"With video installations, electronic music, and abstract art. With Lenten readings from Oscar Wilde and Jack Kerouac. With the pulpit given over to non-believers. All this in the great diocese whose patrons are Saint Ambrose and Saint Charles Borromeo [and, I might add, the See of St. Augustine's conversion, baptism, and reception into the Church]." Read the rest of this article by Sandro Magister at www.chiesa, June 13, 2006.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy much of Oscar Wilde's humor immensely and quote him on other pages of my website. I think Jack Kerouac is a decent, if not profound, read. I'm not even opposed to everything in Spinoza's philosophical writings or to experimental art of the kind undertaken by Tatsuo Miyajima, in the right context (both are mentioned later in Sandro Magister's article). But it seems here that Church authorities have lost all sense of boundaries. The lack of fittingness is as jarring as what I have encountered among some of those Evangelical fringe groups that promote "Christian heavy metal," or parents in the seventies who thought they could earn the respect of the 'younger generation' by smoking pot with their kids. None of this will 'work.' Either it will denature the Gospel being proclaimed (the most likely result), or it will hobble the promotion of Wilde, Kerouac, etc. (Why trouble yourself to go to church to hear them? Most who wouldn't go for any other reason are going to find the church a major 'deduct' anyway, and if Wilde and Kerouac is their reason for going, they might prefer an environment where they can drink or get stoned.) When will "Spirit of Vatican II" liberals learn that the Gospel doesn't need secular 'supplements' to spice it up. The effect, rather, is to water it down, throw a wet towel over it, smother it, and kill it. The Gospel unencumbered by all this merda has done quite well over the past two millennia in converting whole continents and peoples to Christ. Again, I have nothing against study groups taking on the relationship between the Christian Faith and various expressions of secular culture, whether literary, cinematic, or otherwise. In fact, this is exactly what I promote in my classes. But let us pray for a return to sanity about keeping liturgy sacred and keeping the profane out of the sanctuary.