The problem with listening to your radio programs on MP3 is that you end up hopelessly out of date. The benefit is that sometimes you listen to stuff back to back and get to draw conclusions. This is the case with both today’s edition of the Religion Report (aka “The Stephen Crittenden Show”) starring Franciscan Richard Rohr and the edition from October 18 featuring non-Catholic expert on things Catholic Dean Hoge.
Listening to both would give an impression about the contemporary Catholic Church which is, I believe, completely erroneous. For a start, they are both Yankees, but don’t lets hold that against them. More concerning is that they both seem to define Catholicism and the Gospel without any reference at all to Christ or to the Paschal Mystery (for the sake of comparison, read/listen to these two interviews and then read Pope Benedict’s Homily at Verona last month). They talk about mysticism, and about deep moral values, but both downplay the importance of the institutional Church. I always get a little suspicious about that, because to me, if you are looking for the Incarnate Christ, you have to start with his visible body in the world, ie. the Church.
In any case, I found that the interview with Dean Hoge contained a real “no-brainer”. Cop this:
Dean Hoge: We have to distinguish between priests and laity, Let’s first talk about laity: there’s not a strong trend toward a more conservative type of young adult. Some of the young adults are not very church-oriented, and don’t care that much about church matters because they say ‘Religion is between me and God, I don’t really need the church.’ Now the priesthood is a little bit different. For some reason which is not so clear, the younger priests today are more conservative in some matters.
Well, I can give you a clue. Those who “are not very church-orientated” don’t become priests. Those who are do. Hence, those who do are more conservative than those who don’t. How hard was that?