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Monday, November 14, 2011

Trying to Bring Lapse Catholics Back....

Recently it has been mentioned that there is a movement afoot which is trying to bring back Catholics who have lapsed in England...An excerpt of what has been written in The Guardian;

It started at the weekend in York with Crossing the Threshold, a national tour of talks and workshops to help clergy and parishioners re-evangelise friends and family. Around a million people regularly attend mass on Sundays, but church leaders say there are many more who are baptised but do not go to church. Kieran Conry, bishop of Arundel and Brighton, said no-shows were more likely to do with laziness and children’s extra-curricular commitments than controversies surrounding the pope or clerical sexual abuse scandals. Conry said: “We have something we’re trying to market and we’re just reminding people there’s something that can bring you happiness, satisfaction and friendship.”

Here is my take on this:

I understand the human part of all of this  (and it can’t be overlooked), but it sure seems that this is more a work of community organizing (a la Obama, and Salinksy) than a call for a return to Holy Mother Church.  Where is the immediate talk of salvation; shouldn’t that be the reason why people come back?

The Church has traditionally gained membership through preaching the truth (Dominic, Clare, Francis, etc….ad nauseam), as opposed to “a personal welcome” (cue the butterflies and music from Cat Stevens {errr…Yusef Islam}).

I realize that we live in a different time, but look at what community organizing has done to the Church, it has failed. It has spent the last 50 years driving people away, yet here we go again….if you build it, they will come (I am from Iowa after all). The real growth comes when the Sacraments are offered unencumbered by emotion and feelings. A very strong argument can be made that this is why the resurgence in the TLM has gone so well since 1984.

It just seems to me that if community organizing didn’t work in America, it certainly isn’t going to work in England. Perhaps the reason that Fr. Finigan’s (the hermeneutic of continuity)  success isn’t in the fact that people are going door to door, but rather that he is doing something authentically Catholic?

I apologize for my rant, but it just seems that the pattern needs to be broken. And this is reason number 30049928839399928817727438437748282 why Vatican Council II needs to be gone over with a fine toothed comb, the human person is fallible, the Church is not.

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