May 26th, 2015
A little help here: Is this essay by Patrick T. Reardon in the National Catholic Reporter satire?
To give you some set-up, it’s slugged as being a dispatch from the year 2063 and the picture it paints is of a Catholic Church which is radically shrunken because of the progressive wheels set in motion by Pope Francis. Yet a get the sense that Reardon sees all of this as a good thing?
But like I said, maybe it’s satire. Who am I to judge?
Not satire — hell, maybe? It would be such a denial of mercy if Purgatory were to include liturgical dancers. (I’m probably going to pay for that later, when I spend lots and lots of time getting refined to the hideous strains of ‘Come to the Water’ and ‘They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.’)
“To the simple notes of a single piano, the parish choir and the congregation sang a sweet, lilting version of “Come to the Water” as liturgical dancers, altar servers, ministers of the word, parish chancellor Emma Okere and pastor Fr. Antonio Fitzgerald processed up the center aisle. The song filled the soaring interior of the 131-year-old structure. On a banner high behind the altar, in large, easily readable lettering, was a quotation from Pope Francis: “Who am I to judge?”
Reardon joins the comment thread of his article and states, “I wrote this in order to envision how things might be even if no re-interpretations of church doctrine were done. Nonetheless, I suspect that, in 2063, women priests, married priests and/or gay marriage will be part of the fabric of the church. Whether they are or aren’t, I do expect the sort of shift in the nature and understanding of parishes and parish buildings that I describe to take place.”
Of course, this vision was not all that different than many parishes in the 70s