■ LifeSiteNews ■ “Instead of composing a useless document filled with reheated progressive clichés about the need to reach the youth and stay relevant, bishops should consider why traditional parishes seem to do so well,” asserts an essayist writing for The Federalist about the currently happening Vatican-run Youth Synod now underway in Rome.
The author, Auguste Meyrat, sees little chance for anything helpful resulting from the Youth Synod. Instead, he seems certain the synod will have the opposite effect, as it attempts to tap into the wisdom of the world and pop culture for answers rather than plumbing the depths of Scripture and 2,000 years of accumulated magisterial wisdom of the Roman Catholic Church.
“One can predict the product of this synod will be a document that intends to make church even more boring and lame,” says Meyrat. “It will surely call for more ‘openness,’ more ‘tolerance,’ more “listening’ more “authentic” religious experiences, and condemn people who do not seem to find these lessons anywhere in scripture or church teaching. Indeed, it will be difficult to see what the church is for, besides vaguely validating people who couldn’t care less about it.”
“Since this is the likely result of this synod—along with most of Pope Francis’s encyclicals and initiatives—it seems apparent that church leaders have little intention of reaching the youth, or anyone for that matter,” declares Meyrat. “If they did, they would totally reverse their present course. They would stop having meetings, watering down doctrine, adopting modern trends, looking at dubious social science for guidance, and paying attention to the youth as such.”
Meyrat said that the Church seeking to be “modern” has been a disaster. It’s the traditional parishes that are flourishing, brimming with young people, he said.
“Can one go to Mass without the baby boomer priest yukking it up with bad jokes and bland sermons, without the adult contemporary hymns of Dan Schutte and David Haas, without the hand holding during the ‘Our Father, and without the gaggle of geezers distributing communion?” asks Meyrat.
“It is possible, and many parishes do it,” he declares. “Those that do are the ones brimming with young people and new vocations.”
These parishes also say Mass in Latin, use Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, enforce a strict dress code that encourages veiling, and have long lines for confession every Sunday. Their priests quote old saints like St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Charles Borromeo and often follow a rigorous monastic discipline in their own lives.
Sadly, because of the prevailing prejudice against traditional parishes, they celebrate Mass in shabby buildings located in the poorest, most unsafe neighborhoods.
A small but vocal minority of prelates participating in the Youth Synod from Africa and Asia would agree with Meyrat.
Bishops representing the Oriental and African churches have brought a tone of moral seriousness to the Synod in the past two days, reminding the world that many young Catholics struggle against oppression and ideological colonization to remain Catholic.
According to Australian Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, who has been blogging from the Synod, Cardinal Wildren Napier, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa said, “We must teach the young with greater clarity than ever, rather than collaborating by our inaction in a culture that encourages multiple abortions and more in young people’s lives.”
“Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of the Oriental Congregation, said oriental youth want clear teaching, and authentic, radical witness even to death,” added Fisher.
Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register reported that the Australian archbishop observed that Africa is home to the largest growing Catholic community today and praised the African bishops’ drive:
The Africans are making quite a splash at this Synod: they come from the fastest growing part of the Church; the average age of their believers is in the 20s; and their leaders are solid in the faith and optimistic. A black pope would make a striking figure! Go Catholic Africa!
These candid remarks, however, seem to have been removed from Fisher’s blog.