Top 10 Cliches Among Young Catholics

Not being a young Catholic, I’m not sure how accurate this is, but a lot of it sounds familiar.

I did have fun, a few years ago, with the help of my readers, collating some of the familiar tropes in the world of anti-Catholic rhetoric.  The article–Behold the Spam of God!still cracks me up.

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  • Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh

    My instinctive reaction to this post is “oh, give them a break”. Young people who are faithful to Catholic teaching today are to be prized rather than nit-picked. It’s probably never been harder to be Catholic in living memory, in Western society. I’ve generally found the sort of young Catholics the author describes to be both serious about their faith and not especially suffering from spiritual pride or bullishness about their faithfulness.

  • Ken Crawford

    I have don’t have enough interactions with young Catholics to honestly evaluate the whole list, but one of them raised my “BS meter”, the Vatican II one.

    Young people could care less about Vatican II. It’s not even a central issue for their parents, but their GRAND parents. It was BEFORE Vietnam, and actually it is a good analogy, because just like Vietnam, while it does occasionally get mention from young people, it is only in reaction to what they’ve heard from their elders. For them personally it means nothing.

    • FM

      @ Ken

      Not really. There are a lot of young catholics, usually ‘inspired’ by older Catholics who take quite extreme position against Vatican II or pro the so-called ‘spirit of Vatican II’

      Unke Vietnam, Vatican II is still a very present issue in the Church, on issues of worship and doctrine.

      So to claim “Young people could care less about Vatican II. ” is simply false. Sure most young people might not care, but there are several who care, a lot.


      THAT SAID:

      I agree that maybe some of these points are nitpicking… at the same time they are seeds of error, that ought to be addressed, rather than ignored.

      • Ken Crawford

        FM, you’re right, I spoke poorly and made too broad of a generalization. I should have started with the word ‘most’. I was trying to make that point with the Vietnam paragraph, that there are those who do talk about it, but you are also right that my analogy is of limited applicability.

        I guess what makes me speak so strongly about the subject is that there are a bunch of baby boomers out there who are incapable of talking about anything else and view every development in the Church through the lens of the fighting over Vatican II. The result is that they are very tone-deaf when they talk to people who haven’t lived through the Catholic Church of the 70′s and 80′s.

        I see it in the RCIA Catechumentate classes (I’m an RCIA coordinator) when people who weren’t even born until the 80′s and didn’t have any awareness of the Catholic Church until the last 5-10 years are stuck listening to teachers or sponsors who drone on about things that have ZERO applicability to the Catechumens. I also see it with youth.

        Or another example, I was asked to fill out a form for the diocese earlier this year that had the following question: “What changes in the post-Vatican II Church are most apparent to you at this time? How do you feel about them? How would you like the Church to be in the next ten years and beyond?”

        What particularly struck me about the question was the assumption of me having seen the changes and them being apparent to me, for something that happened nearly 50 years ago, that the oldest person who would have filled out the form (max age was 55) wouldn’t have even been a teenager at the time of the council.

        So I guess why it gets to me is I cringe whenever I see “Vatican II obsessed baby boomers” talking to my children or their older peers as if it happened yesterday. I see the bewildered look on their faces like they’re talking about LP records. And thus I have a very hard time believing it belongs on a list like this.

        God bless.

  • Kevin

    As a member of that young generation (right around the top end of the millenials), I can say that my generation offers a lot of hope for the Church. Yet as of this moment, it is still HOPE.

    Though when it comes to “Pre versus post” Vatican II, it isn’t that everyone forgets that there were some real issues in the Church in America before the Council. It’s more that the pre/post seperation that dominates every other generation since the council doesn’t really dominate ours. Young traditionalists are just as conversant with the documents of the council and how they’ve played out as anyone else in that group. They really just are far more attracted to that aspect of traditional worship.

    When they are told “but people didn’t really pay attention to Mass back then”, they say “well people don’t really pay attention to Mass now!”, and decide that in the end, they prefer worshiping in prettier churches with smells and bells, whether or not Latin is used throughout the entire liturgy.

  • Beccolina

    #9 Dr. Who is Catholic!!!!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Some of these rang true, but some, I think, are more specific to larger diocese. The challenges faced in an area with larger numbers of atheists and agnostics and non-Christians is different than the challenges faced by youth in an area where there are many Christian denominations, some of whom are actively trying to convert Catholic youth away from the evil Catholic Church.

  • Peter H.

    As a 26-year-old Catholic, I can tell you that I’ve experienced/succumbed myself to several of these, particularly ## 10, 9, and 1. We definitely do like to issue and revoke “real serious true Catholic” cards! And I also think we’ve been militarized by the ongoing culture wars, which often creates an “us-them” mentality, as well as taking ourselves WAY too seriously. But for the excesses we Gen-Y Catholics have, we’re also growing into our inheritance in the Church with vigor.

  • Harry Piper

    I’m a convert from the age of 18 (I think), fairly young (21), and found that that this was creepily accurate, especially 10, 9 and 4.

  • Imp the Vladaler

    Oh man that site is hard on my eyes. Ouch.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I agree, but lately I found the way to make such sites easier to read. Just go to “View”, choose “Page Style” in the menu, then choose between “No Style” and “Basic Page Style”. If you click “No Style” the screen will turn into basic plain text in black letters on a white background and the site will become legible! And if you have, like me (and my hopefully soon to be treated cataracts), a problem with the size of characters, you can go back to the menu for “View”, go to zoom, and zoom in.
      I hope this helps; it took me a while to discover all this.

  • CC

    Well, I’m a young Catholic and didn’t really identify with any of those. Didn’t do it for me .

  • Katheryn

    I thought the Theology of the Body one was right on. “See…. Catholics have hot sex too… The pope said we could…” I have encountered this often.

  • Broken Whole

    I’m a young(ish?) and pretty new Catholic, and I can definitely see bits of myself in #9 and #1.