Has Humanism Replaced Authentic Religion?


#1

Let me explain (and hopefully this was the best sub-forum for this). The parish that my parents attend has a lax priest and most parishoners seem to enjoy his style. Talking with other couples they constantly brought up the fact that he seemed much more humble and like a servant. This are great things, of course, and our new pope seems like a true servant of God. However, they seemed to have a distaste for things like the vestments and the ritual of the Church. I guess they see it as too grandiose and pompous, almost as if it gets in the way of more humanistic goals like feeding the poor and the hungry. These are fine, of course, but it seems like the real goal of our faith gets lost. Feeding the hungry is a great work of charity, but what good is it if they know nothing of Christ? What is the point of Mass if our worship is directed at ourselves and not at good? It's more like a community rally than a communal sacrifice.

So what has been lost over the years? How has humanism seeped into the Church such that people are skeptical of the rites and traditions that the Church has had for so many years? They see them as extravagance, but they serve a point. And does this sentiment impede the desires of traditionalists? In other words, would the push for more traditional rites and vestments alienate many of these members and drive them toward total secularism?


#2

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:319007"]
Let me explain (and hopefully this was the best sub-forum for this). The parish that my parents attend has a lax priest and most parishoners seem to enjoy his style. Talking with other couples they constantly brought up the fact that he seemed much more humble and like a servant. This are great things, of course, and our new pope seems like a true servant of God. However, they seemed to have a distaste for things like the vestments and the ritual of the Church. I guess they see it as too grandiose and pompous, almost as if it gets in the way of more humanistic goals like feeding the poor and the hungry. These are fine, of course, but it seems like the real goal of our faith gets lost. Feeding the hungry is a great work of charity, but what good is it if they know nothing of Christ? What is the point of Mass if our worship is directed at ourselves and not at good? It's more like a community rally than a communal sacrifice.

So what has been lost over the years? How has humanism seeped into the Church such that people are skeptical of the rites and traditions that the Church has had for so many years? They see them as extravagance, but they serve a point. And does this sentiment impede the desires of traditionalists? In other words, would the push for more traditional rites and vestments alienate many of these members and drive them toward total secularism?

[/quote]

I think many non-Catholics do see the expensive vestments as pompous, and it is one characteristic that keeps them away from being a part of the Catholic religion.
Focusing on feeding the hungry, etc, doesn't necessarily exclude trying to teach your religious views to those you are feeding.
At the same time...even if you are not *teaching them religion, that does not *take away one iota of any of the good it does to help others.

I imagine the new pope has seen many very hungry people one foot away from his face. Indeed, I think he has tried to help them, hands-on.

I don't know if that quote has been confirmed yet...that he refused to wear the red, fur-lined cape the day he was chosen to be pope, referenced in another thread...but if it is true, I imagine he looked at that cape and did the mental calculations that what it cost could feed hundreds of dying people somewhere and save their lives.
And he could not wear it knowing that.

In answer to your last question...the lure of secular humanism for many is that its "humanism" is without the vestments and rituals...and helping people in this context is just, purely, helping people out of love and compassion without demanding anything of them in return.
So I think yes, more people will be going in this direction.


#3

With regard to priests' vestments and other things appropriate to Mass.....

I recall to mind that the Lord commanded in great detail how the temple in the OT was to be built, and many other things like beaten gold, embroidery, and other fine things. All for the glory of the Lord.

There is enough for the poor and for talented artists to provide art for ceremonies.

Jesus defended the woman who used expensive aromatic nard to anoint Jesus as she cried and was repentant for her sins. She was criticized for not selling it and giving the money to the poor, but our Lord Jesus Christ defended her.

When priests are asked to wear certain vestments they show humility when they obey the rules.


#4

May I add that all the expensive vestments were already owned by the Church and the pope doesn't just go to a store and buy them. I think we run the risk of being too much like Judas when all we think about is how much things are worth;. We can sell every fancy vestment the Church has and guess what, there will still be poor people. The solution isn't in simply selling stuff but changing the culture to value people. People who criticize the Church for having nice things are being too materialistic.


#5

[quote="Dorothy, post:3, topic:319007"]
With regard to priests' vestments and other things appropriate to Mass.....

I recall to mind that the Lord commanded in great detail how the temple in the OT was to be built, and many other things like beaten gold, embroidery, and other fine things. All for the glory of the Lord.

