Saturday, May 06, 2017

It's tough being a would-be prophet

30 years ago a slightly liberal middle-aged priest said to me, "By the time you're in your 50s the church will be completely different." I'm in my 50s. Thanks to these fellows my archdiocese has fewer people and less money so fewer parishes and fewer schools. Vocations have cratered. But the remaining Catholics are closer to Catholicism, more conservative; on Sunday mornings I go to a Tridentine Mass in an official parish. So he was right but not as he wanted. That often happens. (Witness retro-futurism.)

These men likely imagined something like a heretical version of the Catholic Worker (Dorothy Day theologically was as sound as a pound), with "Christian communities" of enthusiastic laity gathering at house churches with male and female "presiders" for the Eucharist, replacing the old parishes and other Catholic institutions (schools, convents, etc.), then going out into the world to do good works such as helping the poor. "Intentional communities," well meant but not really Catholic.

Jesus did found a church. Don't settle for made-up imitations.

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