Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
I don't know when, how, or why, but the Church has collectively decided that the best way for it to proclaim the glorious message of salvation to a world desperately in need of it is timidity. We don't want to hit anyone over the head with the message.
We use self-deprecating language. We like to lay down on the couch and focus on our shortcomings. We look at our feet when talking in tacit acknowledgement that what we are saying is slightly embarrassing. And when we are not apologizing for something, we shy away from hard teachings because we have somewhere else to be.
We don't talk of conversion anymore, we talk of dialogue as if the real truth is somewhere in the middle. We don't talk of sin so much as sickness. We are a collective of beta males (and females). We are an entire religion in need of over sized black glasses and a therapist. When did we become a religion of Woody Allens?
Oh how I long for a religion as bold in its belief as it is in action. The kind of religion that sends missionaries to die in jungles just to bring the savage residents there salvation, a religion that loved savages enough to try and save them. I long for a religion that actually believes they need to be saved.
Oh how I long for a religion with enough boldness to loudly, proudly, and incessantly proclaim uncomfortable truths, even to its own supposed adherents, until they all understand what it means to be Catholic.
How I long for a religion with that quiet and gentle resoluteness. A religion that can acknowledge the mistakes of its members while loudly proclaiming the Church One, Holy, Apostolic, and Infallible.
I desire John Wayne Catholicism in a Woody Allen world.
But the thing about John Wayne characters, without fanfare, gratitude, understanding, or appreciation, they just did what needed doing for no other reason than it was the right thing.
So I guess I will just try to do that.