There is enough for the poor and for talented artists to provide art for ceremonies.

Jesus defended the woman who used expensive aromatic nard to anoint Jesus as she cried and was repentant for her sins. She was criticized for not selling it and giving the money to the poor, but our Lord Jesus Christ defended her.

When priests are asked to wear certain vestments they show humility when they obey the rules.

[/quote]

I agree with this.

Artists and metal workers have families to feed as well. One of the biggest consequences to the Church's skimming down on art is that these folks lost their jobs. Same thing with ecclesiastical tailors. What happens when no one wants their products anymore? Unemployment and poverty

Sometimes insisting on not wearing what everyone else wears actually draws more attention to yourself. It becomes opposite of humility. Everyone at my job has to wear black socks, its in the dress code, now a person who says "no I want to wear white socks" actually becomes a center of attention. I hope you get what I'm saying here.


#6

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:319007"]
Let me explain (and hopefully this was the best sub-forum for this). The parish that my parents attend has a lax priest and most parishoners seem to enjoy his style. Talking with other couples they constantly brought up the fact that he seemed much more humble and like a servant. This are great things, of course, and our new pope seems like a true servant of God. However, they seemed to have a distaste for things like the vestments and the ritual of the Church. I guess they see it as too grandiose and pompous, almost as if it gets in the way of more humanistic goals like feeding the poor and the hungry. These are fine, of course, but it seems like the real goal of our faith gets lost. Feeding the hungry is a great work of charity, but what good is it if they know nothing of Christ? What is the point of Mass if our worship is directed at ourselves and not at good? It's more like a community rally than a communal sacrifice.

So what has been lost over the years? How has humanism seeped into the Church such that people are skeptical of the rites and traditions that the Church has had for so many years? They see them as extravagance, but they serve a point. And does this sentiment impede the desires of traditionalists? In other words, would the push for more traditional rites and vestments alienate many of these members and drive them toward total secularism?

[/quote]

There is a thing called Christian humanism. Maybe we should start preaching it? I'd love to dump feminism, secular humanism, and all those other ism's for one true Christian humanism!


#7

I’m skeptical of anything “humanism” because it sees human comfort as a worthwhile end. For instance, we can feed the poor, but if they have no faith, then has anything been accomplished? And what if feeding the poor leads them further away from faith?


#8

[quote="latingirl, post:5, topic:319007"]
I agree with this.

Artists and metal workers have families to feed as well. One of the biggest consequences to the Church's skimming down on art is that these folks lost their jobs. Same thing with ecclesiastical tailors. What happens when no one wants their products anymore? Unemployment and poverty

Sometimes insisting on not wearing what everyone else wears actually draws more attention to yourself. It becomes opposite of humility. Everyone at my job has to wear black socks, its in the dress code, now a person who says "no I want to wear white socks" actually becomes a center of attention. I hope you get what I'm saying here.

[/quote]

Yes, I understand this. It's the difference between authentic humility and false humility. In other words, I'm humble, and I want everyone to know. I doubt that is the pope's intention, as he seems to be truly humble. I pray that he leads a true revival in the Church.


#9

[quote="latingirl, post:5, topic:319007"]
I agree with this.

Artists and metal workers have families to feed as well. One of the biggest consequences to the Church's skimming down on art is that these folks lost their jobs. Same thing with ecclesiastical tailors. What happens when no one wants their products anymore? Unemployment and poverty

Sometimes insisting on not wearing what everyone else wears actually draws more attention to yourself. It becomes opposite of humility. Everyone at my job has to wear black socks, its in the dress code, now a person who says "no I want to wear white socks" actually becomes a center of attention. I hope you get what I'm saying here.

[/quote]

I certainly hope I am misunderstanding you, and you are not trying to imply that the new Pope is trying to be the center of attention. That would be a rash judgment indeed, and a rather sinful one, don't you agree?

You know, Pope Francis is not doing anything extraordinary in his view. He has always lived simply, and it seems no one has accused him of false humility while he was living simply as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, eschewing the more luxurious lifestyle he could have lived. He is who he is, and his religious sensibilities as a Jesuit didn't disappear because he became Pope.

While we want everyone to accept us as we are, and to be understanding of what things make us who we are and influence our actions, and don't feel we need to bow to the pressures of others, it seems many people aren't willing to give the same consideration to the Pope. We want him to be what we want him to be, forgetting that God knows this man better than we do, and his number one priority is being who God wants him to be.

