Wednesday 16 December 2015

The future is not where the older generation seems to think it is

Even the Tablet has noticed! An interesting article this week by Carmody Grey. Find it here. Some excerpts.

It’s only a matter of time,” they say: my parents’ generation, the generation of Catholics that lived through the Second Vatican Council and put their hopes in it. Only a matter of time till the Church realises what it must do to have a future. It must be avant-garde, open, progressive; it must grasp that seismic changes have taken place in the moral, spiritual and technological expectations of young people; it must adapt to contemporary customs and mores. If the Church does not respond to these expectations, it will become marginalised and irrelevant. 

Young Catholics who are actually practising their faith seek a countercultural identity: a sense of self and a community which sets them apart from their peers, which makes them feel, as every new generation wants to feel, that they are special. Just as the Sixties generation did in its turn, they are “rebelling”, but what they are rebelling against is the moral and spiritual drabness and homogeneity of contemporary youth culture. The Catholics whose faith journeys I have shared, whom I live and work with, want a religious identity that is proudly at cross-purposes with what surrounds them; that is unashamedly traditional, in contrast to the prevailing obsession with the novel and the transient. They want markers of this counterculture to be apparent at the deepest level of their behaviour and identity. Catholic sexual and gender ethics is one of the ways many of them stand in strongest relief against their social background. Older Catholics would be surprised by how many of them admire the “theology of the body”, resist gay marriage, embrace gender roles and look forward to practising natural family planning. They celebrate discipline and expect high standards of religious observance. They know and rejoice in their differences from Protestants, and, in particular, from Anglicans. Their heroes are John Paul II and Benedict XVI. 

Carmody Grey is a doctoral student in theology at the University of Bristol.


  1. The Tablet ??!!??

    How did this article slip through the "progressive" shredder?

  2. Are you sure it was THE Tablet? Doesn't seem like their 'bag'


Anonymous comments will not be published. Please give yourself some kind of name at least.