Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Did World War II Undermine Catholicism?

From The Catholic Herald:
What Bullivant shows is that social changes flowing from the Second World War undermined the Catholic community as a social network. War service, evacuation and war-inspired migration mixed the population in unprecedented ways, undermining links of family and place. Post-war slum clearance and suburbanisation, increased travel possibilities, widening opportunities for tertiary education and radio and television took the process several steps further. A less densely networked community is also less able to inspire, and benefit from, Creds. 
So much, so inevitable. What difference did the Council make? The set of attitudes, policies and initiatives which have dominated the Church since the Council are characterised by the idea that Catholics should look beyond the community, talk more, and more open-mindedly, to members of other faiths, and not worry about markers of Catholic identity. 
Catholic churches have been made to look much less distinctive. Those aspects of Catholic worship and the devotional life most unlike other denominations have been dismantled, and the Catholic martyrs have been downplayed. Many of the largely jettisoned devotions – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and walking pilgrimages among them – were the very things which had provided opportunities for Creds. And Creds of the past, from the cult of the English martyrs to fine church furnishings provided by the pennies of the poor, were downplayed or actually destroyed. 
Those leading these changes thought of themselves as being “with it”, because the younger Catholics were indeed more open-minded, less ghettoised and, being less committed to the faith, less inclined to undertake Creds. Failing to see the downside to this process of community disintegration, the Church’s leadership pushed it on faster and further, at a moment when it would have been wiser to look for ways to counter the effects of unavoidable social changes. In this very simple way, the post-conciliar “orientation” made things worse. (Read more.)


julygirl said...

The Catholic church is its own worse enemy. It has done more internally to bring itself down than any outside forces.

elena maria vidal said...

Isn't that the truth.