Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

. . . For years now "the new evangelization" has been lurking about in search of its own identity, more aspirant than actual in its determination to be relevant and "new." The awkwardness that surrounds discussion of the elusive term was captured in a wire service story depicting the setting and content of the [recent 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops]'s opening address, delivered by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.

The church must reach out to former members, showing them both the relevance of the faith "without losing its rootedness in the great living faith tradition of the church," Wuerl said. He was speaking in Latin to a gathering of celibate male clerics. He lamented that too many Catholics don't know basic prayers and teachings and don't understand why it's important to go to Mass and confession. His solution: reach out to them and teach them the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps that's a plan. But it sounds, instead, as if the analysis and proposed solution are as lifeless and lacking in blood and imagination as the church from which so many are exiting. The new evangelization will remain a stilted and cerebral exercise unless those most invested in its success are willing to take risks.

Too much of what we hear of "the new evangelization" is a one-way proposition. It's saying, "We have the answers, we know what these poor, lost souls need." By rushing in with answers, we may be missing the questions.

The Pew study made clear that the unaffiliated are not angry at organized religion; they just don't want anything more to do with it. Most "nones" believe in God and many call themselves spiritual. At the synod, Filipino Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila noted: "The seemingly indifferent and aimless societies of our time are earnestly looking for God." Is it possible that "nones" can teach us something about God? Or at least can we learn something from listening to their questions? The church's challenge is not to supply answers but to accompany people on their spiritual quests. . . .

– Editorial
National Catholic Reporter
October 27, 2012


  1. This posting really identifies the reason Catholics have/are left/leaving the Catholic RELIGION...the bishops/Pope no longer attend to the questions of the faithful. They THINK they know the questions, giving inane and pre-packaged answers without LISTENING. Whatever happened to the words of Acts spoken by the original twelve...(paraphrased)...we must take our lead from the people for it is within them that the Spirit lives, guides, gives life. I suppose like much in Scripture, out contemporary Apostles use and twist the missives to serve their perception of what the Truth is, what the faithful seek/need. They speak not for Christ but for their own egos.

  2. dave446,

    It soundsl like you THINK you know the questions and give the same inance pre-packaged answers without LISTENING.

    The scriptures never say once that we are to take our lead from the people. Whatever one may think of the scriptures they are clearly not on the side of homosexual marriage.

  3. George, since a modern day understanding of homosexuality was unknown to the biblical writers, I don't think it's fair to say that "the scriptures . . . are clearly not on the side of homosexual marriage." Actually, they wouldn't be on the side of our present day understanding of marriage. After all, men today can't have more than one wife or any number of concubine. Also, we don't treat women as the property of men.

    What the scriptures do speak about, and point us toward in their limited way, is love. And increasingly, Christians are recognizing that this love (and thus God's transforming presence) is present and active in the lives and relationships of gay people. I'll always place this love above any and every form of tradition -- scriptural or doctrinal. To do otherwise is make these traditions into idols.