The Church in the Modern Age


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Oct 27, Reviews. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, The basic theme of the work is that the Catholic Church stands in a very different relationship to the culture of modernity than it did to the pagan cultures of the past and that that difference is the basis of the decline of its influence. As he puts it early on:.

The Church in the Modern Age - Dick Deweert

Modernity … does not recognize the transcendent order; it does not acknowledge its existence whose reality is independent of man and which lays claim to his devout attention in all that he does. For the first lesson of Christian or any realist metaphysics is that man is a contingent being.

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Catholicism and modernity differ in the same way as do a teacher of Thomistic metaphysics and a lunatic who thinks he is God. Divozzo explicates this theme over the course of nine chapters. In the first three, he discusses the relationship between the Church and cultures present and past. In the middle three he develops a genealogical account of modernist ideas, and in the final three he explores modernity and its saturation of Catholic twentieth century theology and philosophy.

He uses the term to refer to the set of ideas that comes to constitute Western culture from the middle of the sixteenth century into present times or that informs the minds of Western intellectuals during that period. The first two chapters show that the framers of the most important documents of the Second Vatican Council understood modern culture to be essentially benign and hospitable to the evangelizing efforts of the Church.


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In fact, some of them appeared to regard modern culture as superior to previous cultural forms in precisely the same way that secular moderns conceive of themselves and their culture. And everything, even human differences, leads to the good of the Church. Divozzo explores in depth one of the central pillars of this modern way of thinking—the total secularization of the public sphere and the removal of all elements of faith from the political, economic, and cultural orders.

He shows that crucial players in the drafting of Gaudium et Spes a constitutional document from the Second Vatican Council specifically focused on politics, economics, culture, and war simply assumed that any society informed by the idea that faith can be relegated to the private sphere would thereby provide a space in which faith could flourish and in which evangelizing efforts could proceed.

The Philosophies of the Modern Era and the Catholic Church

The opposite of modern secularization is traditional sacralization. This position has been opposed both to a pantheism, of believing the material work itself to be divine, as well as to a conception of the created world as completely devoid of any spiritual or religious significance or as having negative religious meaning. D ivozzo draws heavily upon the work of British historian Christopher Dawson in portraying the contrast between the relation of modernity to the modern Church and the relation of the classical cultures of antiquity to the ancient Church.

Those older cultures were saturated with the religion of the people and were informed by metaphysical and epistemological conceptions that were not entirely inimical to the fundamental conceptions of the Christian revelation. Accordingly, many philosophical ideas of the Greeks and Romans could be and were appropriated by the Church Fathers to aid in the explication, elaboration, and communication of that revelation.

A standard defense of modernity is that modern conceptions of freedom and autonomy have precipitated great emancipations of people from political servitude in the democratic movements that swept away old regimes of privilege , from economic destitution in the unleashing of production and distribution of goods from restraint by guild-like structures , and from slavery to superstitions in the scientific understanding that displaced metaphysical speculations.

What is clear, in any case, is that it is an inspiring document, and there are in it many inspiring passages, some of which will be presented this week for your reflection.

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The document is the longest of all those issued by Vatican II—by far—and its contents are very complex. Since the publication of The Church in the Modern World there can be no doubt that the point of the church is not the church itself, but the service of and sanctification of the world in which it lives. The church is a community-in-mission, and its mission is to be a partner with God in bringing creation to full flourishing.

Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.

The Influence of Modern Trends on the Church

Creator God, not only are you interested in my joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties, and those of the world. It is in the very midst of these that I can find you, for your Spirit is intertwined with them, calling for wholeness and healing in all things. Make me truly human, truly myself. Let these joys, hopes, griefs, and anxieties be mine, as they are yours. Always summoning them to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience can when necessary speak to their heart more specifically: do this, shun that.

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For human beings have in their hearts a law written by God. Spirit of truth, you whisper your truth in the depth of my hearts, and show me the way to life. What is important in my life is not that I obey or disobey laws, but that I obey or disobey you.


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Allow me to listen carefully to your gentle voice, and give me the courage to always follow my conscience, no matter what the consequences. And since my conscience needs to be formed by a truth that often exceeds my grasp, give me an openness to the wisdom of the ages, especially preserved in your church and expressed by its teachers. Form me into a person of integrity, like Jesus my brother. I pray in his name.

Roman Catholicism - Modern Age

For the beginning, the subject and the goal of all social institutions must be the human person, which for its part and by its very nature stands completely in need of social life. This social life is not something added on to women and men.

blacksmithsurgical.com/t3-assets/help/hib-string.php Holy triune God, you are yourself community, and you have made humankind in your image. I will never be fully happy or fulfilled until I find myself in a life-giving community, and am able to contribute significantly to that community. Help me find other women and men with whom I can share my life, and so find you in all your overflowing gracious love. God of infinite openness, I cannot believe that you are not affected by the world, by the joys of humans, the beauty of the mountains, by human suffering, by human discoveries. If this is so, your church needs to be like you.

Give me, give us, a heart closer to yours, so that we can be open and grow as we experience the freedom and wonder of your creation. We pray through Christ our Lord, in the same openness to your Spirit that he had. Faithful to its own tradition and at the same time conscious of its universal mission, it can enter into communion with various cultural modes, to its own enrichment and theirs too. Help me to understand you better by giving me a deeper knowledge and love of my own particular culture.

Let me use my culture—my language, my customs, my traditions—to praise you more fully and follow you more closely. Let me glory in my identity, not for its own sake, but because it shows me how fully your Mystery has been expressed in your own. Your Spirit leads me to pray in your name.

The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age
The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age
The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age
The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age
The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age
The Church in the Modern Age The Church in the Modern Age

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