(This is Neil)
I always feel cautious about generalizing about something like the “Catholic blogosphere,” but I think that I can say a few things. When I began contributing to Todd’s blog, most Catholic bloggers were amateurs or popular writers, often insightful, but hardly credentialed experts with institutional affiliations. Now, most magazines have regular bloggers, and theologians and even some bishops have blogs. There are disadvantages to “professionalization,” but the “Catholic blogosphere,” if there even is such a thing, seems less chaotic. This means that there is less pressure to seem more than vapid, political, or entrepreneurial. Also, most Catholic bloggers were conservative. Now, there is more diversity and less pressure to “balance” others or to speak for a different perspective.
I think that I can say one other thing: I’m not prolific enough to be a good blogger.
Thus, I’d like to do something new, at least for me. I’d like to post a series of questions. I genuinely don’t know the answers to these questions – this will be true, even if at times it might seem rather embarrassing for me. I would like to know the answers, if they are answerable. I do think that these are difficult questions that can’t be answered with readily available talking points. I’d be grateful for any insight that you might have, even if you simply want to say that the questions are very badly posed.
This first post in this series has to do with Catholics and Protestants and has a pastoral angle:
1. True or false: In most Roman Catholic parishes in the United States, one can regularly attend Mass anonymously. In most Protestant congregations in the United States, this would be difficult.
2. True or false: In most Protestant congregations in the United States, there is an obvious “secondary” activity for committed participants – usually a small group, Sunday school class, or a Bible study. In most Roman Catholic parishes, there are many activities, but not any obvious “secondary” activity.
3. True or false: In a Roman Catholic parish, the priest will be bemused if someone approaches him after Mass and wishes to politely question parts of his sermon. In a Protestant congregation, even a relatively unlearned pastor will accept this as normal, and, in theory, welcome.
4. True or false: Presently, in many Protestant congregations, there is a detectable presence of ex-Catholics who bring a distinct perspective with them – usually, a belief in sacramental realism and a respect for elements of Catholic spirituality and theology, but also hostility towards clericalism and any seemingly distant and impersonal form of dogmatism and legalism.
about Todd FlowerdayA Roman Catholic lay person, married (since 1996), with one adopted child (since 2001). I serve in worship and spiritual life in a midwestern university parish.
about NeilNeil has been a blogging collaborator for the past several years on Catholic Sensibility. He brings his unique experiences from theology, spirituality, and the ecumenical sphere. Pay special attention to each one of his posts.
Vatican II pages
- Reconciliation Lectionary: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- On My Bookshelf: Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
- Ecclesia de Eucharistia 16
- Pacem In Terris 146: Pastoral Exhortations
- Belated Father’s Day
- On My Bookshelf: Weird Life
- Glory & Praise: The Next Generation
- Ecclesia de Eucharistia 15
- Pacem In Terris 142-145: Modern Developments
John McGrath on On My Bookshelf: Four Signs of… John McGrath on On My Bookshelf: Four Signs of… LIam on On My Bookshelf: Four Signs of… Joseph Anthony on Glory & Praise: The Next… Glory & Praise:… on Glory & Praise vol 3 Glory & Praise:… on Glory & Praise vol 2 Glory & Praise:… on Glory and Praise vol 1 Fran Rossi Szpylczyn on Driving Miss Fran Rossi Szpylczyn on Some Wedding Music Jen on Driving Miss
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