Teenagers Help Prominent Catholics Prepare Response to Laudato Si’ #satire

Teenagers Help Prominent Catholics Prepare Response to Laudato Si’ #satire June 20, 2015

Observing the vast numbers of Catholic adults struggling to form concise, clearly-stated arguments against Laudatio Si’, youth groups around the nation have mobilized.  “It’s hard watching my dad struggle to express what it is he really feels about the encyclical,” says Justin Callahan, a high school senior and student-leader at St. Insolence parish in Western Reading, New York. “One of the things they teach us at youth leadership seminars is how to help the junior high kids tap into what’s really bothering them.  I’m trying to use that skill to help my dad prepare his thoughts for the talk he has to give to the Knights next week.”

For Brittany Myers, a sophomore at Church of the Insurrection in Frackville, Oklahoma, it’s about helping her mother, president of a local association of Catholic business leaders, move on to more important issues.  “My mom is spending all this time on Facebook trying to hash it out with her friends, and I’m like, ‘You need to just get to the point and then put away your phone, because I would like a ride to the pool now.'”

“In talking my dad through these issues,” Justin says, “It’s clear that what he’s feeling is the kind of things teens really know about.  So I help give him the words to explain himself without having to go around and around in circles.”

Brittany, Justin, and other teens have collaborated to provide a list of succinct phrases that get to the heart of what their parents and Catholic pundits across the political spectrum are feeling.  “We went for enduring expressions that would be well-known and understood across generations,” Justin explains.  The list includes both complex arguments and short, simple statements that resonate with those who’ve read several paragraphs or more of the encyclical:

“So you think we’re using too much air-conditioning?  I bet you walked to school barefoot in the snow, too.  Uphill both ways.”

“What do you know about this anyway?  You’re just a scientist and theologian who’s lived through a long series of corrupt political regimes and dedicated your life to serving the poor and the marginalized.”

“You’re not the boss of me.”

“Yeah, okay.  Whatever.”

Justin Callahan says that even the clergy are excited by these helpful summary-arguments.  “Father Mashable said that the list has helped him cut his homily for Sunday down to five minutes, which means we can be out of Mass in less than half an hour this week, if he skips all the stuff that’s not that important anyway.”

For Brittany Myers, helping her mother work through her thoughts about the encyclical has turned out to have more than just practical benefits.  “I mean, seriously, I think she’s nuts.  The pope is right, everyone knows that.  But this has helped us grow closer together in other ways.  Now when she says, ‘I know how it feels to be a teenager,’ I realize that yeah, she does.”



File:Teenagers praying the Liturgy of the Hours - Mosteiro Beneditino Santíssima Trindade.JPG

Photo by Eugenio Hansen, OFS (Own work), “Teenagers Praying the Liturgy of the Hours” [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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