Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"Make Catholicism Weird Again" By Ross Douthat Opinion Columnist, New York Times, I Agree with the Weird Part!



My Response: I am not excited about this ornate fashion blast from the Catholic Church's Medieval past! However I am enthusiastic about sacred pilgrimages to holy places to pray and ponder. Here many contemporary seekers focus on their spiritual journey and their blessed connection with the communion of saints! Bridget Mary Meehan #womenpriestsnow
..."Meanwhile in the case of the opulent style of Catholic fashion on display at the Met Gala, it is very clear where Francis stands. As Tara Isabella Burton points out in an astute piece for Vox, it’s the pope’s traditionalist adversaries who are more likely to don the sort of “heavenly” garb being feted and imitated at the Met — while from his own simple choice of dress to his constant digs at overdressed clerics and fancy traditionalists, the pope believes that baroque Catholicism belongs in a museum or at a costume gala, and that the church’s future lies in the simple, the casual, the austere and the plain.
For this, as for his doctrine-shaking innovations, Francis has won admiring press. But as with the last wave of Catholic revolution, there is little evidence that the modernizing project makes moderns into Catholics. (The latest Gallup data, for instance, shows American Mass attendance declining faster in the Francis era.)
Instead, the quest for accommodation seems to encourage moderns to divide their sense of what Catholicism represents in two — into an Old Church that’s frightening and fascinating in equal measure, and a New Church that’s a little more liked but much more easily ignored.
Francis and other would-be modernizers are right, and have always been right, that Catholic Christianity should not trade on fear. But a religion that claims to be divinely established cannot persuade without a lot of fascination, and far too much of that has been given up, consigned to the museum, as Western Catholicism has traced its slow decline.
Here the Met Gala should offer the faith from which it took its theme a little bit of inspiration. The path forward for the Catholic Church in the modern world is extraordinarily uncertain. But there is no plausible path that does not involve more of what was displayed and appropriated and blasphemed against in New York City Monday night, more of what once made Catholicism both great and weird, and could yet make it both again. "

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