Crazy College Kids, the Pope in Africa, the African Church and...Catholic Revival in France?!
Insanity In The University
"...a bawling nursery of expensively diapered howling half-wits."
I love a finely-turned phrase, especially when it expresses the equivalent of hundreds of words in one short, rapier-like thrust to the heart of a matter. So I invite you to read the piece in which it appeared, a marvelous essay by Kevin Williamson on National Review Online that deals with yet another of the suddenly fashionable instances of adolescent preening (a/k/a "student protest") that pepper the news these days, this one at Princeton University. It seems that a group of Princeton students have determined that it is no longer politically correct for the University's School of Public and International Affairs to be named after Woodrow Wilson, and have been making their displeasure known in various noisy ways. Williamson's work is a political essay, and doesn't even mention the Church, so it may be a bit out of place here, but I couldn't resist giving it a plug. That said, there are certain parallels between Wilson's brand of "progressivism" and the Modernist faction within the Church, which has become quite bold under the current pontificate. The basic approach of both secular and Catholic "progressives" is the presumption that anything old is bad and needs to be changed, especially if it involves the application of standards and principles to human thought and activity of any kind. To see the Williamson piece go here.
The Pope Visits Africa
Please pray for the safety of Pope Francis and his entourage during the visit to Africa this week. Unfortunately there are some dangers involved in the areas to which he is traveling, from domestic political unrest in some areas to the risks of attack from various Islamic jihadist terror groups such as Boko Haram. Short of destroying the Vatican itself, which is a publicly professed goal of ISIS, the jihadis would like nothing better than to bump off the Vicar of Christ. Regardless of what one may think about how Francis is performing his vocation, (and I have some issues with it myself, as you may know), his personal safety should be of great concern to all of us. To physically attack the pope is to physically attack the Church, which means us! God's will be done, but I don't think we need any more martyrs right now, least of all the Holy Father himself. ISIS and the rest of the Islamic jihadist whackos out there are making plenty of them already.
And speaking of Africa...
The State of the Church in Africa
If you've been paying attention, you probably know that the Church in Africa is strongly orthodox and growing at an amazing pace. Some of the strongest defenders of true Catholic teachings at the recent Synod on the Family were Africans, most especially Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. There are so many priestly vocations there that men are being sent out from African dioceses to help alleviate the needs of other areas where vocations have been suffering in the post-Vatican II Church, especially Europe and North America. My own parish has been blessed with two excellent and holy priests from Nigeria serving as Parochial Vicars in the six years we have lived in our current home, for which we are most thankful. I believe it would be a marvelous thing for the Church as a whole if the next pope were to be from Africa. The African Church is a tremendous source of hope for the future of the faith.
And, Would You Believe...France?
I happened to hear part of an interview today by EWTN's Teresa Tomeo with Dr. Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute, in which Dr. Gregg discussed a growing movement of orthodox Catholicism in France, one of the most secularized nations in Europe, once known as the "Eldest Daughter of the Church." To hear Dr. Gregg tell it, there is much good going on there, led by lay Catholics and a generation of young priests, plus a few solid bishops. The discussion led me to peruse Dr. Gregg's recent online essay on the subject at the Catholic World Report web site. You should not miss it.
That's all for now. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving feast! Also, please don't forget to go to Mass and to do something for the homeless and the needy, who don't have much to look forward to on a day like Thanksgiving.
Laudator Jesus Christus!