Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catholic style over substance

Gregory Baum 
Would you take style tips from this man?

The Second Vatican Council came to a close on December 8, 1965.  Less than four years later, Gregory Baum, a Canadian priest and theologian who had served at the Council as a peritus, was near despair.   Here is the reason, in Baum's own words:

". . . I could not understand why the Catholic Church, despite the good will of clergy and laity and the extraordinary institutional event of Vatican II, had been unable to move and adopt the new style of Catholicism outlined in the conciliar documents."

How great an ignorance of human nature is displayed in Baum's expectation that in a matter of a few years, hundreds of millions of people worldwide would not only read the very voluminous documents of the Council, but discern within their vague and wordy contours the "new style of Catholicism," and then immediately adopt this new style, putting aside the familiar religious practices of their entire lives to do it.  No wonder Baum shortly left the priesthood.  It's unclear whether he is still Catholic.

We will have more on Baum's views on the "new style of Catholicism" in coming posts.

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