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By Fr. Robert P. Imbelli, The Catholic Thing, March 29, 2020
Robert P. Imbelli, a Priest of the Archdiocese of New York, studied in Rome during the years of the Second Vatican Council. He has taught theology at Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, at Maryknoll School of Theology, and at Boston College. He is the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination: Theological Meditations on the New Evangelization.
In the often-mindless wake of Vatican II, many tried mightily to tame the sting of death. We substituted the funereal black vestments of our Requiem Masses with multi-colored stoles. We banished the “Dies Irae” to the soothingly aesthetic precincts of the concert hall through an occasional performance of Mozart’s “Requiem” – stripped of its vital ecclesial context. We blithely proclaimed that we were “an Alleluia People,” eclipsing pleas for mercy and forgiveness by emotional celebrations of lives well-lived. And so we are woefully unprepared for our present plight.
As a culture, we have simultaneously cultivated death and denied death. The right to unrestricted abortion and the right to assisted suicide increasingly frame the American political agenda. At the same time, crowds of our young people, ignoring the imperative for “social distancing,” cavort on Florida beaches, forever thirsting for the fountain of youth. Black Friday consumption impoverishes our social imaginary as the gleaming Mall stakes its claim to being our culture’s secular Temple. ….