Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What else went wrong

At a local book sale recently I picked up a book with the intriguing title The Catholic Heritage, by one Lawrence S. Cunningham. I'm always interested in learning more about the contributions that Catholics have made over the span of the Church's history. Given the book's title, it seemed reasonable to expect that I might find out some new things along that line.

I stopped reading at the following:

It is no longer possible to think of Catholic theology; there are a number of theologies which work within the larger tradition which we call the "Catholic tradition".

And what are some of those "theologies"? Liberation theology. Feminist theology, including the execrable work of Mary Daly.

It's not so much that I think Mr. Cunningham was wrong when he was writing back in 1983. The big problem is that he was probably right. And that's another thing that went wrong after Vatican II: knowledge of and respect for the theological heritage of the Church took a back seat to the feelings of us Boomers, who were by then thoroughly accustomed to having our demands for "relevance" and "meaningfulness" catered to.

It was the beginning of a Church of teenagers, not a Church of adults. Maybe -- just maybe -- the generation of young Catholics we see today is actually willing to grow up, at an age when my generation was not.