fredag 2 augusti 2013

Has the church been too intellectual?

Speaking of the Brazilian church’s failure to keep its flock from straying to evangelical churches, challenging the region’s bishops to be closer to their people to understand their problems and offer them credible solutions, Pope Francis said this...

At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people... without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery.Read more in the Washington Times.

I would argue that Pope Francis is right in his diagnosis and that it is actually a consequence of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council - possibly based on a misinterpretation of the Council documents - that people are straying.

If you compare the Tridentine Mass with the Novus Ordo Mass as usually celebrated, it both cut-down and more wordy, especially when it is in the vernacular. The effect is to engage, primarily, the surface areas of the brain, where language is processed. A side-effect is to block the non-verbal channels which give access to those parts of the brain concerned with the the overall persona. The logical conclusion is that the church needs to return to a liturgy where the emphasis is on the overall action and not primarily on the words and a superficial understanding of their meaning. This would explain why the Orthodox churches have had such success in retaining both intellectuals and the mass of the people. Freemasons clearly have a better appreciation of this, since they realise that their ceremonies are the principal means of transmitting their philosophy.

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