Talking truth to theological chicness

22 06 2009


Above: St. Philomena, victim of theological chicness, in a church in Metairie, Louisiana

Anyway, what Vatican II gave us, at least to judge from the majority of the American blogs I’ve visited, is: minimal orthodoxy.

Minimal orthodoxy is: let’s parse our way through the thicket of Church teachings and traditions, especially traditions, ignore or delete whatever is not specifically required, and move on….

But how does Welborn think that faith and religion are sustained, if not in a culture that is at least receptive to them? Does she have any idea why it has been so difficult to enact meaningful Catholic evangelization in American culture? I mean, aside from the hostility encountered by generations of redneck, nativist Protestants, which still obtains today?

Similarly, those from dessicated religious traditions, such as evangelical Protestantism, see anything other than the most minimal as a resurgence of “medievalism” or the bad, old days that antedated Vatican II…

See, there’s little, if any, difference between the uninformed, secularized cradle Catholics of the Vatican II era and the Protestant converts of today. They both inhabit a world where dessicated liturgies and dessicated thought-forms are dominant, if “valid.” And that’s just fine with them.

-from the Gregorian-Rite Catholic blog

I am not at the point that I will say such things in such stark and unnuanced terms, but to say that I am only a little sympathetic to these positions would be far from the truth. Visiting the sites of popular bloggers and “Catholic luminaries”, one does get a real taste for what some would have Catholicism become: a sentimental version of conservative Presbyterianism with hard dogmas, uplifting moral behavior, and maybe a few statues (but let’s not overdo it). After all, who needs culture? We Americans do just fine without it, and all that matters is how much I love Jesus, and try to be nice to everybody, and maybe read a few ancient authors who make me feel good about what I believe. Let us not get too preoccupied by issues of Catholic culture, since things are really not so bad. The seminaries are full, the faithful militant, and the Church is growing by leaps and bounds…
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