Tuesday, January 17

An ancient church, my hols and an italian friar

There thoughts and patterns of things which accumulate over time until, by a simple prod, the log jam comes loose and thoughts tumble.  Hold on.

So, I recently was on hols to visit my parents in Florida.  Over the course of the week, it came home crystal that our respective world-views, however similar they had been in the past, are quite different today.  With the exception of the financial/economic sector, they are state-of-the-art 1960's views and when a situation arises which conflicts with this world-view (such as Nixon being more 'liberal' than current 'liberal' thinking), the information is either summarily dismissed or ignored.

Segue to religion... The church I attend is principally filled with Baby Boomers who took Vatican II at its word and when the retrenchment started, left the Roman fold disillusioned and wounded.  Our liturgy is classic 'low-mass' liturgy, replete with guitars and Haagen/Haas/St. Louis Jesuits.  It makes me chuckle a bit to hear them talk about how the RC is 'going back to the past', because what I see is a different form of the same thing.  Benny and his jets are looking to restore the church to what they perceive it was when they were in their youth.  So are most of the folk in my parish.  Trouble is....this isn't 1950....or 1970.  This is a new millennium and the world has changed SOO very much since then that it is sometimes hard to understand the mindset which went into some of the positions taken by either Benny or the boomers.

As I have said before, religion functions as a horizontal societal instrument to build and reinforce the community.  As religion is no longer the central glue to a local community and the needs of the community and its members no longer align perfectly with Church Doctrine (tm), the church must adapt to this if they wish to remain relevant to the community and retain their role as defined above as a religion. Despite what 'some folk' would like you to believe, all of the 'major' religions have developed, changed and morphed over their lifespan.  That is why they have survived and prospered as long as they have, because the people recognized the importance of addressing the concerns of today, not a generation/century/millenium ago.

So what's with the friar?  Three words - "Rebuild my church".
It isn't "make a replica of the ancient church" or "restore the church of your youth", but "rebuild my church".  When you rebuild something, you replace the old, worn-out parts with new ones, tighten and realign everything, coming out with an alloy of new and old which is far better then the original without being an entirely new creation.

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