Division in Catholic identity of young people and @MassimoFaggioli shows his true colors

This is sad.  This fellow really needs prayers.


Today at the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, we find a piece about

Study: young Catholics divided between traditionalists and modernists

Some want to ‘draw the Church back’ while others want it to follow social trends, a report says [In other news, water is still wet.]

There are two groups of young Catholics: those who want to “draw the Church back” to a previous era, and those who think the Church should conform to social trends, according to a report from the bishops of England and Wales.

The bishops surveyed around 3,000 young Catholic Britons ahead of next October’s synod of bishops, whose theme is “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”.  [Now the surveys from various parts of the world will be sent to Rome, where they will be found in conform to a pre-determined agenda.]

Describing the two main groups, the report said the first is “a small but vocal group who want to draw the Church back into an era which they have been told was far better than it is today”. [Notice the language.  “back” …  NO!  Consider what a reasonable person does when she finds that, instead of heading to the store, she instead went in the other direction.  Does she simply keep going in the wrong direction?  No, she retraces her steps and get’s back to the proper course.  One doesn’t go “back” for the sake of going “back”.  That’s just nostalgia. That’s not what young people have.  They don’t have “nostalgia”.  They want a future.  Look at the numbers of people who self-identity as Catholics, at the numbers of priests and religious, and what the trends are.  If we keep heading in the wrong direction, those numbers are going to get real ugly, real fast.]

The other group, which the report describes as “much larger, though less evident”, [Note the language again. “less evident”…. why?  Because they… don’t go to church?] adheres to the “predominant narratives in society, wanting the Church to follow suit”.

“The first group asks for clarity, the second for authenticity,” the report claims.  [We do not accept the premise that the one is somehow opposed to the other.]

“If we’re brave enough not to dismiss either of them, it’s possible to hear their yearning for a compelling narrative of how to live as Christians both faithfully and authentically.” [Okay.  They got to a good place.  “not to dismiss either of them“…]


That’s enough to get the sense.  Read the rest there.

Speaking of acrimony… the Catholic Herald tweeted its story:

Here is how Beans responded.

Traditionalists are “bad”.

This is a perfect example of the catholic Left, the same sorts who made disparaging remarks about converts last summer.  HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

It’s not only that they hate the ideas that traditional people in the Church hold.

They hate the people, who hold them.  They hate the people.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. frmh says:

    I didn’t like the Herald’s article at all. [The article, or what the article reported?]

    I bet that the kids that did this survey did them in RE classes in our dodgy so called Catholic secondary schools, whole classes of completely lapsed kids were all made to do them by some 60yr old liberal, adulterous teacher who hates the latin mass, goes to Holy Mass twice a year, and loves watching the poisonous American teen dramas.

    I’m amazed that the ground reality came through at all, and the ground reality is this, and it is obvious, those who are young and who still in fact practice their faith do so because they believe it, and so they believe it. The ones that don’t practice, well, quite obviously, they are pagans who want the Church to become pagan.

  2. AndyMo says:

    Among the 3000 polled, in which one group wants to hold to the Church’s perennial teaching and the other wants to “change with the times,” I would be interested to see the percentages of each group that: 1. Regularly attend Mass now. 2. Will still be regularly attending Mass 10 years from now.

    I hardly even need to see to know.

  3. dbf223 says:

    He responded to his own tweet with, “This is what that headline really means, I am afraid.” It appears that his intention was not to call traditionalists the “bad guys”, but to criticize the article itself. He thinks that the article equates traditionalists with “good guys” and modernists with “bad guys.”

    It’s not a particularly effective way to communicate, but I didn’t intepret the tweet to be nearly as ill-willed as you seem to think it is. [I think you are kind. That’s to your credit.]

  4. jaykay says:

    ““The first group asks for clarity, the second for authenticity,”

    I’d actually say the first group is asking for “authenticity” as well, i.e. authentic Catholic-with-a-capital-“C” teaching and practice. Clarity then comes with that. Or maybe, we get authenticity from the clarity that springs from capital-C teaching and practice. Either way, they’re not opposed.

    But as for adhering to the “predominant narratives in society, wanting the Church to follow suit”… well, we’ve seen how that’s worked out for quite some time now, haven’t we? Is irony a lost quantity with these people? Obviously yes.

  5. Andrew says:

    … as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

    Thereupon, the Apostles went and conducted a survey.

  6. mithrandirmonk says:

    “Now the surveys from various parts of the world will be sent to Rome, where they will be found in conform to a pre-determined agenda.” => This is indeed the great danger of such supposed “surveys.” It is impossible to have an honest “conversation” at this level—so matters devolve just as you describe. Alas, I remember similar sort of shell “discussions” that we had in an ecclesiastical institution of which I was member; they were basically used to make everyone feel “heard”, only then to put the stamp of “community discussion” on the personal decisions head of the institution. Thus, one was forbidden to claim that autocracy (or, in reality, hidden oligarchy) was ruling the roost. This is incredibly vexing and demoralizing, I assure you.

    Thanks for pointing this out here (as I’m sure you have done on other, similar occasions). Having personally seen the making of such “pseudo-democratic sausage”, I’m pretty repulsed when I see the same meat-grinder drug out by other parties.

  7. mwa says:

    The Cardinal Newman Society is urging well-formed young people (age 16-29) to fill out the Vatican Questionnaire which will be open through December 31, 2017. Their introduction, with links to their editorial, the Questionnaire and the Synod Preparatory Document is at cardinalnewmansociety dot org slash youth-synod

  8. LarryW2LJ says:

    It would seem to me that according to “progressives” that somehow “traditional” Catholic practice and thinking is backward and is somehow opposed to social justice. However, if one is catechized well, is taught how to form his/her conscience properly, then there is no conflict at all.

