Saturday, January 20, 2007


When we were postulants, we had a course in Apologetics. It had already fallen into disfavor by then, so we were a bit out of the mainstream, but now it is coming back into its own. Not the art of "apologizing," but the ability to "explain the hope within us." And that is a good thing. Last year, Cardinal George had dinner with our community, and he expressed the hope that the renewal of apologetics would help strengthen Catholics in their appreciation of the faith. Here in Boston, I had a bit of time yesterday to look over a recent issue of a magazine of Catholic apologetics. It is not something I would subscribe to myself (a bit too elementary), but could be helpful for people who were catechized in the 70's and have not received any further instruction. There is only one thing that bothered me from what I read. It was a letter to the Q&A column, but it was not about a matter of apologetics at all. It was from someone who asking about a liturgical "no-no" -- basically checking to see if this matter was something that ought to be reported. And it was a teensy matter in which the priest was, basically, too fervent. Orthodox, but inappropriately expressive.
Checking up on things like this is not apologetics. It is liturgical policing. It may have a place when such liberties are taken that the integrity of the liturgy is at stake, but when it gets to the point of nit-picking, it keeps us from actually doing apologetics (or evangelizing, for that matter). I wish the very balanced columnist who answered the letter had intimated as much.


Deacon Fred said...

i am being hounded for allowing both readings on the feast of the Baptism of the suggested in the Ordo, but the lady is upset because both reading were not in her missal. I tried to show her my ordo, but she insists that I was not doing what the Pope wants us to do...A little learning is a dangerous thing. Hope you are well.
And Geaux Saints!
Deacon Fred

Joe said...

Dear Sr. Anne,

"Catechized in the 1970s" is a contradiction in terms.

Ask me how I know!



xaipe said...

Ha! Maybe I should have put " 'catechized' in the 70's"...

Anonymous said...

Dear soundly defeated Saint's fan,

Your gloating friends in Chicago miss you at Mount Carmel. Hurry back (to take your lumps!)