Preachers can’t just absorb the news as given to them in their choice of media, but enter into a dialogue:
 Finally, preachers need to devote some time and energy to understanding the complex social, political, and economic forces that are shaping the contemporary world. Watching the evening news on television or scanning the headlines of the daily paper may be a beginning but it is not enough. Preachers need exposure to more serious and sustained commentary on the contemporary world, the kind of exposure that can be gained through a program of reading or through conversation with people who are professionally involved in such areas as business, politics, or medicine. Without this kind of informed understanding of the complex world we live in, preaching too easily degenerates into platitudes of faith, meaningless broadsides against the wickedness of the modern world, or into an uncritical affirmation of the wonderful advances that have taken place in modern times.
My problem with much of internet Catholicism is the meaninglessness of the criticism offered against the world. In a discussion this weekend, I suggested the positive development of fathers (and mother, too) spending more time with their kids than parents did thirty years ago. Prove it, somebody asked. When I linked a cited study, someone else complained about the sociologist being too dispassionate about the researchers’ methods: stepfathers and live-in boyfriends were included.
As the bishops suggest, the world is more complex that we think. Simplistic approaches, especially from the pulpit will be tuned out and turned off.
(All texts from Fulfilled in Your Hearing are copyright © 1982 USCCB. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)