Cardinal Burke recently gave a rather controversial interview on the crisis of men in the Church. The lack of men in most Catholic churches in the West is there for all to see; looking at those most involved in parish life—readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Altar servers—the lack of menfolk is even more striking. The general problem of lapsation and apathy has clearly hit men hard—or, even harder—than it has hit women.This phenomenon, though undeniable, has attracted very little official attention from Church authorities. Part of the preparation for the 2015 Synod was an embarrassingly amateurish video put out by the Pontifical Council for the Laity seeking input for the Synod’s deliberations.From men? No, from women. Even as men become an endangered species in our congregations, the focus remains on the experiences of women and how the Church can reach out to them.
Like or it not, men respond more readily to a religion which is demanding, which presents them with the objective and transcendent, and to a liturgy which ordered and reverent. They find it easier to relate to a religion which is serious, and grown up. This contrasts with emotional, spontaneous, wordy, and community-focused liturgy, catechesis, and churchmanship in general. (Read more.)Share