View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reading: "Turning" and "Rendering"

Over the weekend I finished David Hartline's The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism. Interesting premise. The book certainly was thought provoking.

There does seem to be a movement from some other denominations to Catholicism, especially the mainline Protestant churches that are imploding, like the Episcopalian/Anglicans. Some Catholics - from bishops to lay slugs like me - are indeed being more vocal about trends in our society (I suspect the internet has helped a lot, given the number of Catholic blogs out there, and easy access to information at websites.) However, there also continues a high volume of Catholics going to other churches, and continued growth of the Evangelical churches and Islam. It's not clear to me which way things are going.

I do agree with that the Church must become stricter and more orthodox. I think that's what people need - and that could lead more people to Rome.

But is the Church becoming more orthodox? Maybe. I'm not so sure, (but I could be wrong). A number of the abuses and rule stretchings have become so ingrained in places I have a hard time imagine going completely back. The use of "Extraordinary" Eucharistic Ministers even when they are not needed, for example. I have been to daily Masses attended by 30 people, and there are still EEMs (even though the priest could easily handle the volume). Some of the other abuses (non-priests/deacons preaching, for example) continue, but quietly and "unofficially." They may go in the future perhaps as bishops change and new bishops rein things in.

There may be some sort of middle ground down the road. Stricter, more orthodox on some key items, but less so on others that may ultimately prove less important?

As I said, I could be wrong. The book is definitely a stimulating read. Try to track down a copy. (And no, I don't get a kickback for that plug!)

And I totally agree with one premise of the book: The Catholic Church has survived many storms over its 2,000 years, and it will continue to survive as the true Church until the end of time.

For our anniversary, the Good-Looking-One bought me a copy of Archbishop Charles Chaput's new book, Render Unto Caesar. (She knows me well!).

I have only just begun reading, but I am interested to see what this good Franciscan says about politicians given that the Democratic Party Convention is taking place this week in his see city, and the Party snubbed Archbishop Chaput by not inviting him. Could it be they fear what this staunchly pro-life prelate might say about abortion given their staunchly pro-abortion ticket?

Good thing for the Democrats the convention does not fall on a Sunday. Otherwise, they might have to deal with speculation over whether Biden will be told not to receive Communion given his public statements on abortion.

Anyway, plenty to read. Oh, and then there's all those pesky textbooks I have to dive into this week as we get the school and lessons ready for the return of the students next Tuesday.

Time to ratchet up the prayers!


Blogger Lee Strong said...

Archbishop Chaput has apparently already addressed the issue.

He reportedly said that Biden "has admirable qualities to his public service.

"But his record of support for so-called abortion 'rights,' while mixed at times, is seriously wrong. I certainly presume his good will and integrity — and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion, if he supports a false 'right' to abortion."

12:23 PM  

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