To the Editor:
Oh, for the good old days when we could enjoy a lively argument. When I grew up, religion classes were so boring. As a teacher, the dialectic was my favorite methodology. During the heady days of the Second Vatican Council animated debate was a driving force, a fresh air, the work of the Spirit.
What’s happened? At our deanery meeting yesterday I was getting tired and proposed writing a letter of support to the professor, Keith Soko, from St. Ambrose University in Davenport who wrote a column critical of EWTN. I heard two remarks as I was leaving. From the left: “That would be like throwing the Christians to the lions!” From the right: “What a stupid thing to do when we are asking people for money!”
I belong to a religious community that claims reconciliation as one of its charisms. Look at the Holy Land. Is religion a force for hope and peace? Yes and no. It’s being used — the religion of crisis and criticism (blame and sarcasm) — by all the factions. True religion — whatever denomination — is based on trust, not fear.
After the council, I think most would argue we lost a sense of reverence in church, and our religious textbooks were not very adequate for the laity who replaced the good Sisters teaching religion. We went too far. Are some now seeking the solution in going too far the other way?
Did you hear about the big dispute at Ave Maria University in Florida between the Praise people and the Latin advocates? I think the charismatics outnumber the traditionalists, but they need each other and are cooperating. Maybe we could learn from them.
I would like to think we have a faith strong enough to grow with our differences this Lent.
Crisis and criticism make a successful formula in politics, the media and religion.
Father Dennis Schaab, C.PP.S.
St. Mary Parish, Centerville