Katolsk identitet

* Forholdet mellom kristne og muslimer
* Katolsk identitet
* Sekulariseringen som Vestens krise

John Allen skriver om et foredrag han holdt for en forsamling av diakoner (og deres koner) for noen dager siden. Han var spurt om å snakke om aktuelle temaer fra Vatikanet, og valgte å fokusere på de tre temaene jeg startet denne posten med.

Alle disse tre punktene er av avgjørende betydning for Kirken, sa han. Og til hvert punkt er den sentrale utfordringen å finne det Aquinas kaller den «gyldne middelvei» mellom de to polene. Her er litt av det han sa om temaet Katolsk identitet:

It’s instructive to note that the term ‘Catholic identity’ does not appear in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Such a concern would have seemed alien to many council Fathers, who presided over largely compact Catholic populations within which people memorized their catechisms, went to Mass and confession, took part in Corpus Christi processions, sent their sons and daughters to the seminary and the convent, and spoke the language of the Church without having to be reflective about it.

The question that drove the council was not whether we were identifiably Catholic, but rather what else we were …. At the time, a small minority inside and outside the council, a school of thought John XXIII once famously described as “prophets of doom,” warned that any compromise on Catholic distinctiveness would court seduction by secular modernism.

More than forty years later, it has to be admitted that the supreme self-confidence which allowed the majority to brush aside such concerns was perhaps a bit naïve. Today, we have seen two generations of Catholics who are effectively un-catechized, a collapse in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, Mass attendance rates in some parts of Europe which dip into the single digits, and all the other familiar indicators of a Western ‘ecclesiastical winter.’


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