Culture and pollsters pressure and seek to dumb down the church – to force her into accepting unholy ‘holiness’. Progressive ‘clerics’ who desperately want to be loved by culture, try to be relevant, sensitive, hip, and enlightened by offering some ‘new’ kind of Gospel and in doing so act as foolish voices that lead the church from its foundation on the rock to some shabby shanty built on the senseless sandy beaches of modernity.
Why are people surprised that the teachings of the church are at odds with what is hip and cool? It’s always been that way and it always will be. Jesus wasn’t crucified because he was cool. The world doesn’t martyr Christians because their views affirm societies. The church loves the world enough to speak the truth and sometimes truth hurts. Love means a willingness to offer divine wisdom even when the recipient is unwilling to listen. Here is a small commentary by Wesley Pruden on the puzzling nature of the new Pontiff Francis:
The new pope is a puzzle to nearly everybody, particularly to the politicians, pundits and other know-it-alls. He looks and sounds like a remnant of a previous time, thrown up in the squalid swamp of a trashy and superficial age. He’s not at all hip and “with it.” He’s not interested in “moving forward,” as in the current cliché. He projects humility and kindness and speaks of his Christian faith as if he really believes in the amazing grace of the Gospel. This makes the intellectual elites, and even some “holy men” of the various bureaucracies of modern Christendom, incredulous, nervous and embarrassed.
The elites are willing to tolerate religious faith as long as a believing Christian keeps it to himself and never acts on it or even talks about it. It’s OK, barely, to be a “cultural Christian,” who often isn’t really a Christian at all as Christ defined the faith in the New Testament. The new pope rebukes this synthetic Christianity, urging a return to “the Christ of the Cross” who came to redeem humankind with a sacrificial death on Calvary. This puts Pope Francis clearly at odds with cultural Christians who would reduce the faith of our fathers to a catechism lifted from the pages of The New York Times.
“I don’t think he’s what we need right now in the Catholic Church Madeline Cuomo, the sister of the current governor of New York and member of a powerful family with a lot of the vowels in their name that Daddy Cuomo imagined kept him out of the White House, tells Crain’s New York Business magazine. “We’re looking to move the Church forward, with gay marriage and women priests. He’s going to turn back the clock.”
Note to Pope Francis: we like your clock – stay the course Holy Father, stay the course.
+anaphora – laetare