When Catholics Eschew Adulthood, All Hell Breaks Loose

When Catholics Eschew Adulthood, All Hell Breaks Loose


[It’s high time for “Peter Pan” Catholics to grow up!]


Consider these phenomena that we have been witnessing with varying degrees of regularity over these past 10 years:

Priests singing secular songs from the altar during Mass

Priests and/or religious performing line dances in public venues, in clerics and habits

Priests and religious giving rock music concerts

The attire of Mass attendees becoming ever more sloppy and even obscene

Poor deportment while before the Blessed Sacrament:

Chatting in the nave of the Church

Failure to genuflect

Consuming food/drink, chewing gum – not babies, but adults

Stand-up-comedy jokes being told from the pulpit and even the altar

A once-prominent Catholic blogger, in his heyday, published pictures of Pope Benedict experiencing problems with his vestments and then asking his readers to provide captions for his pictures

The popularity of Matthew Kelly and his ilk peddling “be a better you” seminars instead of the the need to turn from sin.

The vaunting of the World Youth Day spectacles, despite the rife abuses conducted therein

I’ve written before about these matters but have not been able to put my finger on a common denominator. But maybe I’m homing in on it. Many adults today are eschewing the responsibilities and even identities associate with being adults. Those of a liberal bent are particularly afflicted with it. Wanting government to assume control of their lives while they embrace hedonism, they find the progressive programs particularly appealing. Many recoil at the thought of having to assume responsibility for their lives, to commit to spouses and children, to think and live for something beyond themselves and their own entertainments and creature comforts.

Regrettably, Catholics have demonstrated that they are not always immune to this psychological and societal sickness. The degrees of impairment vary widely. The list at the top of the post is particularly at play in more liberal enclaves – particularly the deportment and dress at Mass (assuming they attend Mass). Conversely, when I’ve attended Traditional Latin Masses, both dress and deportment are vastly improved. Maybe that is why the pope railed upon the traditionally-minded so viciously; perhaps in his attempt to shame them from their “rigidity” he wants them more amenable to the wiles of the progressives.

But more conservative parishes (that aren’t Latin Mass) aren’t totally immune. Moreover, when I’ve voiced concerns to some of my fellow faithful Catholics about it, I often receive responses that can only be described as rancorous. Invariably the “lighten up” mantra is snarled into my face.

Concurrent with the rejection of adulthood is the overemphasis on emotions and sentiments, a feature of postnodernism. We see that in their defense of the childish clergy dancing as “expressing joy in the Lord”. Well, I can remember when clergy upheld the dignity of their sacerdotal orders. Dignity and modesty would never have allowed them to follow foolish worldly fads. Are we to believe that those priests of yesteryear were utterly bereft of true Godly joy?

Related to the above is some notion that in order to evangelize young people, we must engage them on what we perceive to be “their own terms”. That’s the excuse some offer for the “rock concerts” and the public dancing displays. Such an attitude is wrong in several ways:

It betrays an incredible condescension towards young people. Those holding such beliefs seem to contend that if we wave “entertainment doggy bones” in front of them, then they will slavishly follow after them in the fashion of Pavlov’s dogs. The young people see through that. I think many of them not only don’t fall for such cheap ploys, but actually resent those who employ them. Who can blame them?

They don’t want to be treated as mice who will mindlessly follow a rock-star pied piper. They seek real, serious answers to the challenges that they face in their lives. They need us to address them as rational adults.

If we’re really looking for an effective way to evangelize, forget this “new evangelism” tripe. Go back to the way the Apostles evangelized. They preached the gospel that commanded people to repent from their sins and to believe Christ and His teachings. They taught the truth, not some “positive” pabulum. For an example of that, go to today’s first reading from Mass: Acts 2:14,36-41.

In 1 Corinthians 13:11, Paul says, “when I was a child, I spoke like a child, talked like a child. When I became a man I put aside the ways of the child.” It’s high time we did the same thing. Let’s dispense with the silly and trite. Let’s dispense with the postmodern obsession with “feelings” and “positivity” and focus on the objective truths of Jesus and His Church in their entirety. Let’s grow up; stop indulging our “inner child” complexes and be the adults that are needed so desperately by our silly, stupified, sin-sick world.

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