Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Fr Franklin Joiner 60 years ago on Modernism. Or liberalism as he called it here.
  • Catching up with Owen White: taking apart an ideal that in many ways I’ve liked (as does Joe Sobran), Newman’s description of a gentleman. Taken too far you get polite agnostics (old mainline Protestants), quintessentially English (in pre-Asbo days anyway: the stuff of historical dramas and which you still find in people over 60), yes, Anglican.
  • An East-West common Catholic statement on marriage and the family.
  • Folk Catholicism. From a friend of a friend of the blog.
    How 80-90% of European Catholics practiced their faith from the 5th through the 18th centuries would appear almost as shocking as voodoo to most first world, non-Latino Catholics. (But folk Catholicism has not involved spirit channelling.)

    We have three choices:

    a) We can do traditional Church history and focus entirely on councils, popes, emperors and sanitized lives of canonized saints, and ignore how Christ lived in the lives of most Catholics;

    b) We can dismiss the complex blend of sacramentals, folk customs and magic in the lives of the majority of Christendom as peripeheral or extrinsic to Christianity — which amounts to saying that most of Christendom was not actually Christian; or

    c) While maintaining our critical faculties, we can expand our understanding of theology beyond systematic theologies and think about how Christianity becomes real to people living in world outside of cloisters and courts.

    My bet is the Holy Spirit favors option (c).
    Fine with me as long as by ‘maintaining our critical faculties’ one means retaining doctrine not becoming only an anthropologist with all this or a liberal Protestant, which I would have described as plan b (this person’s a and b describe the same approach).

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