Universalis

"Just Catholic: Being Catholic in Difficult Times"

Hi all,

I would like to share this with you. It's a talk, entitled "Just Catholic: Being a Catholic in Difficult Times", by Fr. John Whitney, the Provincial of the Oregon Province of Jesuits and a familiar and loved face on the Seattle Unversity campus in past years. I have provided the link at the end of this blog if you'd like to read his talk in its entirety.

The one thing that truly struck me was his point on "Catholicism and the Small Box". In a nutshell, Fr. Whitney asserts that many of us have a dogmatic, rigid view of the Church and this he calls the "small box" and it is a rigidness perpetuated by BOTH the "conservatives" and the "liberals". The former values hierarchy, rules, and is reluctant to change. The latter, disdainful of precisely those qualities, chooses to step out of the box and stay on the fringes and in a way, perpetuates the dogma that they reject.

Neither group seeks to change or expand the small box of Catholicism and thus we do not progress.

I thought that was a powerful message, at least to me as a young adult with a rapidly changing inner (who I am, where do I come from, where am I going?) and outer world (Life, the Church, family, friends). In a time when the Church is troubled and seems out of date or imperfect or just "wrong", it helps to know that there is hope yet. Perhaps the church is like a family: I don't always agree with family rules or what family members choose to do, but loving, positive change in the Church can only be effective when it comes from within, from within the bonds of fellowship and a shared identity in the One who leads us, in Christ.

Well, that was just my two cent's worth but I hope others have gotten a dollar's worth of wisdom (or perhaps disagreement) from Fr. Whitney's lecture. If you did, please, do share! =)

-mo-

http://www.seattleu.edu/missionministry/ministry/maguire_lecture_2005.htm
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click on 'permanent link' to read the full article...

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