Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Appealing To Pop Culture Just Drives Young Catholics Away From Church

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: A few weeks ago, a high profile Evangelical returned to the Church of his youth -- The Catholic Church. His name is Francis Beckwith, and he served as president of the 'Evangelical Theological Society,' an association of 4,300 Evangelical Protestant theologians. In an interview with Tim Drake of the 'National Catholic Register,' Beckwith provides some insight as to what Catholic parishes should NOT do, in order to reach out to young people...
(NCR): Looking back, and knowing what I know now, I believe that the Church’s weakness was presenting the renewal movements as something new and not part of the Church’s theological traditions.

For someone like me, who was interested in both the spiritual and intellectual grounding of the Christian faith, I didn’t need the “folk Mass” with cute nuns and hip priests playing “Kumbaya” with guitars, tambourines and harmonicas. And it was all badly done.

After all, we listened to the Byrds, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and we knew the Church just couldn’t compete with them.

But that’s what the Church offered to the young people of my day: lousy pop music and a gutted Mass. If they were trying to make Catholicism unattractive to young and inquisitive Catholics, they were succeeding.

What I needed, and what many of us desired, were intelligent and winsome ambassadors for Christ who knew the intellectual basis for the Catholic faith, respected and understood the solemnity and theological truths behind the liturgy, and could explain the renewal movements in light of these....

read full story here