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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, Distressing, Depressing . . . Delightful!, December 15, 2002
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This review is from: The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy (Hardcover)
Colleen Carroll's thesis is simple: "[T]he future of orthodoxy [that is, traditional, customary, established religious belief and practice] in America looks bright" (p. 265). Young adults, she says, are increasingly turning (or returning) to the faith--Greek or Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Christian, or Roman Catholic--in which they were born (between 1965 and 1983). They are unfulfilled by or even angry at the vacuous and hollow ideologies of secularism, materialism, hedonism, and relativism which exalt the self or proclaim, as do nihilists, that there is nothing of worth or of everlasting meaning. Ms. Carroll is particularly incisive in her examination of Catholicism, which lost a generation of young adults to incompetent and even cowardly catechesis, to religious (priests and nuns) sometimes concerned more about politics than souls, and to widespread disaffection with orthodox Church teaching and corresponding self-deification. In a society plagued by rampant divorce (p. 123), by media corruption (especially movies and TV [pp. 249, 257], and by a soulless spirituality which offers only jejune sentiment to people instead of the sacramental realities of established religion (pp. 4-6), young adults are turning, she says, to Christ as the center of their lives. But this Christ is not a "superstar"; rather, He is the Savior Who expects total commitment of heart, mind, and soul (Mt. 22:34-40). And this devotion, she says, is what yong adults desire--not balloons; not flowers; not silly church music (as opposed to the classic hymns and chants); not liturgical improvisation; not a demand for women priests, or for nuns in mini-skirts, or for priests who preach a feckless gospel of worldly values (p. 281). Ironically, Archbishop Sheen had it exactly right in a 1949 book, PEACE OF SOUL: "Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved; there can be no world peace unless there is soul peace." Thus come back the timeless devotions of Eucharistic Adoration, the rosary, the stations of the cross, benediction--and, of course, the Mass, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Teaching, and Sacred Tradition. Young adults seek out, and matriculate at, serious Catholic and Evangelical colleges and attempt to reform from within the apostate colleges (pp. 179, 184) which have at least partly lost their reason for being. Despite countertrends, there is increasing concern about natural law (p. 171), about genuine ecumenicism between Evangelicals and Catholics Together (p. 275), and about commitment to Christ. One of her main points is that "there is a positive future for the Catholic Church in particular" (p. 284). All this is disturbing, distressing, and depressing for liberal Protestants and Catholics intent upon "progress" without Authority, without Mystery, without Miracle, and for media intent upon echoing the timeless and mocking question of the nihilists: "What is 'Truth'?" But this book is delightful for orthodox Christians who believe that Christ is, as Pope John Paul II expressed it, "the answer to the question mark that is every human life." Warmly recommended!
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Initial post: Nov 17, 2010 8:44:20 AM PST
M. Casey says:
As someone born in that period, and a practicing Catholic, I am both excited and bothered by the rush to conservative Catholicism by young people. Although Vatican II has its problems (Hello? Latin Mass is awesome! And Ave Maria is way better than any modern music ) many of the more conservative aspects of the Church were expunged or rethought in recent years for good reason. Allowing no female priests is pure discrimination, straight-up. Why not say no black priests and see how that holds up. Plus the authoritarian, don't- ask- questions-just-trust-the-priests-and- bishops mentality that ruled in pre-Vat II is both foolish and (clearly)dangerous in light of the horrid cover up of pedophilia and physical abuse that was so common back then. If young people want to return to that sort of blind obedience, I say, Have fun. But don't drag the rest of us along with you. The Church and its members are finally growing up a bit, let's not revert back to the scary old days when a collar and few Latin phrases gave you one absolute power over other people (and children).
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