According to the WaPo. The utility of such articles is not in figuring out what the Church needs to shut up about in order to be “relevant” (which is usually the agenda the MSM is pursuing in publishing such pieces). Rather, it is in finding the growing edge of the rising generation–the points of gospel teaching which most resonate with them–which can be addressed in order that they understand the Faith is their friend and not their enemy. it is then up to thoughtful catechists to try to find ways in which to communicate that the Faith is a whole weave–a kind of ecosystem–and that aspects of the Faith they see as “unimportant” are in fact as vital to the thing they think important as a remote rain forest is to the oxygen supply in New York. But any witness to the Faith worth his salt has to realize that you start where your audience is, not where you are. As Yr. Obdt. Svt wrote some while back:
“It is no good,” said G.K. Chesterton, “to … imagine that one can force an opponent to admit he is wrong, by proving that he is wrong on somebody else’s principles, but not on his own. After the great example of St. Thomas, the principle stands, or ought always to have stood established; that we must either not argue with a man at all, or we must argue on his grounds and not ours.”
Like it or not, postmodern culture stands on radically different ground than Catholic orthodoxy. Compared to the Faith, it has a very different notion of what is and is not authoritative. And postmodern culture pervades, not just the world, but the Church as well. So it behooves Catholics who hope to speak of the integrity of the Faith to find out what ground the postmodern mind regards as solid in order to begin a conversation there rather than demand the postmodern person begin with our assumptions. Like St. Paul, a Catholic apologist must be all things to all, in order to win some to Christ.
At the same time, in the attempt to relate to the rising generation it is always important to remember who we are trying to relate them to. And to recall that we don’t always know what we really want.