Sunday, 17 October 2010

Meet Hannah....

Those of you who have this Sunday's "Sunday Plus" newsletter courtesy of the Redemptorists will have met Hannah. She is the photogenic young woman being used to plug the work of CYMFED, the Catholic Youth Ministries Federation on the newsletter.

I have no doubt she is a lovely young woman and I'm very pleased she is willing to stand up for her faith and proclaim she is a Catholic. The problem is: is the faith she is proclaiming actually Catholic? Let's take a look.

She says "I think belief is a really personal're the only person who can decide what's right for you."

Somewhat Existentialist, methinks and no mention of God.

The article continues

She's not sure about the need for organised religion, but she likes to know that God loves her.

So she doesn't see the need to go to Mass; she has obviously never found Mass beautiful, profound, mysterious. Yet she likes to experience God's love. Yes, God loves her no one will deny that.

Shall we continue?

While she does read the Bible and pray on her own, she feels she can experience God in lots of ways....she is happy to pick and mix the bits of her Catholic upbringing which still make sense to her, and to blend with different cultural elements she has encountered.

So, Hannah is founding the church of Hannah; her own blend of nice and cosy things that make her feel good, and that she can rationalise. Doesn't sound very Catholic to me.

Shall we continue?

Something which might surprise you about Hannah: Like 32% of young Catholics, Hannah believes Jesus was a very holy/wise man.

This is just bizarre. Who wrote it and what are they trying to say. What do the other 68% of Catholic young people think? I hope they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of the Father and the Second Person of the Trinity. I hope they know their Creed and love their Faith. However, these 32% need help. Jesus Christ cannot be just one wise and holy guy among many other gurus throughout the ages. The position is untenable. If you read scripture, Jesus is either the Son of God or he is a dangerous, deceitful blasphemer. You don't get crucified by Pontius Pilate at the behest of the Jews of Jerusalem, for being a nice/wise/holy guy.

I do hope the entire piece about Hannah is ironic. I hope it is showing how much work needs to be done with the young people of this country to make them know, love and serve God through their faith and devotion to Christ in the Eucharist. I hope it is showing that our young are lost sheep and in need of good pastors to channel their energies and enthusiasm.

Sadly, I fear the article is celebrating young people like Hannah. One feels that the Bishop's Conference feels Hannah and her friends are the future of the Church. They very well may be the future of the Church, but not without some pretty urgent catechisis and contact with the Fullness of Faith in all its beauty, majesty, humility and love.


Anonymous said...

This is very disturbing, such a superficial view of the faith, such shallow thinking. I may not be the deepest thinker, but there seems to be a great lack of depth of thinking, people relying on "feelings." If anything, we should be training our feelings to give us clues that leading toward thinking more carefully about something.

There was always this opposition in Star Trek between the "pure reason" of Spock, and the "pure emotion" of McCoy, and the intuition of Kirk. I think we were supposed to realize that Kirk's intuition was the working together of emotion (feelings) and reason: emotion enlightening and moving reason, and reason fulfilling emotion. At least, that's what I got out of it. And I think, in time, Spock began to get it too. (Of course, intuition is also the fruit of accumulated experience.)

But people today are not getting it and they are stopping at the emotions, they rely on whatever they are feeling, and if they feel good, then, by golly, it must be good, which is how we get to things like gay marriage and serial polygamy, etc, etc.

It makes us all too much like animals, simply reacting, not thinking.

Ttony said...

Is this the way *someone* is trying to head off any Benedictine bounce into "the way we do things here"?

Rita said...


The Star Trek analogy is really good. Ever thought of writing your own blog?


It seems to be English obduracy in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.....King Canute lives once more.

Anonymous said...

Rita, thank you for your comment. I actually do have a blog under another profile. (
English obduracy: a lot of that going around - French obduracy, American obduracy. . .

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the Redemptorists. *sigh* Why do churches take ANYTHING that publishers put out?
I used to do some work for them. They kept editing out anything too Catholic. It drove me crazy. Hannah is just their kind of "believer"; slippery, fluffy and meaningless.

berenike said...

Canute was pointing out that he *couldn't* turn back the sea, wasn't he?

Rita said...

Not according to my history books at school ;-)