Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Danger of Cultural Catholicism

As opposed (and it is very much opposed) to Catholic culture.

The de facto alliance between Catholic practice and the wholly alien, indeed actively hostile, ideology of Irish Nationalism was, and to a certain extent still is, an example of cultural Catholicism. No one could accuse it of having produced a Catholic culture. The Irish Republic contains few Mass-going intellectuals, and absolutely none whose work is shot through with the Faith as one finds among Catholic intellectuals in England. This is not a new phenomenon.

The alliance between various schools of Catholicism and various schools of Americanism, theologically uncritical of Americanism itself, is another example.

Recent events indicate that it is endemic in Austria and the Catholic half of Germany, where many people clearly expect the Catholic Church to be a harmless, vaguely "nice", doctrinally and morally content-free body such as many people in England expect the Church of England to be. But whereas the Church of England can be and all-too-often is, the Catholic Church is not, simply because She never can be.

And there is every sign that the same thing is happening here.

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