magazine "rated" diocesan health in a very interesting study.
http://www.crisismagazine.com/febmarch2007/hall.htm
Ours did not do very well by their measure.

More interesting than the study itself, to me, anyway, were a few of the reactions they also published.

In response to the Crisis study:
something Pope Benedict XVI said recently. Speaking late last year to Swiss bishops making their ad limina visits, he called it “a fundamental task of pastoral care to teach people how to pray.” Many of our contemporaries, the pope maintained, “seek meditation elsewhere because they think that they will not be able to find a spiritual dimension in Christianity. We must show them once again not only that this spiritual dimension exists but that it is the source of all things.” More than anything else, perhaps, neglecting the fundamental spiritual dimension of the Faith may explain the problematical situation of some American dioceses today. - Russell Shaw

I would boil this down to, We are too busy, and we are too noisy. Martha's banging pots and pans in the kitchen, instead of listening to Jesus. And the Pharisee is "praying" about what a swell guy he is, he can't even hear the One Who is speaking to him.

Equally as crucial for re-evangelization is care for the liturgy. How many have left the Church in disgust over [liturgical abuses]? Liturgy is the language of the Church. When that language becomes unintelligible, when it has no clear message, when it is a personal platform for this or that priest’s “vision of the church that is being born,” it is no longer Christ’s message, but a banal, passing trend.--Mary Jo Anderson

A pet peeve of mine. We are never going to have success telling balky parishioners, "Well, this is the way we do things HERE," (a WFW quote from a Lit. Comm. member,) when what they need to hear is "this is the way the Church asks us to do it."

The challenge for the new generation of bishops is what to do with diocesan middle management. There are dedicated, talented Catholics who work in CCD, RCIA, and Pre-Cana programs; but there are also legions of functionaries who somehow got on the payroll and want to turn the Church into yet another Protestant denomination. In many places, a person who wishes to become Catholic will discover that the local RCIA program does not teach Catholic doctrine; rather, it subjects the unfortunate catechumen to endless hours of non-directional group psychotherapy. You learn about the feelings of everyone in the room, but not much about the Real Presence. - George Sim Johnston

This reminds me that Himself talks about dodging a bullet all the time. When he went through RCIA here it was notably free of this kind of thing (with a few glaring exceptions that embarrassed him.) From what I hear over and over again, other parishes that offer RCIA "teach" virtually nothing, and instead offer endless opportunities for unproductive or even counter-productive "Faith Sharing."

And also, of that wonderful word I read somewhere for the new problem that has replace the curse of clericalism -- Demi-Clericalism. All that middle management (of whom I am one, and trying very hard not to be.)

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