The essay in last month’s First Things by Joseph Bottum is finally online When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano,
Catholic Culture in America. This is not a short essay, but it is well worth your time. I remember reading it when it came out in First Things and thought it was extremely balanced and informative. As a convert the years during and immediately after Vatican II I have no personal experience of. This article fills in many gaps in my own knowledge and gives details on many interesting cases. There is also much in it that will annoy people on both divides of the Church.
Amy Welborn alluded to the fact the other day that she was going to do a post in response to this article and I bet when she does her comment box counter will be ringing. It will be interesting to read through the responses to those who directly experienced this time in the Church.
Hat tip to Rich Leonardi for mentioning this article was available.
Any way to let them know that this phrase contains a mild? oath.
Twenty correct: Zounds! Contact me about a job as an apologist.
Zounds is short for God’s Wounds. Therefore when one uses it they are profaning the wounds of Christ. An Apologetics magazine editor should not be profaning the Lord’s wounds, though I doubt he knew.
Whoa, how did this end up here. This comment belongs to the article below. I reposted there. Sorry
I must be the only reader of FT (or various comboxes) to have panned the article (and I wrote a letter to the editor to that effect). I found it was a laundry list of sad stories without the glue: the glue being that the bulk of the faithful lost their connection to Christ. The 1950’s survived on convention, a moral code, and a popular culture that had been previously linked to authentic faith in Christ. But since God has no grandchildren, and aspiring mainstream Catholics neglected to evangelise their own children, it rang hollow and collapsed in the coming decades.
JB never mentioned the charasmatic renewal, which did a great deal to bolster faith during the recent “dark age.” Nor did he suggest the primary step of reconnecting the faithful to the Person of Christ. He only seemed to wring his hands, asking “is this culture?” as though we deserve any other, having so long abandoned the Source of culture.
Eleven pages (!) is a long essay with Jesus’ name only mentioned once, as a passing reference to a fake seer. I was boiling by the end of it.
Your point is most interesting. My only question (as one born too late and missed all the drama and only received the horrible catechesis) is this: did the prior generations of Catholics actually have such a relationship with Christ? What is your basis for the claim? I’m not trying to be argumentative– you’re almost certainly on to something– I’m just wondering how you come by this since you weren’t there either… 🙂
Ironically, the best way to find Christ is through suffering. Immigrants to this country suffered for their faith as minorities; most folks suffered through the depression; WW2 was a time of solidarity and prayer — mostly for men in harm’s way; and yet the prosperity and chance to “fit in” in the 50’s caused many Catholics (and Christians) to jettison the faith and then they skidded on convention and loose identity til the rug was ripped out in the 60’s. By then, there was not enough to sustain the “morality” since Christ was long gone as Moral Centre.
Just a theory. And thanks, not only did I miss it, but I converted to the Church in 1984.