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  1. #1
    Radix Radix is offline

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    "Our Culture Has Aged...Our Rituals and our Cassocks are Pompous"

    An interesting "Quote of the Week" in the Sindo today, given that it comes from a final interview with a Cardinal Martini before his death on Friday week last. I believe it merits discussion.

    "Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous," Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

    "The church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops."


    From the outset, this is not a thread for rabid anti religion types, but for those who actually care about the force for more effective good Churches should actually be, and more importantly to discuss the cultural changes the Catholic Church needs to face up to if it is to have a future.

    Like most Irish people I went to a school which prepared me for both Confirmation and Communion; I only remember kind priests from those days thankfully, so that part of my childhood was blessed and not blighted by the visible part of the institutional church. However as life has progressed through its various stages of education, work, life, love, running a business, 'giving something back' etc, I have found myself beginning to wonder about the hierarchial nature of church as an institution, and more importantly how it does its business, given that I always understood it believed itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. I still sometimes attend on Sunday, but to be honest I think it generally lacks a sense of mission with aspects of its liturgies, and the musings of many of its preachers leaving me sometimes frustrated, wishing that I should have stayed at home.

    So when the Bosses in the Head Office sent out a notification that henceforth all the flock bleat in unison chanting words they have never heard of before, I reached a point where I said to myself, "this just doesn't feel right". I reasoned that the drive to latinise prayer by dictat was more about the Vatican wielding a power which people don't tune into, than it was about the individual being facilitated to journey closer to God.

    I began to wonder about the possible existence of a culture at the top which was more interested in itself as an institution of power, marshalling the meek among its remaining faithful rather than focusing on enabling them continue to acquire the resources to deepen their faith in a simple manner which made sense to them in their daily lives, and to take this out into the world with them. But what truly stopped me in my tracks, was that to a man, all the priests complied with the dictat, even though they seemed clearly uncomfortable about it.

    So when one of the Cardinals drops a bombshell like this, it has to make one wonder about the culture within an institution. I sense changes in both our religious and political cultures!

    Over to ye!

    Catholic church '200 years out of date', says archbishop | World news | guardian.co.uk


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/ny...rent-amen.html
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  2. #2
    linny55 linny55 is offline
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    Spending millions all over the country on renovating churches , awful waste. Not what any religion should be about .
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  3. #3
    midlander12 midlander12 is offline

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    'Aged' and 'pompous' is one way to describe it. I think most people would use less gentle terms. This is a an organisation one of whose hierarchy claims to have thought in 1994 that paedophilia was 'a friendship gone too far'. And he's still in his job....? or maybe people are so used to all this by now that they barely noticed? I'm afraid there's a way more things wrong than a few ritualistic reforms can sort out.
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  4. #4
    conservative green conservative green is offline

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    He could have been Pope, but the f.ecking Jesuits had it in for him!
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  5. #5
    eoghanacht eoghanacht is offline
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    Arranging deckchairs on the Titanic...
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  6. #6
    Goa Tse Goa Tse is offline
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    He was the first priest to denounce the Beatles, he could see what they were up to.
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  7. #7
    eoghanacht eoghanacht is offline
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    Off-topic I know, apologies OP but I was at a funeral the other day and I noticed the keystone had 1845 engraved on it which got me thinking how many churches were built around the country during the famine.

    Anybody got an idea where one would have to go to get those figures?
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  8. #8
    Radix Radix is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by eoghanacht View Post
    Off-topic I know, apologies OP but I was at a funeral the other day and I noticed the keystone had 1845 engraved on it which got me thinking how many churches were built around the country during the famine.

    Anybody got an idea where one would have to go to get those figures?
    I don't know, but the historical context shows that there was a big surge in the population of Ireland in the early part of the nineteenth century. In fact, the population nearly doubled between 1820 and 1841.

    For this reason alone it was probably deemed necessary to erect more church buildings one has to assume. This in itself had to give employment.

    The church you attended was started before the famine, and I doubt that many were built during it as people couldn't afford to feed themselves, never mind engage in physical labour outside of the subsistence necessary to merely stay alive. There were some famine relief schemes initiated however, but whether the building of some churches are included in these I cannot say.

    The inference of your post however, suggests that during the famine, greater resources from the universal church obviously in hindsight should have been sent to Ireland than are reported to have been.
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  9. #9
    LOCALHERO LOCALHERO is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by conservative green View Post
    He could have been Pope, but the f.ecking Jesuits had it in for him!
    Even though he was a Jesuit?
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  10. #10
    former wesleyan former wesleyan is offline
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    I wondered if this man would get an airing on P.ie. No only was he liberal on social issues, he was a champion of interfaith dialogue as well.
    Ireland doesn't provide many intellectuals to the church unfortunately...they all seem, like O'Fee , to be endlessly parocial.

    In a speech in 2004, Martini, a biblical scholar with liberal views on some social issues, said Catholics had to understand Judaism in order to understand their own faith.

    "It is vital for the church not only to understand the ancient covenant [between God and the Jewish people] which has endured for centuries in order to launch a fruitful dialogue, but also to deepen our own understanding of who we are as the church," he said.

    Martini retired in 2002 and moved to Jerusalem. He returned to Milan in 2008 due to his failing health.
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