Friday, May 04, 2007

Leticia wrote about her optimism about the Diocese of Rockville Centre. I would say I am "cautiously optimistic". I see a few trends occuring here that mirror the larger Church in the USA:

The mainstreaming of the "orthodox", "new charismatics", "traditionalists", and "conservatives".

The decline of the "liberals".

The DRVC is, like many dioceses, recovering from a past where the orthodox, traditional Catholic faith was ground up and spit out by revolutionaries bent on changing the Church into a more politically correct, watered down, more cocktail-party-friendly version. Tradition was discarded entirely and some pretty non-Catholic ideas and actions crept into the Liturgy and parish life. This was done by both well-meaning and not so well meaning people. The traditionalists were the canaries in the mine that were ignored and vilified and left for their chapels. The conservatives railed against what they saw but were powerless to do anything. The charismatics were busy having home Masses and strumming guitars and didn't really get involved. The liberals ran things with a ruthless efficiency.

Just as the abuses and failures and missteps of the 70's and 80's and 90's were being corrected or discarded, the sex abuse scandals exploded and all Catholics were thrust into the world of intra-Catholic politics. Then, JPII died and Ratzinger elected and the world watched with amazement. As nobody said at the time, but should have, we were all Catholic nerds now.

When the dust settled, this much was clear: the liberals who ran this Church for 35 years were done. Not because of some "smackdown" by Pope Benedict as some had hoped, but because after 35 years nothing liberals proposed was "new" "exciting" or "relevant" anymore. Their ideas were exhausted and their ruthless rule didn't exactly lead to a mass influx of people to the Church.

So, now we are at the point where the "dynamic orthodoxy" of groups like the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal for example, is starting to show up at the parish level, in apostolates (even those groups run by the DRVC), in the seminary, and in schools. Combined with a renewed understanding and appreciation of tradition and Liturgy evident particularly in the young, this gives me reason for hope. Now if we just don't mess it up.....

No comments: