This week’s Church stuff links

27 01 2010

The first is a perceptive essay on the Vox Nova blog on the recent decision of the Diocese of Phoenix’s decision to extend the time of marriage preparation from six months to nine. The blogger writes:

What bothers me most about this though is the continued clinicalization of marriage (and most other social problems.) The idea is prevalent out there that divorce is principally a personal failure. As such the prescriptions are the usual better catechesis, more maturity etc. Concomitant with this is the romantic notion that our grandparents and great-grandparents were better catechized and more mature. This is of course nonsense. People are getting married almost a decade later than they were 5 generations ago. (Please don’t reference the WWII generation as it was aberrational due to WWII taking place.) And while I would love to claim an extraordinary piety existed in the older generations, the saying that all babies take 9 months except the first has deep roots. Some are called to marriage, and, with others, marriage calls them. A church will throw a baby shower for a poor and unwed mother, but the church will make that mother wait 9 months and learn NFP if she deigns to ask it to marry her.

The next comes from the curmudgeonly Gregorian Rite Catholic blog, in an unlikely citation of Garry Wills:

“Tribal rites, superstitions, marks of the Catholic ghetto–and, all of them, insignia of a community. These marks and rites were not so much altered, refined, elevated, reformed, transfigured, as–overnight–erased. This was a ghetto that had no one to say ‘Catholic is Beautiful’ over it. Men rose up to change this world who did not love it–demented teachers, ready to improve a student’s mind by destroying his body.

“Do we need a culture? Only if we need a community, however imperfect. Only if we need each other.”





Mishima

27 01 2010

A scene from the film by Paul Schrader