In many ways, the situation in the Catholic Church mirrors the situation of the conservative movement, which is why this story should interest non-Catholics.
Catholics do not seek out the Latin Mass to ‘save a church in crisis.’ They go in obedience to the injunction: ‘Seek first the kingdom of God.’
Hypocrisy, even that which stinks to the highest heaven, does not and cannot disprove truth.
Is this a problem for Christian churches that celebrate Ash Wednesday, calling attention away from a solemn liturgical observance to a lighthearted, sometimes silly secular holiday? No.
Protestant churches will claim a doctrinally correct view of justification, but what the doctrine means has no bearing on their worship practices. Not so with many Catholics.
Formal instruction in religion seems to have disappeared in many places, but the younger generation still has a soul and still craves the infinite.
Beauty is inspirational. Any adolescent male who has encountered an attractive young lady can attest to that. This is one reason worship has emphasized its expressions.
The beauty of liturgical piety such as observing Lent is how it formalizes and therefore externalizes perfect faith, keeping it always real and present.
You can almost imagine Advent Purists bursting into Fezziwig’s establishment on Christmas Eve, waving their calendars and brandishing their purple Advent candles. ‘Stop! Stop! This is a day of penance! You’re doing this incorrectly!’
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