I came across this video clip on Catholicism Pure and Simple and thought it deserves to be shared in this space. I’m not a follower of Michael Voris, but this clip made me stop in my tracks and think about the implications of what he is saying about Catholicism in England and world-wide. Off the bat, I admit to being downhearted and filled with dismay at the sad picture he is painting about Catholicism generally. I proceed, sharing my thoughts and feelings about his brush strokes.
Mr. Voris claims that there is a ‘philosophical and ideological war’ being waged between faithful Modernists and a growing following that are proud to be known as Traditionalists on this English Isle. He goes on to say that the contemporary Modernist, trendy Liberalist Christians are dying away and that there is no sign of growth or vitality within modern day Catholicism here in England, other than a slow trickle of those who are moving towards Traditional Masses. I believe this trickle towards Traditionalism it’s a good sign.
He points to the article from the Economist to support his views
I quote from the Economist article Michael Voris refers to;
…the congregation is young and international. Like evangelical Christianity, traditional Catholicism is attracting people who were not even born when the Second Vatican Council tried to rejuvenate the church. Traditionalist groups have members in 34 countries, including Hong Kong, South Africa and Belarus. Juventutem, a movement for young Catholics who like the old ways, boasts scores of activists in a dozen countries. Traditionalists use blogs, websites and social media to spread the word—and to highlight recalcitrant liberal dioceses and church administrators, who have long seen the Latinists as a self-indulgent, anachronistic and affected minority. In Colombia 500 people wanting a traditional mass had to use a community hall (they later found a church).
This ‘movement of young Catholics who like the old ways’ is to me an encouraging sign , in that the youth are not easily swayed. They think for themselves and see right through farcical arguments. They recognise Authenticity for what it is:- Right and True. They wear their knowledge on their sleeves and are proud to share it.
Looking back over the last 12 years, my family and I have been blessed to be members of a strong and established parish, thanks to the dedication and foresight of our parish priest. He is a stickler for doing everything properly, which has led to undue criticism from those who feel as though they are being spoken to in a ‘condescending manner’ after being reminded that:
- the at Mass it’s unacceptable to walk in after the Gospel has been read,
- or that it reflects poor manners to leave Mass straight after Communion,
- that when you enter the Church building you should do so in a quiet manner because it is a place set aside for prayer and worship,
- and that after Mass you should leave in silence out of consideration for those who are remaining behind in prayer.
While my better half and I have grown to love and appreciate ‘Fr. Brown’s’ direct approach to how things are to be respected planned and executed, others have decided that his ‘nit-picking’ has driven them to leave the parish for ‘greener pastures.’ We’re proud of our Pastor for being strong and unafraid of upholding basic principles of behaviour expected in a Catholic church anywhere in the world.’ Fr. Brown’s ‘ tenacity and strength of character are the attributes that the thinking Catholic will be drawn to.
I take offence at Voris’s claim to the lack of growth or vitality within Catholicism here: he is obviously unaware of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal which is alive and well, boasting growing numbers at annual Catholic week-long conferences such as ‘New Dawn‘ and ‘Celebrate’; the excellent work done by the Catholic theatre group TEN TEN; the wonderful work of the SION community; the tireless work done by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal during the annual Spirit in the City faith Festival in the heart of London’s West end over 4 days and every other day of the year; the popularity of Youth 2000; the growing numbers of youth from England attending World Youth Day celebrations (which includes both those from the Modern and Traditional ‘persuasions’); the birth of a new Catholic radio station (Heart gives unto Heart) available 24/7; the 80 000 + Catholics who joined the Holy Father in Hyde Park alone not to mention the development of the Catholic Voices organisation developed especially before the Holy Father’s visit to improve the image of Catholicism in the press here in England.
Sure things are changing in Catholicism, but I think, for the better. Papa Francisco points clearly in a new and fresh direction.