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Eyes Wide Open

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 13, 2004

For the most part, [Catholics] do not go to church; those who do, do not go to confession; and whether they go or not, there is little doubt that the great majority have strayed a long way from the main thrust of twenty centuries of Church teaching, together with their priests. So that "Catholic" has become more of an ethnic description, than a statement of religious faith. ...

One is conducted -- not everywhere but almost everywhere -- into a Mass which has been translated into an English that is crass, puerile, awkward, semi-literate -- which wantonly mistranslates the Latin template, and tries to dodge the most crucial doctrinal issues.

A severe, if hardly uncommon, conspectus of the state of contemporary Catholic life. Schadenfreude? Anti-papist ranting? Disillusion masking itself as weary cynicism?

Well, none of the above. The interesting, indeed touching, fact about these observations is that they belong to David Warren's explanation of why he has decided to enter the Catholic Church. In a sense, this is the first picture of his fiancée that a newly engaged man has chosen to show his alarmed parents -- of his bride, I should say, since Warren was received on December 31st. He does not anticipate a serene or protracted honeymoon:

The Sacrament of Penance, a.k.a. "Confession" is -- I did not used to believe but now do -- the mark of seriousness in both church and people. For if we are not trying to put ourselves right with God, with whom are we trying to put ourselves right?

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