Cranky Old People Demand Church Reform

The latest flavor of Futurechurch has deployed their mightiest weapon in the fight against Catholicism: the badly designed website with a long list of stale talking points.

Mark Shea links to the certain-to-fail project from the perpetual adolescents who style themselves “progressive Catholics.” Their motto for the past 40 years? “Too lazy to convert to Protestantism.”

Because that’s what “Authority in the Catholic Church” is pimping: it’s just plain old Protestantism, and not even the good, healthy kind that generates converts and seeks out new mission territory, but your weak-tea mainline kind that’s hemorrhaging members at a steady clip by abandoning the preaching of the Gospel in favor of the preaching of the zeitgeist. I don’t look at the glorious Catholic Church and think, “You know what would make this better? If it was run by Episcopalians.”

 The website is good for a few laughs, from the weird design and attempt to cram as many dead buzzwords into a limited space as possible, to the squished pictures and inappropriate use of stock art. Behold, Futurechurch’s solution to the management of the faith:

Yep, that’s what I want: a Church that’s indistinguishable from Dunder-Mifflin.

“We shall solve our problems by deploying the mighty power of generic photos featuring lots of white people at computers.” Can you imagine how that place would be run? It would take a month of meetings and five subcommittees just to figure out which fair trade coffee to buy for the solar-powered vending machines.

Their complaints are the usual litany of tediousness: less pope, more sex. That’s really it. That’s what it all boils down to: children who don’t like being told what to do with their genitals by an adult. It’s not like they’re in a screaming hurry to rewrite our understanding of the dual nature of Christ in the incarnation, or dismantle the preferential option for the poor. They’re only attacking this make-believe boogeyman (“authority”) because it’s in the way of gettin’ biddy.

Their prescription is lots and lots of voting: voting on everything from bishops to condoms. Democracy may be a fine fit for running the occasional town meeting and deciding who gets eaten first when the rations run out on the lifeboat, but apply democracy to eternal truths, and you’ll have those Ten Commandments whittled down to three in no time at all. And that’s what they’re suggesting: putting the faith up to a vote. First order of business is to amend “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” to add “unless she’s totally HAWT!” Can I see a show of hands? Sorry, Mr. Kennedy, you may only vote once.

And, oh look! Who’s name is up at the top? Hans Kung, the answer to a question no one asks. Ever. The last time anyone really wondered, “What’s Hans think?” America was busy being invaded by four lovable moptops from England. It’s all been downhill since then for Hans as his entire reason for being crumbled like ashes around him. At age 84, this is his final attempt to shove the poison apple down our throats. Pardon us in the younger generation if we offer you a hearty “Nein!”

The biography pages are high comedy. As growth in the Church is being driven by the very conservative Catholics of the southern hemisphere, there’s not a non-white face to be seen among the ministers of Futurechurch. Nor do many appear to be under 60 years old. It’s going to be a damn short future, from the looks of them. Futurechurch wants to collect its social security check. Futurechurch hasn’t been this upset since that time Macy’s ran out of slacks. Futurechurch needs to take a nap but it will get right back to formulating a theology of glorious contraception once it wakes up and has its Ensure. Futurechurch is irritated that its turkey-on-white sandwich doesn’t have any mayo. Futurechurch just wants to put on Sgt. Pepper and dream of better days.

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.