Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Does Pope Benedict have Dixie On His Mind?

Perhaps he does. Catholic and Vatican Blogger in the know Whispers in the Loggia in this interesting post Into the Font, Into the Fold is talking how great things are happening in American Catholicism especially in the South. It is too bad that Pope Benedict on Papal Tour U.S 2008 will not be coming further South or West.

I think his post is interesting in so several levels. If one reads enough blogs or Catholic publications one is aware of the robust Catholicism that is developing in the South and elsewhere. For instance he also mentions the state of Utah among others that is full of vigor.

It is still though oddly at times dispersed here and there throughout the south. Why for instance where I live can I go 15 minutes north to Arkansas(The Diocese of Little Rock) or 1 hour south to the Diocese of Alexandria Louisiana and see vocations and a healthy aggressive Catholic life but not see it at the same level in other neighboring Dioceses?

The Diocese of Dallas he mentions is another interesting example. We have all been wounded by the Clergy sex scandals. However how is the area in and around the Diocese of Dallas so much different in that regard than the Archdiocese of Boston? How come we are perhaps seeing just different projected outcomes for the future? As Whispers points out this is not just because of migration of Hispanics from South of the border. Many are northern migrants that have come back to the Church after coming south. Is that because a culture and political climate that is not hostile to faith and in fact encourages it is fertile ground for a Orthodox Catholicism? Is it that Southerners are quite aware of the battle of good and evil in their own lives , the culture, and in the faith as that whole that the failings they see are just taken as a matter of course and does not being the whole thing down like a house of cards? Most great Southern literature is centered around this drama of our demons.

In the end I am more convinced that the spirituality and the Orthodoxy of the Bishop is the key. That connection between a Bishop and his Priest and the laity is much more than just being a good administrator but a profound spiritual link.

However more is going on here. We see this in the explosion of Orthodoxy in the Southern States as well as an more Catholic emergent Church Anglicanism. Anyway it would be interesting if the Secular press started looking at this and perhaps reported on this when the Pope comes to town.


Anonymous said...

Here in Charlotte, I grew up as a Protestant. I didn't know there were any Catholics in Charlotte. I had seen a parish once - I assumed it was a small congregation of Yankee transplants (which our area has no shortage of).

There are now more Catholics in Charlotte than Baptists! (And this former Presbyterian is one of them).

James H said...

CHaroltte is one of the areas that I keep hearing about that too