Beige Catholicism is depressing enough - but worse still is Camel Catholicism with all its connotations. (Designed by a committee intending, but failing to make a racehorse; enjoys wobbling through barren liturgical deserts; makes unmusical noises; tendency to destroy the environment when let loose). Individual specimens get the hump rather too easily - are notoriously grumpy when crossed, and inclined to bite. Luckily their lifespan is rarely above 50 years.
Fr Barron is spot on in what he says, particularly in the remedies he proposes to counteract and revitalise this 'beige Catholicism'. Thank you for this post, let's hope that it has a wide audience in high places.
If you look back at Edward Norman's Reith lectures on "Christianity and the World Order" he said something very much the same. There is always a tendency in religious organisations which are not sects to assimilate to the surronding culture. Their leaders are tempted to accept the outlook and values of the secular elite to which in class terms they belong. This process has led to the disintegration of the Church of England, perhaps one should say further disintegration, and it is active in the Catholic Church.
St Bridget of Sweden had much the same view. The more things change...And Dilly - camels spit too much too :)SignedTrying to be a Colourful Catholic (but not rainbow)
The real problem is with the education system,there are not enough hours in the day to get the pupils ready for the constant exams & tests.The success of a school depends on the ridiculous "league tables"Chidren are constantly told that unless they pass all the exams and strive to go on to further and further education they will be left behind.The ultimate goal has to be University by hook or by crook and never mind that the whole thing will be a millstone round their necks and not the slightest guarantee of employment.
"Vanilla" Catholicism would have been a better term and more trendy to boot (widely used in computing). To be honest, Barron's videos suffer from the same problem although they are redeemed by their brevity.One of his latest on the abuse scandals suggests that he doesn't understand what has gone on which is worrying. Unlike our own (Anglican) Fr. Hunwicke who presented a fine angle on the Irish situation in less than 10 lines on his blog. The fanbase that Barron is acquiring is indicative of our contemporary obsession with style over substance.
The Pew Centre study claims to have asked “questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.” What questions did they actually ask?3 Questions about the US Constitution4 Questions about the History of Religion1 Question about Greek Mythology2 Questions not about religion (Meaning of atheism/agnosticism)6 Questions about Non-Christian Religions2 Questions about Mormonism1 Question about Protestantism6 Questions about the Bible1 Question about Catholic doctrineThe Pew Centre claims that they asked 32 questions about religion their numbering is very difficult to follow and I could not see how they got to 32.Some categories overlap. Eg. Is a question about the date when Mormonism was founded a history question or a question about MormonismNote that there is only one question about Catholic doctrine, although the question about the Ten Commandments (put into the Bible group) might also be considered to be a question about Catholic doctrine.Incidentally, there has been some discussion about how accurate the questions about transubstantiation is.Also, note that all the questions were multiple choice. Maybe atheists are just good guessers.Note also that the members of each religion/non-religion were self-identified. There are no separate figures available between practising and non-practising (or hardly-ever-practising) Catholics.The questions and answers are at:http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx
Fr Barron forgot to mention one thing believers are blessed with, and atheists, by their very definition cannot be,(blessed with)no matter how clever.The wisdom of God. Not given by any earthly book or tradition, but a gift of the Holy Spirit. There for the asking.So, even if we are failing our exams, it isn't ALL bad news!!Rosaries!! More rosaries!!
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