Daily Archives: 12/03/2012

Taking a bead on Catholic sermons

Bishops to the rescue with letter on preaching:

The document is an admonishment of poor preaching, saying the bishops are “aware that in survey after survey over the past years, the People of God have called for more powerful and inspiring preaching. A steady diet of tepid or poorly prepared homilies is often cited as a cause for discouragement on the part of laity and even leading some to turn away from the Church.”

Well, they themselves should stop using “people of God” every time they turn around. It’s like “American people” on the lips of a U.S. politician. Loses its lustre after a time, does it not?

And while we’re at it, “admonishment”? Really? From WashPost at that? Clumsy, clumsy.

Oh those folks again

What’s with this “folks” business, as in this by press vet Jules Witcover:

Reporters, doing what they do, either knew of the call and tapped into it or learned of Romney’s remarks from folks who conveyed them to newspapers like the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times that quickly printed them. [italics added]

Once it was close to “folksy.” Obama did it. One more thing to hold against him. He’s NOT articulate, keeps falling back, between “uh”s, on tired phrases, not always, as in this case, used to agreen with accepted usage.

The more things change in church matters . . .

Martin Marty on new book subtitled A New American Christianity:

[D]ecades ago the word “New” appeared in my first book title and in ten books edited with colleague Dean Peerman. They have since become old-new and in some cases are more old than new. We chronicled valuable experiments and creative achievements which had positive effects. Is it the right moment now, however, to note that criticism of the established Christian institutions for not keeping up with the Zeitgeist, the “spirit of the times,” matches the Zeitgeist. The “emergent church keeps emerging,” yet many of its “newnesses” are seen as settling in and settling back along with “conventional” religious observances of old.

Oh yes, that ellipses above: . . . the more things . . . go ahead, you know the rest. Ze French has it zo neatly:

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

See what I mean?

On misreading Catholic social teaching

Imagination goes wild:

Imagine a lawyer returning his fee when he loses a case; imagine a television pundit suddenly admitting that he doesnt know what he is talking about; imagine a Hollywood starlet speaking English; imagine the Cubs winning the World Series; imagine anything most absurd, and you have not yet approached the absurdity of those who claim that Catholic Social Teaching implies the existence of a vast welfare state, bureaucratically organized, unanswerable to the people, undermining families, rewarding lust and sloth and envy, acknowledging no virtue, providing no personal care, punishing women who take care of their children at home, whisking the same children away from parental supervision and into schools designed to separate them from their parents views of the world, and, for all that, keeping whole segments of the population mired in a cycle of dysfunction, moral squalor, and poverty, while purchasing their votes with money squeezed by force from their neighbors.

Anthony Esolen is “sick of it.” Find out why.

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