It’s Not Enough to Listen to the Young

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(Photo credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

By William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine, April 9, 2019

William KilpatrickIn his new exhortation on youth, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), Pope Francis returns again and again to the theme that the Church must listen to youth.

Although Christus Vivit contains much that is inspiring and even moving, the good parts are often undercut by its insistence on the wisdom of youth. On the one hand, youth are encouraged to be open to the wisdom and experience of older people both in their families and in the Church; on the other hand, the Church is at risk of becoming a “museum” if it doesn’t listen carefully to the young. Thus, “Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill.”

In places, the document sounds less like the voice of the Church and more like the voice of the Woodstock generation—the now aging and dying cohort who once hoped, in the words of Bob Dylan,” [to] stay forever young.”

Many Catholics could wholeheartedly join in the prayer to “free the Church from those who would … encase her in the past.” But who exactly are the ones who are encased in the past?  There’s a difference of opinion on that. Pope Francis seems to think that it’s the guardians of tradition, doctrine and morality—people like cardinals Burke and Müller. By contrast, some are of the opinion that it is Pope Francis himself and his aging inner circle that live in the past….Read the entire article here: