Wednesday, October 14, 2015

When did the Church learn to evangelize? After Vatican II?

One of the more persistent annoyances in the contemporary Catholic world is the proud declaration that now we finally know that we’re supposed to evangelize and go forth and go out and not sit smugly inside the church walls! Finally!
Thus begins a recent post by Amy Welborn, who, in the context of discussing a book called The Blind Sisters of St. Paul, nails to the wall one of our own pet peeves of this era of the "New Evangelization" ... She continues:
It’s not all the fault of the Francis Moment. Since the Second Vatican Council, that idea: that the pre-Vatican II Church was closed-off, and we’re all about the openness, energy and evangelization now – exists in the Catholic Atmosphere somewhere between assumption and dogma.

But how odd, then, that when we dig out examples to inspire us in our current efforts to take the Gospel into the world, to be energetic and creative and engaged, we tell each other that we need to be more like…

Francis de Sales!

Catherine of Siena!

Frederic Ozanam!

Maximilian Kolbe!

Alphonsus Liguori!

Francis of Assisi!


or today’s saint: Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher!

Who all, it seems, managed to understand Jesus’ call pretty well, despite having to live rigidly with access only to the ©TLM.

Just think what they could have accomplished with more freedom and the right to actively participate!
Guy Noir, who sent us this linked article, highlighted Wellborn's frank observation:
(My take has always been that what Vatican II unleashed, even as it was called in order to enable the Church to offer the Gospel to the world with more vigor and understanding, was mostly decades and decades of self-involved naval-gazing and infighting as the energy to go out was redirected into endless meetings trying to figure out new structures and mission statements and what we’re all about and for, a massive waste of time and misdirection that we’re seeing reach its natural climax in #Synod15.)
Whether you wish to take that cum grano salis (or not), I think you will agree that there are a growing number of pretty frustrated people out there. God bless! -- Catholic and enjoying it, +PP


Kevin Tierney said...

There's an easy way to fix this assumption if those in power truly wish to change it: point out that before Vatican II, even right up to the 20th century, the Catholic Church did quite allright with evangelization tyvm.

JM said...

And since then. Catholic missionaries have evaporated. Although we do have Fr. James Martin as a missionary to the city. And that about sums up the current state of affairs.