Thoughts on the future of the Roman Catholic Church

Editor, The News:

On occasion one encounters current, and/or former Catholics disappointed by the Church’s neglect of traditional teaching, those remaining with the Church because the Church possesses — and communicates — the Sacraments.

For several generations, the Roman Catholic Church has largely neglected the culture. What criticism it has leveled vis-à-vis moral decay has gradually become a criticism of moral judgments. The modern Church is the Church of affirmation and forgiveness of unacknowledged sin, tacitly embracing the culture-of-death. The modern Church seems embarrassed by its former self.

Today — as the Church attempts marketing itself to future generations, marketing agencies are employed to grow the Church (Oh, the sciences may allow us to exploit a market hungry for transcendent meaning — John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul and Co. just unabashedly articulated God’s Word, as did the former growing, thriving old Catholic Church —  wherein the Church’s message must be massaged so as to make the Church amenable to the intransigent sinner. The Church has come to accept obdurac,  i.e., impenitent wickedness.

When one employs marketers, theological and moral truths (such concepts are scientifically unquantifiable; thus, meaningless barriers to successful marketing) must be subordinated to full pews.

The old Church structures — we guess — are viewed by marketers (and therefore by modern clergy reliant upon marketers) as impediments to the future, reminding parishioners of the stuffy old Catholic Church of prayer penance and the virtue of sacrifice. A new modern Church may come with all the amenities of Joel Osteen’s mega Churches, but flavored with post-modern Catholicism.

We suggest — for a while — such marketing schemes will realize a modicum of success, but that ultimately the Church will continue to bleed souls, until, and unless, it again incessantly, and unabashedly teaches the entire gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thomas Donegan

New Castle

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