Wednesday, 13 March 2013
What are we doing wrong?
Like Richard Collins I too have [regrettably] been listening to Catholic commentators recently:
Now I'm not referring to the 'Tabletista'/'We are Church'/'Rebels without a cause' types for whom the Church must change for us to believe nothing and do anything.
I'm referring to those who are supposed to be speaking for mainstream 'authorised' Catholic positions who are gravely letting us down...
I have to share exasperation at the simpering, defensive equivocating; damning their own side with either faint praise or hand-wringing submission to the falsest of accusations against Holy Mother Church.
Whether responses be milk-and-water off-the-cuff ignorantly ill-informed platitudinous sound-bites or trite gushing false-sympathy with grave evils or throwing out outrageous notions draconianly devoid of compassion [sans any knowledge of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy] or cynical spin with indecorous and highly inappropriate analysis of events, subjects and people about which and whom they blatantly haven't got a bloody clue!!!
Some are reasonably media-savvy but are devoid of sincerity [one clinically precise lady always sounds like she's discussing interest rates rather than the most fundamentally crucial issues for Catholics] , some portray a jaw-dropping arrogance [e.g. appearing as a Catholic and proffering Hayek-Friedmanite economic theories and implying the welfare state isn't a Catholic principle!] , some say nothing credible and repeat that lack of credibility by inane fawning patronising repetition, some think they're appearing as an arts-critic assessing the latest Banksy installation or David Hare play rather than moral precepts and some are just head-bangingly appalling to "earth swallow me up now - please!!" proportions...
There are a handful of quite decent ones: Charming, erudite, capable, mentally agile...BUT
Invariably they are let down by the background/resource material with which they've been provided. There has been more than one occasion where I've seen a perfectly cohesive winning argument fall at the last hurdle because the commentator hasn't been provided with either the information or the necessary/accurate details of the issues...disaster wrought, opportunities lost simply due to slapdash, lazy, incompetent research
How have things got soooooooooo bad over here?
But then again take a look at Catholic media [excluding Catholic Militant TV]
Does anyone cut out an 'unforgettably life-changing' article from the Herald, Times or Universe and stick it on their fridge door? [Like I used to do with some Miles Kington columns in the Independent of old?]
Does anyone like me watch Catholic TV and feel like they've tuned in to a protestant outrageously-camp pastiche of daytime TV with our friend Jesus and 'everyone's favourite mom' Mary?
And even after applying a mountain of excuses for the saccharin schmaltz for 'being american' how much of the EWTN is banal, inane or simply cringeworthy and you wish it was back in the eighties with Mother Angelica falling asleep on the sofa, Father Groeschel with his wobbly camera & Fulton Sheen re-runs?
Where have we gone wrong?
Take a look at how Protestants are doing it...and the passion and fervour and sincerity of the message they're delivering...Oh for a Catholic Joyce Meyer!!!!
Or maybe you're watching 'Catholic telly' and a pasty-faced cleric [with pastier platitudes] gossips with a botoxed broadcaster [who've both never kissed a girl] discussing the eschatological nature of natural family planning and the theology of the body as expressed in the early motets of Hildegarde of Bingen?!!!
We should hang our heads in shame