"Secularization is the work of elites who want to free themselves and the world they inhabit from any appeal to an authority that invokes transcendence."
At the end of his exceptional new book, Fr. Nichols has a chapter which suggests that he and I are so much in sync about the "identity" issue I have been writing for so long that I got shivers.
He is writing in the first place about England, the English, English culture and society, but his work is clearly appropriate for many other nations. Eerily so for the United States, which hasn’t gone as far down the dismal road Fr. Nichols mapped.
In his last chapter: For Critics of Christendom (Secularization: A Catholic Response), and the subheading "The role of English Catholicism", he writes:
[T]he strategy I advocate is one which might be called ‘in depth re-confessionalisation’. In this slogan, the adverbial phrase – ‘in depth’ and the noun – ‘re-confessionalisation’ – should be given equal weight. ‘Re-confessionalisation’ speaks of the renaissance of a kind of Catholicism that would be more secure in its own identity, both doctrinal and cultural, than has been the case in recent decades, where milk has been split in the name of ecumenical adjustment and accomodation to the social life-ways of others. That more secure identity is needed, not least, in order the better to counter the force of secularism. …
A necessary component is "a re-enchanting of the Liturgy which is our primary induction into the nature of prayer and so the mystical".
Apropos… Pope Benedict is going to create a new dicastery of the Holy See, the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization.
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