Saturday, May 26, 2007

Be not conformed to the spirit of this age ...

Here's then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger reflecting on the turmoil -- in the world and in the Church -- which threw so many of the moral, religious and cultural structures into confusion.
That all-too-guileless progressivism of the first postconciliar years [years just after the Second Vatican Council - 1962-1965], which happily proclaimed its solidarity with everything modern, with everything that promised progress, and strove with the self-conscious zeal of a model schoolboy to prove the compatibility of what is Christian with all that is modern, to demonstrate the loyalty of Christians to the trends of contemporary life -- that progressivism has today come under suspicion of being merely the apotheosis of the late-capitalistic bourgeoisie, on which, instead of attacking it critically, it sheds a kind of religious glow. Granted, a relatively harmless little demon has thereby been surreptitiously replaced by seven increasingly harmful ones, but the disillusionment can be salutary. For it becomes more and more clear, in the harsh lightning of the storm aroused by such criticism, that man's existence and his world are not so pleasantly peaceful in their pursuit of progress that one would readily choose to be converted to such a world -- if one is to serve it, one must criticize it, one must change it. A Christianity that believes it has no other function than to be completely in tune with the spirit of the times has nothing to say and no meaning to offer. It can abdicate without more ado.

No comments: