Among converts and those thinking of converting and those who are thinking of converting but denying it, there is a lot of talk about how awful the Catholic Church is when you actually stop reading books of apologetics and visit the local branch.
Here you thought it was the Church Militant and it seems like the Church Mediocre. It has what Fr. Newman calls, ‘living room liturgy’ a goofy left wing priest wanders around in sandals, and tone deaf children sing kumbayah and stand around the altar with father to say the Lord’s Prayer…(Awww, aren’t they cute?) Added to this are the pedophile scandals, priests dipping into the funds and what seems an epidemic of ignorance, complacency and idiocy in the pews.
Too often this is what it is like dear friends. If you want one man’s recipe for improving the liturgy, Fr Newman’s written down his recommendations.
But beneath it all remember what you’re looking for. People said to me when I became a Catholic, “Well, do you like the Catholic Church?” My answer: “Not really, If I was choosing a church I liked I’d still be an Anglican. They have all the nice buildings, all the nice music, all the nice table manners and all the nice people. I became a Catholic not because I thought it was the perfect Church, but because I thought it was the true church.”
Mark Shea has a good post about the church mediocre. He says it better than I can: it’s down to this–don’t join the Catholic Church because you are against gays or women priests. Don’t join the Catholic Church because you don’t like Baptists or Anglicans. Certainly don’t join the Catholic Church because you think you’ll find fine liturgy, excellent preaching and enthusiastic congregations (with certain notable exceptions of course) Join the Catholic Church because you are convinced that it is the Church Jesus Christ really did establish on his friend Peter.
If you’re there, come and join us. We can always make room for one more sinner in the boat. If you’re not, maybe you’d better put up with what you’ve got.