Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ich bin ein Longenecker

Here, the good Father expounds on some of the main problems in Catholicism facing our Faith today.  He hits it on the head regarding a serious issue.  I've not so much been shocked, as I've been saddened by much of what I've seen in the Catholic Church.  In many Protestant, particularly Conservative Evangelical, denominations, the basic view is that Catholicism has become a watered down, semi-European secular, post-modern faith in the best traditions of most mainline Protestant denominations.  Oh, the Church stands against abortion.  But that's about it.  Many apologists for the traditional Faith bemoan the fact that many Catholics think abortion is the only thing worth caring about.

Let's face it, there's little reason to think otherwise. When it comes to abortion, the Church is as organized, diligent, and swift to act as you can imagine.  When it comes to almost anything else, not so much.  Anything else, and it's more or less up to the diocese, or the parish, to hash out whatever it wants to do, think, believe, or whatever. 

So at least this is a start.  The Church seems to have an almost hands-off approach to its own fold nowadays, focusing its attention on abortion and birth control, and telling countries in the West pretty much how badly they are screwing things up.  But when it comes to other things, such as science and scientific theories, academic theories, the latest scholarly trends, it appears to just have an 'as long as it doesn't contradict God, it's good enough for us' mentality.

Thus I've read biblical commentaries in many a Catholic bookstore that would out liberal the most liberal Protestant biblical commentaries.  The Bible is fairy tales and myth, made up by people centuries later to explain the faith of the postexilic Israeli community. Or it's folks writing a hundred years or more after the time of Jesus, in the name of this or that apostle, to speak to the contemporary political an social milieu in which they lived.  Of course the Resurrection is always real.  And to varying degrees, so is the Incarnation.  But those real events are surrounded by more fables than Aesop could muster.

This isn't to say there is no place for biblical scholarship.  And it isn't to say we shouldn't open ourselves up to new discoveries of the Sacred Texts.  But it is to say that some level of moderating and oversight needs to be in place.  Because if the mainline, liberal Protestant denominations suggest anything, it's that a great way to turn the Faith into something in desperate need of Viagra is to tell the people that the most important sacred text in their lives was really a pack of myths, tales, fables, and quite frankly, lies.  Whatever fiery revival might occur, that is sure to pour water on it.  So well done Fr. Longenecker!  Way to take the bull by the horns.  It is at least a step in the right direction.


  1. one thing I have to say before I even read the entire linked article or your article. I thing the good Father has not seen fit to call things "Post- Modern" He still sees in the light of "modern" - Now back to the reading. :)

  2. I agree with Fr. Longenecker. We are truely missing the boat in so many ways. Hopefully more peole will stand up a realize that we need to be more than we are being.

  3. I'm not sure you understand the administration of the Catholic Church. It isn't the Church's job to micromanage every Catholic believer, parish, or diocese. It is the Bishop's role to administer their charges. And I think you are being inaccurate in your portrayal of the Church's involvement in our world today. Pope Benedict has clearly spoken out against a wide variety of injustices, not just those of America and Europe. That's what the Church does, provide light to the world, not sit by while nations violate the laws of God just because we want to keep some storybook idea of America as a pilgrim's paradise.

    I do agree that there are Catholics who need to get back to the foundations of Catholic Orthodoxy. But don't act as if there is some problem in the Church itself. It isn't the Church's role to step in and excommunicate people simply because they are advancing this or that idea. That's what separates the Catholic Church from many other Christian traditions, a willingness to include a variety of perspectives.


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