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'A Church of Memory'

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 02, 2009

 Anthony Esolen, whose work is always worth reading, outdoes himself with a piece entitled "A Church of Memory," appearing now on the Inside Catholic blog. Esolen explains how a society, and a Church, suffers when it fails to pass down its cultural heritage:

We call it "cultural amnesia," but the odd phrase already suggests how much we have forgotten. It might as well be called a living death, since to the extent that we have forgotten our past, we have no culture at all, amnesiac or otherwise. It is, I suppose, no surprise that a consumer anti-culture, ever on the lookout for the next ephemeral fad, should so detach itself from time and its claims and duties. But how on earth could the Catholic Church have done so?

There are more nuggets of insight, and at times Esolen's scalpel cuts close to the bone:

So too, without memory, you have no Church. You may have thousands thronging the coffee shops at Willow Creek, in the market for the latest therapeutic Jesus promo.

If you're interested in the Catholic Culture Project, you'll want to read the whole thing


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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