I recently posted about Sr. Joan Chittister and the Council of Elders. HERE.
Judging from my email feedback about that post, I realize that many of my visitors have never heard of the Council of Elders. Many would never have heard of Sr. Joan Chittister without reading about her here.
I have recently written about Richard McBrien, Charles Curran, Bernard Häring….
As it turns out, younger people, younger committed Catholics, simply don’t know who these liberals are.
I guess there is a generation gap on Fr. Z’s Blog.
Consider this. When Sr. Joan and the civil-rights era, war-protesting era “Council of Elders” went to help out the Occupiers near Wall Street, the Occupiers had no idea who they were.
Here is the site of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (Remember them? No?) which conveys their lament:
These leaders and all of the Elders constitute the best of the best in respect to shaping progressive social thought and redemptive nonviolent action.
But there were two problems:
- Large numbers of Occupiers “don’t know much about history” and therefore had no idea who was in their midst, and…
- They found it possible to treat the Elders’ declaration and direct involvement as not worthy of their notice.
Nobody under the age of 40 knows who these people are.
Furthermore, they don’t care about who these people ever were.
I was talking with a priest friend today about the fact that virtually all the American seminarians we know were not educated by women religious. Neither is the National Catholic Reporter on their radar screens. The NCR was ubiquitous back in the day… lo those many years ago. They and their ilk had a strangle-hold. Now-aging-liberals propped it up in parishes and seminaries and religious houses, squelching other voices such as The Wanderer and alternative Catholic news sources and opinions. In those days only one interpretation of Vatican II was licit, nay rather, was all holy! Dissident from their dissent was forbidden, dangerous to a seminarian’s vocation or a priest’s career.
The Biological Solution is taking care of that. It is taking care of The Wanderer too, I’m afraid, because they haven’t adapted their print media to the needs of a new digital age and skyrocketing printing and mailing costs. But that is another kettle of chowder.
It is sometimes hard for me to remember that younger people, I mean younger committed Catholics, certainly seminarians, younger priests and now a rapidly growing number of bishops, don’t give a damn about anything the Fishwrap says. They don’t share the narrow vision of a still widespread but rapidly weakening discontinuity and rupture.
Young people have nothing invested in that agenda. The few that do are exceptions to the rule.
Seminarians I know, if they see the NCR, just shake their head, marveling. Perhaps they smile a little.
The indifference this new generation of priests has concerning the liberal catholic agenda will inevitably have a huge knock-on effect in the parishes they will lead and the classrooms they will teach in.
Meanwhile, it is sometimes hard for me to remember that I, too, am in certain ways now on the other side of the generational gap.
Don’t get me wrong. I will still write about the Fishwrap with all good cheer! They don’t get to have a free ride. And, face it, posts about their quirky ideas and dissident hijinx practically write themselves.
But in the future I had better keep in mind that I am still suffering from the post-traumatic stress disorder of those times. I still remember that the aging-liberals were once relevant. Younger, committed Catholics don’t have those memories.