Church Cleaning by S. M. Hutchens

Church Cleaning

by S. M. Hutchens

As I write, I have just read one of those cleverly written articles that, without overtly condemning a phenomenon, uses polite contempt by word choice to flatter its readers and suggest how intelligent people like them ought to think about it. No, it was not the New York Times, which specializes in the technique, but a Catholic publication describing something Catholic.

The story was about mostly younger priests whose bishop has been permitting them to return to a more traditional form of Catholicism than they have been raised in, and who by doing so are scandalizing their post-Vatican II fellow Catholics with their Latin-Mass strangeness, doctrinariness, and lack of inclusivist sensibility. This has in some places resulted in a kind of house-cleaning in which liberalized Catholics are fleeing to Protestant churches that are more positive, accepting, and loving (the reader will understand)—like what they have become used to in modernized Catholicism.

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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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