Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's Not Dumb Down Catholicism

This is by far not the worst way I've found to spend a little under seven minutes:

"Fr. Barron comments on 'dumbed down' Catholicism"

wordonfirevideo, YouTube (June 10, 2010)
video, 6:57

[no description available]

I think this is a key phrase from the video: "go forth ... not incidentally, but essentially Catholic."

Then, there's Father Barron's account of seeing the pile of school books that his niece was reading in high school:
  • Hamlet
    • Full Text
  • Virgil's Aeneid
    • In Latin
  • A physics text
    • Bristling with equations
  • A big, large-print 'religion' book
    • With lots of pictures
She was assigned complex reading for everything except religion. For that, she was supposed to read a 'comic book.'

So, Father Barron went out and bought her Volume 1 of Aquinas' "[The Summa] Contra Gentiles," "Confessions" by St. Augustin, Dante's "Divine Comedy," Chesterton's "Orthodoxy," and Bonaventure's "Mind's Road to God."

As he said, "we've got a smart tradition." I'm on the same page with him when he says that we can't dumb down the tradition, if we want to make the Catholic tradition compelling.

Sure, my faith is simple: 'Love God, Love my neighbor.' It's the Mark 12:28-31 thing. I've written about that before.

On the other hand, we've had intellectual heavyweights like Thomas Aquinas and Catherine of Siena adding to the store of knowledge and insight we have about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons: One God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 232-267 and following)

I don't have anything against comic books: and I'm pretty sure Father Barron doesn't, either. The point is that there's a whole lot more to the Catholic faith than what you're likely to get in a comic.
A tip of the hat to MatthewWarner, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this video.

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