From and interview by Zenit with Fr. Neuhaus:
Q: Are the main problems in the Church today primarily intellectual or spiritual?
Father Neuhaus: The main problem in the Church today — as it has been from the apostolic era and will be until our Lord’s return in glory — is a lack of faith.
Our sinful nature resists, does not dare to believe, the good news of our salvation now and forever. This has intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic, moral and whatever dimensions you want to name.
We have turned the high adventure of discipleship into something dreary, drab and predictable. This is nowhere so evident as in the long-standing intra-Church squabbles between left and right, liberals and traditionalists.
Sounds like Chesterton:
It is idle to talk always of the alternative of
reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
[GKC, Orthodoxy CW1:236]
I suppose Neuhaus IS a BIT dreary and predictable, but I can’t help feeling I’m missing something.
What is it that you object to?
I think he was referring to Fr. Neuhaus’ quote :3
yes, he was referring to what Neuhaus said, NOT that Neuhaus HIMSELF was dreary, drag or predictable.
The title was not realted to Fr. Neuhaus, but what he said; of which I agree with.
I found it odd that Neuhaus lamented the division between “liberals and traditionalists,” etc., when he has been so much a cause of that division. There is a time when there is a reason for division, a time to place theological markers. This does not diminish our joy at being Catholic, but the “big umbrella” notion of Catholicism is a metaphor that people such as Richard McBrien use to mask their basic disagreement with all things doctrinal.
I also find Neuhaus’ pushing of “John Paul the Great” very tedious. That is the reckoning of history (as was the case with Leo and Gregory the Great), not of Richard John Neuhaus or anyone at this time.
I guess I was just reading too much into the post title!
I agree with Neuhaus. The much-ballyhooed division between progressives and traditionalists, as distinct from those who are fully loyal to Rome, is a sign that faith has turned for them into ideology, which is indeed “drab, dreary, and predictable.” Why?
Each of those wings thinks of today’s Church as discontinuous with that of the past, the difference being that the progs celebrate the break and the trads lament it. Both thus identify the life and truth of the Church with something other than what she has always had and been. That something is what the progs and trads respectively prefer for ideological reasons. But what Neuhaus has called “the vital center” transcends that attitude, neither exaggerating the reforms of Vatican II into an open-ended agenda for further change nor wishing those reforms would become a dead letter.