Crucifix to Cross; Hello Protestants!

As the Future of Catholicism Week wanes, and Patheos gets set to welcome a look at The Future of Mainline Protestantism, the Catholic side closes with two very different but passionate pieces:

No discussion of the Future Church can be complete without a look at Catholic music, and award-winning composer Frank LaRocca (a friend of this blog; you have read about him here) does the honors, with Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi likewise, a discussion of the future that misses the voice of the young would also be deficient. Shu-Fy Pongnon and Jen and Kate provided fresh voices in the main forum, and Michelle Pirraglia here closes the week out with From the Inside Out; the Keys to True Renewal a perspective of youthful orthodoxy. Just scroll down from LaRocca’s piece to read it.

I’ve tried to feature a few of the excellent essays that made up the Catholic Futures week, but there was not enough time to highlight all of them. I particularly wanted to direct your attention to Tim Muldoon’s Mysticism and the Community and J. Peter Nixon’s thoughts on how our social philosophies are driving kids from the pews.

Also, I might as well give a little plug to my own piece, From Hebrews to Hangzhou to Wholeness, where I take a look at whether or not there really is a shortage of seminarians and why the future of the church depends on the missionary skills of our newest priests.

The Mainline Protestant mainpage is twice the size of the Catholic one, and looks pretty intriguing.

By the way, keep your eyes on the Catholic portal over there; I’ll be giving it a slow makeover in the coming weeks.

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  • Nerina

    I liked very much what Frank LaRocca had to say as well as Michelle Parraglia. J. Peter Nixon I was less impressed with, but I did agree with a few points. He claims that orthodoxy proclaimed “joylessly as often found on the internet” repels more people than it attracts. First, what does he mean by joylessly? Second, how does he know it repels more than it attracts? Are there actual studies out there to back this claim?

    My diocese is pretty liberal – about as liberal as they come – and Mass attendance numbers and reception of the Sacraments are plummeting. I think the culture is largely at play here and until we reclaim Catholic identity, without embarrassment, we will continue to watch our numbers dwindle.

  • Bender

    what does he mean by joylessly?

    Nixon would need to speak for himself, but I would guess that he means more than that certain section of traditionalists (the rad-trads) who seem to be always raging about something. No, I would guess that he means more than them, after all, a large section of the progressive side told us for years about how mean and dour Cardinal Ratzinger was. So, he might very well mean that proclaiming orthodoxy is, in and of itself, joyless by its very nature.

    But if you really want joyless, head over to Nixon’s house and see what they proclaim at Commonweal. Talk about your joyless. The only joy they ever exhibit is the joy they get at bashing the Church.

  • Nerina

    Thanks, Bender. You’ve confirmed my suspicions.

  • Joseph

    I feel the same about Nixon’s article. I agree with him that our social values are sending the wrong message to our youth, and also with his musing about Cardinal Law. But, what does he mean by, “But an embittered and joyless defense of orthodoxy — the kind on display in far too many quarters of the Catholic internet — repels far more people than it attracts.”? He could have given some examples if he really knew what he was talking about. Does he feel that way about all defense of orthodoxy, or about orthodoxy itself? That is where he really lost me.

  • R.C.

    There are two things which repel, three which a spiritual seeker abhors:

    An orthodoxy which is joyless,

    A heterodoxy which is unrepentant,

    And the internecine squabbles of the people of God.

  • Manny

    R.C. – That’s brilliant! I’ll have to remember that.

  • James Hennen

    I will never understand how anyone who proclaims Catholicism as their religion can be joyless! If Catholics truly understood what is taking place on the altar, the mystical presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, they would be flocking to get into our Catholic churches by the millions. Our Mass is far from joyless, our music proclaims the beauty and love of our God, our priests work tirelessly for the good of the parish communities. A very small number have violated their priesthood, but we as Catholics must stand solidly with the many tens of thousands of Godly and holy priests, giving them our support and love for the work they do.

  • Joseph

    Thank you, James. There is nothing joyless about the mass, or about orthodoxy.

  • Jeffrey Quick

    I’m hoping I’ll meet Frank LaRocca in D.C. on August 14, when our winning works will be premiered. I like what I’ve heard thus far.

  • Father John

    Are you folks really Catholic? The Church is not a democracy where you can vote to make changes and/or give your opinion of the rules (norms and Girms) that you want to change. Today in the USA we are drifting away at a rapid pace from Rome and the Holy Father. If you are Catholic then you have agreed to follow the Holy Father and the rules of the Catholic Faith. If you are not Catholic then find another place for your comments. We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

    [Er, Father, you're certainly welcome to the site, but it's not really your place to say "find another place for your comments." There is only one God...and on this blog there is only one moderator. :-) -admin]