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Why Catholics Have Failed Our Culture: The Bottom Line Comments

I've had this discussion with Catholic lay leaders and clergy many times in different parts of the country.  Never have I encountered more than a mild protest -- most of the time there is general agreement with the need for parish life to undergo a change in kind, not in degree. In other words, a fundamental conversion that will involve the bishop, chancery staff, clergy, religious, and most of all, the laity.  Continue Reading

21 - 30 of 85 Comments

  1. Brad
    10 months ago

    As a Catholic living in the Bible belt, I get a front row seat to the doings of Evangelicals. And, no, they are not more united. Not by a long shot. Everywhere you look, a new sheet metal fundamentalist church has sprung up. I never hear anyone say, "if Evangelicals will change their teachings on gay marriage, contraception, and divorce, they'll be more 'relevant'". In the Christian world, it is the Catholic church that is the biggest obstruction to the incideous plotting of secular society. And the entire Christian world knows it.

  2. Carol Meyer
    10 months ago

    I was honored to listen to Deal Hudson when he came to Wichita, Ks before his "very difficult time". He gave one of the most interesting and informative speeches I had ever heard. Whenever I now see an article by him, I always try to read it. God Bless him for joining the Catholic Church and speaking out for our church with his wonderful perspective.

  3. Dave
    10 months ago

    This article is laughable. Every parish I have ever belonged to has had great Catholics who have friendships and spend time together. You dont have to be social with other Catholics, or anyone for that matter, to get to heaven. The holy sacrifice of the mass is for worship, not networking. Protestants are great at planning bbq's together, they having nothing on the Holy Catholic Church. Doc Hudson needs to re-energize himself. If he is called to lead people will follow. Sounds like he is just in a rut to me. The Catholic Church is awesome, always has been, always will be, we are not perfect but there are millions of good Catholics out there doing more than any other faith.

  4. Rob
    10 months ago

    Brian, while I agree with the "substance" position of your arguement, I think you are missing the articles point (or at least what I think it is). We have the fullness of the truth...no arguement there, but why has it become so acceptable to have terrible marketing, comatose liturgies etc. Why can't good marketing, good music, good homilies etc. be present in our church? When you really stop and think about it, Jesus was a heck of a marketer....meeting people where they were, not afraid to go into their space.

    I personally think it's a tragedy when someone leaves because they are spiritually starving. Sure, they need to learn more, but most parishes have absolutely no aids to help anyone find their aid.

    Would it really kill us to spice it up a little bit? Would it kill us to have some zeal about our faith, well at least as much zeal as we have about sports teams? I think the pope getting on twitter is just like Jesus....going to where the people are.

  5. Bob
    10 months ago

    Most craddle Catholics do not know their Faith. Smaller Protestant or Evangelical churches can get to know each other. Catholic parishes like mine, St Jane Frances DeChantal of Easton, PA have small subgroups in order to achieve the intimacy necessary for relationships that result in the joy of knowing the Lord. This year will be the 30th annual parish retreat which exposes parishners to the sharing of our personal conversions stories. Individuals and couples with a priest, by witnessing their struggles, trials, joys, and sorrows on how God worked in their lives. Once parishners get a taste of the Holy Spirit, they want more and more, and read about their Faith more and more. The Catholic Church becomes the focal point of their lives. They begin to recognize the beauty and the preciousness of the Mass, the central grace giving source of the church, the Eucharist - the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ. They begin to recognize in a meaningful way that they, like Jesus, are here to serve, to surrender, to die to self, little by little. We must live and share our graced filled lives and our struggles with sin and temptation in a way that does not offend. We must plant the seed and let God do the rest. We must step out and be bold and proud to be Catholic. We make new friends and slowly begin to share our joy and as St Francis said, sometimes use words. Our parish reflects from the top down through ministries, adoration, special events, social gatherings, education, etc. etc.what it means to touch the Body of Christ. No one said it would be easy. Give us Lord the courage to be Catholic and help us to recognize this is not our home.

  6. Alan
    10 months ago

    It's really quit simple, and the truth is always in front of us. Ask yourself one simple question, "What does God want me to do?". Want the answer? Listen to MARY, the MOTHER OF GOD. Bright lights, community meetings, Church boards and fancy music? I don't think so... 1) Mass (Eucharist) 2) Rosary 3) Confession 4) Scripture 5) Fasting. Stay focused on these little stones and all will be alright. Remember, there were only a few apostles and they changed the world. As Catholics we need to look beyond the superficial "fruits" on the surface, and know what real substance is. You will find them in those five stones where all Grace flows, Amen

  7. Michael F
    10 months ago

    I live in a middle-upper middle class town in CA and I never hear the priests talk about all the things government is doing to take away our religious liberties. If the Church wants to stay active and they want more people to join our faith they are going to have to take a stance when politicians go against God, such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control, etc.... they have to follow their own teachings Just because a politician can push a little money their way does not give them to still serve if they are supporting sinful laws.
    Bottom Line: Lead by example. If you don't follow your own teachings who is going to believe you when it comes time to make a decision which faith they will practice.

  8. Brian
    10 months ago

    I am so tired of this, "if only Catholics were more like Evangelicals" line of reasoning. It is a bunch of garbage generally perpetuated by people who don't fully understand or appreciate Catholicism and are really seeking grounds for some kind of radical change in the church.

    It generally starts off with some reinforcement of the person's credentials, "I've been a Catholic since 1983", and goes on from there.

    The reality is Evangelical churches basically are marketing organizations. They are designed to appeal to light users of religion, those people on the fringe who feel some tug to church, but don't really want to be confronted by Jesus Christ.

    Thus, they use catchy music, they have "messages" not sermons or homilies, many of them don't have crosses or religious symbols visible, they serve coffee, and they try to create a sense of community (their target will join a community, we all want that, but just not too much churchy stuff).

    From time to time Catholics will stray, join these churches, and without fail always return to the Eucharist, because there is no substance in these Evangelical churches. They have crazy high turnover because one of two things happen when people wander in off the street. Either they aren't attracted to it because of its lack of substance, or it does draw them in, but eventually they want the real thing and move on to something more like the Catholic Church (if not the Catholic Church itself).

    If you actually believe the Church is who she says she is, the Church of Jesus Christ with Him really, truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, then this whole commentary is preposterous. But trying to project your own faith struggles on to others seems like a dangerous place to go.

  9. thomas
    10 months ago

    I would like that a SUGGESTION BOX be placed in every church. Maybe Murals could liven things up. Possibly music scholarships to have better choirs. Also better use of and better
    audio systems, realize older people have trouble hearing , lay people seem to be careless about using microphones. Priests should keep reminding us of all the blessings we have

  10. Susan
    10 months ago

    Imagine if Evangelical Protestants converted to Catholicism, Mr. Hudson! "That they all be one as You Father and I are one."

    Are you sure it's Catholics who fail the culture, or is it the culture that fails Catholicism?! Perhaps both. I'm glad to see you emphasized more than once, "there are exceptions." I've been Catholic all my life and get so frustrated and saddened with Catholics who haven't a clue about their faith or what the Mass is about (even elderly Catholics), and at the same time am deeply moved and inspired by Catholics who are truly "Catholic." I love that you have discovered freedom in being Catholic. Again, it is our culture and other faiths that reject this freedom out of ignorance, arrogance, fear, unwillingness to pursue the Truth. Finding creative ways to inspire people to seek the Truth is key for conversion. Relationship with Christ and prayer are key. Mass and Sacraments are key. Honesty, charity and humility are key.


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