Traditional Catholicism in the blogosphere and beyond....

A comment I left on another blog.... http://holyfamoley.blogspot.com/ to the message "In a confused mood".

I can sympathise. I sometimes wonder myself about the tone of many Catholic blogs out there (and you haven't mentioned MySpace... don't look there otherwise you really will get upset!!). I think the problem you flag up stems from the broader issue of what many younger adult Catholics (especially young seminarians, priests, religious...) seem to find attractive about being Catholic, eg. the strong sense of identity that comes from following traditional teachings to the letter and the adherence to traditional codes of behaviour. This can get reflected in many ways, such as in a desire for traditional clerical dress, in old-school devotions, in liturgical choices, etc...

Perhaps, the blame for this should be laid upon elements of the modern world we live in that many people find threatening, eg. the "moral relativism" that Pope Benedict has frequently attacked. Certainties and traditions can thus be seen as a refuge for many people.

This is not to say that such rigid traditionalism is necessarily healthy, just that it is perhaps understandable given the world we live in.

Treading a more open-minded path leaves one more vulnerable to doubt and uncertainty, though I believe it is the more healthy and rewarding path, for those who feel strong enough to cope. It's the path I believe Jesus took and it's the path that allows us to reach out to people beyond the boundaries of Church in a way that allows for greater openness and sharing.

Maybe many of the more "reasonable" Catholics out there just aren't as fired up about their faith and wanting to share it with others as they could/should be.

I'm glad that people like yourself are, however. The worst thing would be if you were to raise the white flag and beat a retreat. There's room in the Church for all of us, but we certainly need more solid frontiersfolk prepared to reach out in an unthreatening (though still gently challenging) way to our fellow brothers and sisters.

God bless.

Bro. James
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