be warned this is a rant!
ICN reports on a meeting of "around" 400 people belonging to "Call to Action" who were supposed to meet at the Jesuit run Heythrop College. They seem to have come out with the same old stuff Heythrop has been pushing for the past 40 years, they were doing it when I was a seminarian and will continue until the place crumbles into dust.
There are interesting little snippets in the article such as:-
The first open meeting they organised on 18 July attracted 70 Catholic priests and deacons who shared concerns and discussed the future of the Church. In advance of the second meeting, some organisers had met with Archbishop Vincent Nichols at what was described as a “very good meeting”. Fr Joe Ryan of Westminster Diocese reported that “he agreed that something needs to be done” and “will observe our movement”.
....young people see hypocrisy in the Church, where, for example, former Anglicans can be married priests but not cradle Catholics. He asked: “How do we make our Church the Church of our children?”It was the "young people" bit that got me, it is all these old men and women who claim to speak for young people. The truth is young people don't really give a damn, in fact I suspect that young people are bored stiff with "the church endlessly talking about the Church", about the only thing I do agree with Hans Kung on is "when the church speaks about the church it ceases to be the Church". What they seem to be asking for is a Church that has its head up its own fundament forever examining its inner workings, it is the very opposite of the baseline teaching of Vatican II.
I must say I am already getting bored with discussions about and on VII: yes, I agree with the Pope we must get back to the texts, but so what? I've read and studied Dei Verbum, Sacrosanctum Concillium, Lumen Gentium, they form the basis of my own faith and preaching, as does half of Gaudium et Spes. The other half where there are serious ambiguities I would like clarification on, but truthfully, I can live with that, the more incomprehensible it is the less people really take notice of it. It is scratching the itch of our indisposition, that is just so tedious.
Evangelisation can't be about endless talk and involving people in discussion after discussion after discussion. The real problem I see with VII is that it transformed the "teaching Church" into a "chattering Church", fine for the lower middle classes of suburbia but it has driven anyone else out. Pope John XXIII expected it to last a few weeks, it opened in October, it should have finished by Christmas but it went on for four years. Four years of interminable committee meetings, that transformed the Church, they got used to it, thought that was the nature of the Modern Church, and the Modern Bishop!
The chattering Church is BORING! Jesus taught with authority! He commends the faith of the Centurion who says to his slave, "Come here, do this, and he does it". There are no discussion groups in the Gospels except amongst those who want to destroy Jesus.
This Saturday will see hundreds, I hope thousands, of ordinary Catholics assemble outside Westminster Cathedral at 1.45pm and walk through the streets of London carrying the image of the Blessed Mother to Brompton Oratory; going oneself, inviting friends, this is evangelising, this is "being Church". Bringing people to meet or to obey the Lord, to live by Faith, this I hope is what will happen in the Year of Faith but, good God preserve us from chatter.