Going Around The Truth
And it came to pass the First Reading at the Novus Ordo Mass was about… the destruction of Sodom. You see, the compilers of the NO readings were certainly lousy Catholics, but they were still recognisably Catholics. Therefore, here and there you would still find the occasional, brutal reminder that God isn't the Great Smiling Aunt In The Sky.
I was listening to the reading (read by the usual layman; albeit the man was extremely slow and emphatic, either in order to stress the point or because he had the stage all for himself) and started wondering whether the homily would mention the (cough…) episode.
Instead, we got a potpourri of such insipid tofu platitudes, that I wondered whether the man had been trained in some, probably Jesuit, seminary in the dark art of blabbering ten minutes without saying absolutely anything.
I got a glimpse of the real situation in the Church today: your garden variety priest is embarrassed by the same Catholicism he has sworn to defend with his life.
You might say, it was a coincidence. No it wasn't. I can't remember an occasion where the first reading is about a convenient issue (poverty, cruelty, respect of women and children, love of neighbour, stuff like that) and the priest has not referred to it in his homily. In those cases, the reference to Scripture is always eagerly, avidly made.
I don't know about you, but in my neck of the wood it seems most priest are all too ready to dish you an orthodox homily, provided it remains strictly within the boundary of the uncontroversial.
Imagine an inner circle, with the easy topics, and an outer circle, with the difficult ones. The priests I notice in your normal parish remain rigidly within the inner circle, and never venture into the outer one unless by the vaguest hints. When a reading at Mass challenges them to get into that outer circle, and say things that will sound unpleasant to the self-righteous audience, they avoid it altogether.
This is why our religion is dying in Europe. Catholicism must be a challenge, because the Church must be the enemy of the world.
If the Church in Europe preaches the same uncontroversial preaching of the world, it will wither and die.
Unless, that is, it does not have its throat slit first.