    Classical Catholic thinking and teaching is what formed the backbone of Western Civilization. It’s only when men began thinking that they knew better than God, and started on improving things that didn’t need improving in the first place, that the situation started going to hell in a hand basket.

  9. scotus says:

    It seems strange that the responses only fall into these two groups. I would have imagined there are at least four groups. Firstly, there are Catholics who are completely orthodox in their faith and morals and prefer going to Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Secondly there are Catholics who are completely orthodox in their faith and morals and prefer attending Mass in the Ordinary Form. Thirdly there are Catholics who regularly attend Mass in the Ordinary Form but hold heterodox opinions. And fourthly there those who rarely, if ever, attend Mass and hold heterodox opinions. How did those who wrote the report manage to squeeze everybody into only two groups?
    And how do we know how accurately those who wrote the report actually represent the comments of those who completed the survey?
    And what do they mean by calling one group ‘vocal’? What is their definition of vocal? How do they know that these people are ‘vocal’ whereas those belonging to the other group, presumably, aren’t ‘vocal’?

  10. Titus says:

    Hmm, I am no longer a young person. I guess that’s probably right.

    Poor Beans. What a silly, silly man.

  11. Traductora says:

    I don’t think anybody wants to “draw the Church back into an earlier era.” Well. Okay, there are probably some who think 1950s American Catholicism was the acme of Church life, but that’s only because they didn’t live through it and because they don’t distinguish between cultural Catholicism (“I’m Irish so therefore I must be Catholic”) and the content and form of the Faith and liturgical practice. The problem was actually that by that time, probably a majority of Catholics, including certain bishops and Cardinals , were sort of JFK Catholics, and while nobody had overtly tinkered with doctrine or liturgy (although attempts were being made, both with the influence of Modernism in the seminaries and a simplifying trend in liturgy and translation), neither one was very healthy.

    By its more sincere proponents, I think that VII was actually thought of as a way of peeling away the bad cultural accretions and restating – but not changing, by any means – the Faith. Yet the Evil One took over and just the reverse happened, much to the horror and anguish of people who had been its supporters, such as Jacques Maritain and a host of other now erased scholars. Maybe if we all agreed to stop everything, go back to the way theology and liturgy were just before the Council…and try again?

  12. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    I used to be a young Catholic, although it’s a few years now since Church authorities apparently felt it too embarrassing to keep raising the bar so as to keep up with my increasing er, maturity, around the time of my mid thirties, I think. (To be fair, at least one secular organisation to which I belong did the same thing, so it’s not just the Church that’s failing in this regard.) Nonetheless, wouldn’t you think that an interesting, engaged, handsome and modest Catholic Englishman approaching middle age would have heard something of this while it was actually happening? Even if only via his children?

  13. Fr. Reader says:

    “Maybe if we all agreed to stop everything, go back to the way theology and liturgy were just before the Council…and try again?”
    No, and one million times No.
    And then, go back to which previous era? is it that the only time in the Church in which there have been mistakes is from the 60s? Go back to which century? 4th? 8th? 13th? Was the Church “perfect” in 1950?
    “By its more sincere proponents, I think that VII…”. This is just an opinion, this thing of “peeling away the bad culture”. And who are the “more sincere proponents”?
    So, the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with the Council, and we should just stop and go back? Or perhaps the Holy Spirit was there but He committed a mistake?
    I suggest to this king of restorationists the reading of the book Enthusiasm by Ronald Knox.

  14. Southern Catholic says:

    I did a survey for my diocese, because I am young adult, and it had very few questions about the Mass. It was more about whether we should incorporate what Protestants do into the Church (like small groups, youth conferences, etc.).


  16. Traductora says:

    @Fr. Reader, you seem to ignore the fact that my very first sentence criticized the idea of “going back to another era.” What we need to do is look at the books used for teaching the Faith at that time, the Mass and the English-Latin missals used for it, and regroup.

    Changes were necessary. For example, while I think Latin is wonderful and should be the “language of the Church,” at least in part because it’s a dead language and therefore culturally neutral, I don’t object to large parts of the very beautiful (old) Roman rite in the vernacular. And living through moments of vernacular/Latin masses, I can tell you, it wasn’t the use of the vernacular that destroyed the Church. It was the theological changes and uncertainty, the knuckling under to what was supposedly modern culture, and the destruction of the form of the Roman Rite.

    The language of theological textbooks and catechisms, and even the hyper-emotional and sappy translation of prayers, could certainly have been modernized with no loss to their meaning. But that’s not what happened, and my point is that it’s not the era and all its trimmings, it’s the content and the form to which people wish to return.

  17. Grant M says:

    Maybe I *am* a bit nostalgic. I have small Latin and less Greek, but I know that nostalgia is a longing for the nostos, the journey home. And for Odysseus, that means getting home so he can take out the trash that is cluttering up his palace, consuming his food and drink, and pestering his queen.

  18. Fr. Reader says:

    Yes, I think I misunderstood the entire sense of the comment.

  19. Southern Catholic says:

    I forgot to add, anybody can take the surveys. Protastants, Muslims, etc. In the surveys I have seen, they all have an option to check if you are not Catholic.

  20. truthfinder says:

    I took a survey linked from my diocese and it was clearly written for non-Catholics (and/or with an agenda). One which really got my gall was one about why you haven’t had children: don’t want to, money, health, poor housing were all options. Not being married was not an option.
    In truth, all the questions reflected a rather secularist approach to religion.

Comments are closed.