Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., "It Seems To Me That We Have Neen Witnessing A Steady Protestantization Of The Catholic Church"

We have reason to rejoice at the revised, much more complete readings that we now have in the Lectionary over a three-year period. When Vatican II put great stress on the role of Scripture in the Mass, and both increased and lengthened the readings, we witnessed a move away from the traditional “sermon” to the “homily.” The sermon tended to concentrate on faith, morals, explaining the Creed, whereas the homily now tends to be an “explanation” of the scriptural readings for the day. The explanation usually is in the form of a rudimentary exegesis, or it moves into biblical theology, that is, a theme from the Bible is developed, suggested by the day’s readings. Such procedures are good. We needed a return to Scripture, and that is what we have had for the past 40 years. But in the meantime, there has been, in my view, a serious neglect of instruction of the faithful in the fundamentals of the Catholic faith in a systematic way in most of our parishes. Also, 
there is little or no connection between the homilies from one Sunday to the next. As a result, more and more Catholics simply do not know what their Church teaches on such basic questions as original sin, mortal and venial sin, the Incarnation, the Trinity, heaven, hell, purgatory, the Real Presence, bodily resurrection, and so forth. Millions of Catholics are confused—and that confusion has led to division. It seems to me that we have been witnessing a steady Protestantization of the Catholic Church, in the sense that each person, on the principles of sola scriptura and private interpretation, decides for himself/herself what the Bible and the Catholic faith mean. 
There are now about 20,000 different forms of Protestantism; and we now seem to have several different forms of Catholicism, not officially but de facto.
Link (here) to the full article at HPR by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

1 comment:

Qualis Rex said...

I guess I'm a bit perplexed at Fr Baker's naivete. Yes, Vatican II advocated more scripture being read...but it ALSO said Latin was to remain the language of the liturgy, as was Gregorian chant (Sacrosanctum Concilium). You cannot do away with one half of the equation, then be surprised things somehow "didn't work out". The entire liturgy is to be taken as a whole; scripture is a PART of the whole. And as we have seen with Protestantism, scripture out of context can be used for extreme evil...so "more" is not necessarily better.