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To begin a responsible examination of this complex topic, it helps to be factual and specific. Although the decline of Catholicism has occurred across the culture, this essay will only discuss literature, which provides a useful perspective on all the arts. Likewise, examining the situation of Catholic writers helps illuminate the current situation of all Christian writers.

No one wants quotas for Catholic artists, but does it not seem newsworthy that the religion of one-quarter of the U.S. population has retreated to the point of invisibility in the fine arts? (Catholicism’s position in popular entertainment is the subject for another essay.) There is a special irony that this disappearance has occurred during a period when celebrating cultural diversity has become an explicit goal across the American arts. Some kinds of diversity are evidently more equal than others. Has the decline generated cultural controversy? Not especially. Neither the arts world nor the Catholic establishment cares much about the issue. There seems to be a tacit agreement on both sides that, in practice, if not in theory, Catholicism and art no longer mix—a consensus that would have surprised not only Dante but also Jack Kerouac. The consequences of this ­situation are unfortunate—in different ways—for both the culture and the Church.

This essay concerns Catholic imaginative literature—fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir—not theological, scholarly, or devotional writing. Surprisingly little Catholic imaginative literature is explicitly religious; even less is devotional. Most of it touches on religious themes indirectly while addressing other subjects—not sacred topics but profane ones, such as love, war, family, violence, sex, mortality, money, and power. What makes the writing Catholic is that the treatment of these subjects is permeated with a particular worldview.

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Robinson, Robert B. Roman Catholic Exegesis Since Divino Afflante Spiritu. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988.

Catholic Wedding Ceremony Rituals - The Knot

by David Bennett (Catholic)
Non-traditionalists have a tradition? Spontaneous worship isritual? Do "anti-institution" institutions exist? This essayexamines why we sometimes do not even know what many of ouroft-repeated phrases mean.


This essay was written by a Traditional Catholic living in California and was forwarded to an old friend of this blog, who then uploaded it to his Scribd page.

by David Bennett (Catholic)
This essay discusses a young person's voyage from a"contemporary" church, which is supposed to appeal to all youngpersons, to a historical, liturgical blended one. Bennettanalyzes why young people are drawn to liturgical worship, andwhy emotion-driven religion leaves many feeling empty, whiletime-tested worship brings us closer to God.Many have criticized this essay for being too sweeping in its generalizations. But this misses the point. It was not intended as a scholarly discourse. The point is that the basic thesis is certainly correct - that a small but vocal and influential segment of American Catholicism is now far more comfortable with the world of right-wing political evangelicalism than with global Catholicism. , and contributing editor Massimo Faggioli .) The question of who is or isn’t a Catholic author also requires a few distinctions. The answer changes depending on how strictly or loosely one defines the term “Catholic.” There are at least three degrees of literary Catholicism, each interesting in different ways. First, there are the writers who are practicing Catholics and remain active in the Church. Second, there are cultural Catholics, writers who were raised in the faith and often educated in Catholic schools. Cultural Catholics usually made no dramatic exit from the Church but instead gradually drifted away. Their worldview remains essentially Catholic, though their religious beliefs, if they still have any, are often unorthodox. Finally, there are anti-Catholic Catholics, writers who have broken with the Church but remain obsessed with its failings and injustices, both genuine and imaginary. All three of these groups have legitimate claims to literary attention. This essay, however, will focus mostly on the first group, with some references to the second. These individuals best qualify as Catholic writers, and yet they are currently the least visible in a literary culture where at present only the third group, the dissidents, has any salience. Nowadays it is widely asserted that defenders of the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation only accept Magisterial teachings that agree with their own views and reject more recent pronouncements that contradict earlier teachings. Since this accusation goes to the heart of the creation-evolution debate within the Catholic community, it is worth taking the time to examine it closely. What is really at issue here is whether an ambiguous or non-authoritative teaching of a Pope or Council on a matter of faith or morals trumps a more authoritative prior Magisterial teaching on the same matter. Theologian Fr. Chad Ripperger has written a penetrating reflection on this very question entitled “Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism.” In his essay Fr. Ripperger observes that: