beware the comfort zone

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 13, 2007

"The coming generation has the possibility of encountering Jesus in a context where they are free from traditional narrowness," Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told a congregation at the Church of Ireland Theological College last week. He continued:

Some may choose a path of purely subjective religiosity or indeed choose to escape into pathological religiosity which is little more than a comfort zone of flight from the responsibilities for corporeity and the realities of the world.

Took the words right out of my mouth...

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 15, 2007 8:19 AM ET USA

    There are real men around, Italiana, and one of them was my father Vito who died 15 years ago today. When I was growing up I thought he was overly tough but now that I am an adult I thank God that my father was strict. My priest is like that today, in fact! His homilies are so deep yet accessible and filled with examples of right and wrong, making sure we do not become an Easter People without being Good Friday People FIRST!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 6:47 PM ET USA

    Italiana, you have identified a key problem today: the crisis of fatherhood, particularly in the Church. Fathers are supposed to be strong moral leaders who instill confidence. We have very few these days. Convert, to be more precise, in 1997 there were ZERO seminarians entering the diocesan seminary of Dublin, which attracts candidates from among half of Ireland’s Catholics. See

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 6:08 PM ET USA

    Italiana is right. St. Peter was a real man. A little too exuberant with the sword at Gethsemane, but he carried one! I really don't think SS Peter and Paul could stomach being in the same room with very many of the modern day apostles who have followed them. But, to be consecrated a bishop, you can't be controversial and pansy Casper Milquetoasts are all too often what we get. I long for the return of St. Ambrose and St. Jerome and St. Pius X.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 9:34 PM ET USA

    I'm sick of "loving tenderness", "desire" and "unity". Can't he find a shamrock somewhere and begin all over again like St. Patrick? Where are the real MEN? Where is manliness in it's beauty and strength. Have all the men just given up? I'm so sick of weak men who talk about Jesus's loving tenderness and desire. I like to think of Jesus fashioning that whip with His own hands and driving the hypocrites out of the temple.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 8:52 PM ET USA


  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 7:43 PM ET USA

    Excuse me, is that English he was speaking? I don't think I speak the same language because I have NO idea what he said. Then again, perhaps that was the whole idea?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 4:42 PM ET USA

    "The message of Jesus is not primarily a collection of dogmas and moral norms, of rules and practices or plans for a better world. It is above all an encounter with a person, with Jesus Christ, who addresses us and addresses us in our history, in our lives." I hope Abp. Martin is not suggesting that the Jesus we know takes precedence over His Word. The message of Jesus is both an encounter with the person, and His Word. Because we "know" Jesus, we disregard His Word at our own peril.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 4:40 PM ET USA

    I have seen it happen any number of time, especially with people who are supposedly very brilliant. They speak out loud while their mind is still in full hibernation...gobledegook is what we get. The excuse is that the gobledeook is just so deep that we slobs don't understand it! Jahu.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 12:25 PM ET USA

    Comment, are you SERIOUS? There was a year when NO men in Ireland entered seminary? I contrast that with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati where there are many men studying for the priesthood; I counted over 50 on a poster I saw in the back of the church last week after Mass. I know Archbishop Pilarczyk gets mixed reviews but his seminary is turning out some rock-solid priests because he is theologically as solid as it gets.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 10:57 AM ET USA

    Sounds like a man who spends a little too much time reading Psychology Today and not nearly enough time contemplating the Gospels.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 10:53 AM ET USA

    And of course, people mustn't be so foolish as to think that "a collection of dogmas and moral norms, of rules and practices or plans for a better world" would be of any help at all! And learning "catechetical definitions and formulae"...that's a waste of time, you shallow simpletons! No, no, no, its the "perennial newness of the Gospel", that's our only hope!! I'd say the Anglicans gave him a standing ovation.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 10:29 AM ET USA

    Orwellian doublespeak.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 10:00 AM ET USA

    "The message of Jesus is not primarily a collection of dogmas and moral norms, of rules and practices or plans for a better world. It is above all an encounter with a person, with Jesus Christ, who addresses us and addresses us in our history, in our lives. We can learn as many catechetical definitions and formulae as we wish, but if we do not have that liberating personal encounter with Jesus, then we have not understood what Christianity is about." - Abp. Martin. Now THIS I LIKE!!!!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 9:37 AM ET USA

    "Knowing a language is not about grammar and spelling and pronunciation." --Archbishop Martin Certainly not, your Excellency--which is why our contemporary American students cannot compose logical or rational thoughts in meaningful sequences. Excellency, Christianity is supposed to covert barbarians, not be converted by them--no matter what the "spirit" of VC II may have intimated.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 9:20 AM ET USA

    Abp Martin also says “I genuinely believe, that there are signs of hope and maturity in the life of our Churches which are quite unique in our histories and are genuinely encouraging.” This is not reality. In a recent year, there were ZERO men entering the seminary in Catholic Ireland, and only 4 new male novices in the entire country. The statistics go on and on. Anything less than acknowledging a major catastrophe and working to correct it is misinformation and grave irresponsibility.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 8:57 AM ET USA

    A patho of purely subjective religiosity? Escape into pathological religiosity? A comfort zone of flight? The responsibilities of corporeity? What the heck is a comfort zone of flight? I must suffer from traditional narrowness...or something.