Sunday, September 3, 2017

Young Catholics and the Old Rite

From The Catholic Herald:
Francis’ remarks are yet another sign of his anxiety over the traditional direction in which young Catholics are carrying the Church. We have seen this before, in the stories he tells about young priests who shout at strangers and play dress-up, unlike the wise, old, compassionate (and liberal) monsignori. Francis has played variations of John Lennon’s Imagine: “We are grandparents called to dream and give our dream to today’s youth: they need it.” Maybe so, but the youth do not seem to want it.

As any young progressive or old traditionalist will tell you, age does not dictate whether one prefers dogma or liberty, ritual or casualness. Yet across much of the Catholic world, young traditionalists are competing against old progressives. Ironies abound, as youths who revere the venerable face off against elders who chase the up-to-date, and progressives who fear the future battle with traditionalists who loathe their immediate forebears.

Anyone who doubts the reality of the conflict should visit a monastery or convent, where young monastics will almost invariably be more traditional than their elders. In France, in 20 years’ time a majority of priests will celebrate exclusively the traditional Latin mass. Wherever one looks, the kids are old rite.

Few have spoken as eloquently about the changes the Church is undergoing as Fr René Dinklo, provincial of the Dutch Dominicans, and the only member of his order from Generation X. One of Fr Dinklo’s earliest memories is of a confessional filled with the drums used by the youth choir. By the time he joined the order in the early 1990s, the Dutch Dominicans had discarded their traditional prayers and come to believe that the order would be transformed into an assembly of laymen. He had reason to think he would be the last priest in a province that had lasted for 500 years. (Read more.)

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