" In light of Ignatius' 'Two Standards' and 'The Mystries Done From The Garden To The House Of Annas', at any moment we can be Judas or Peter, a Christian life can be a fine line."
Monday, December 6, 2010
Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. "Our Churches And Our Liturgies Are Boring."
Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J.
"The church has acted like a lazy monopoly," the Rev. Thomas Reese told the crowd at Mandeville Hall, noting that one in three baptized Catholics now leaves the church in adulthood. Reese, a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and former editor of the Jesuit magazine America, was one of three panelists invited by the university to discuss "The Future of the Church." The topic's subtitle was "Sources of Hope," and after airing their grievances with their church, the three unabashedly progressive speakers pointed out ways they believe the nation's largest denomination can remain attractive and relevant. "The Catholic Church is confronting a real crisis" of eroding membership, Sister Carol Jean Vale, president of Chestnut Hill College and moderator of the two-hour program, said in her opening remarks.
"How can we form Catholics for the future?" she asked. Reese, who is a Jesuit priest, laid much of the blame for the erosion of Catholic identity on what he described as a "culture of clericalism" in the church. Too many priests and bishops seem to believe that "we know better" than the laity "and we don't need to listen to them."
Reese, a prolific author, also opined that "our churches and our liturgies are boring." Seventy-one percent of ex-Catholics who join a Protestant or evangelical congregation report that the Catholic Church "wasn't meeting my spiritual needs," he said. Parishes need to do a better job of preaching, offer better music, be more welcoming, and provide engaging programs for children, Reese said.
Link (here) to read the full article at The Philadelphia Inquirer
I am not a Jesuit, nor am I a cleric. I spent about 5 years under the spiritual direction of a Jesuit, 3 of those years in a weekly directed retreat in everyday life. The profound impact that the Society and the Excercises had upon my life, resulted in me, trying to deal with that impact in some way by sharing my view of Jesus Christ with others. My intention is to pull together Jesuitical and Catholic subjects that interest me. I was born on the feast day of St. Paul Miki, S.J.. I am the father of three small children and an infant, I am married to a great wife.