He is also not stupid and probably well aware of the unjust criticisms thrown his way.


#10

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:7, topic:319007"]
I'm skeptical of anything "humanism" because it sees human comfort as a worthwhile end. For instance, we can feed the poor, but if they have no faith, then has anything been accomplished? And what if feeding the poor leads them further away from faith?

[/quote]

You do have a point but you can't think "what if" too much. It would drive you crazy. Because humanism has been defined as human pleasure we think its bad. If we re-defined it as "doing what is good for the human spirit as opposed to the flesh" then we have something.


#11

[quote="silentfactor80, post:10, topic:319007"]
You do have a point but you can't think "what if" too much. It would drive you crazy. Because humanism has been defined as human pleasure we think its bad. If we re-defined it as "doing what is good for the human spirit as opposed to the flesh" then we have something.

[/quote]

Then I don't think that would be called humanism. :)


#12

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:7, topic:319007"]
I'm skeptical of anything "humanism" because it sees human comfort as a worthwhile end. For instance, we can feed the poor, but if they have no faith, then has anything been accomplished? And what if feeding the poor leads them further away from faith?

[/quote]

You are not going to reach people's souls if their bodies are hungry. It is not humanism to feed people, and then lead them to the faith. It is common sense. Their brains have to be able to comprehend what you are trying to tell them. Jesus knew this. He fed thousands, and He was moved with pity when he saw how hungry they were.

Come down to earth and look at reality. What you are calling "humanism" is meeting the needs of your brothers and sisters, which Jesus commanded us to do. He did not suggest it, he commanded it. Food is, for the hungry, not a comfort, it is a necessity, a matter of life and death. What good does it do to preach the Gospel to a dead body?


#13

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:12, topic:319007"]
You are not going to reach people's souls if their bodies are hungry. It is not humanism to feed people, and then lead them to the faith. It is common sense. Their brains have to be able to comprehend what you are trying to tell them. Jesus knew this. He fed thousands, and He was moved with pity when he saw how hungry they were.

[/quote]

That's fine. However, does stripping down our churches and liturgical rites help lead people to faith? I'd argue it does the exact opposite. Destroying the sacred ritual and symbolism makes Mass nothing more than a community meeting and leads people astray.

Come down to earth and look at reality. What you are calling "humanism" is meeting the needs of your brothers and sisters, which Jesus commanded us to do. He did not suggest it, he commanded it. Food is, for the hungry, not a comfort, it is a necessity, a matter of life and death. What good does it do to preach the Gospel to a dead body?

What good does it do to feed someone if it keeps them away from the faith? Blind charity is a vice.


#14

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:13, topic:319007"]
That's fine. However, does stripping down our churches and liturgical rites help lead people to faith? I'd argue it does the exact opposite. Destroying the sacred ritual and symbolism makes Mass nothing more than a community meeting and leads people astray.

What good does it do to feed someone if it keeps them away from the faith? Blind charity is a vice.

[/quote]

I do not understand this attitude--feeding people might keep them away from the faith. Would you prefer they starve? That is why I say you need to come down to earth--this is a most illogical position--don't feed people because they might lose faith?????

And BTW, the faith is very active in many poor countries where the missionaries et al have fed the people and led them to Christ, and all WITHOUT fancy surroundings and church buildings. You are making the mistake of the model of the Catholic Church being what we have experienced in America and much of the developed world. It is an error to assume that is the way the Church should be.

I think you have a faulty understanding of what humanism actually is.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism


#15

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:14, topic:319007"]
I do not understand this attitude--feeding people might keep them away from the faith. Would you prefer they starve? That is why I say you need to come down to earth--this is a most illogical position--don't feed people because they might lose faith?????
And BTW, the faith is very active in many poor countries where the missionaries et al have fed the people and led them to Christ, and all WITHOUT fancy surroundings and church buildings. You are making the mistake of the model of the Catholic Church being what we have experienced in America and much of the developed world. It is an error to assume that is the way the Church should be.

I think you have a faulty understanding of what humanism actually is.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

[/quote]

:thumbsup:
Yay, Carolyn!


#16

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:14, topic:319007"]
I do not understand this attitude--feeding people might keep them away from the faith. Would you prefer they starve? That is why I say you need to come down to earth--this is a most illogical position--don't feed people because they might lose faith?????

And BTW, the faith is very active in many poor countries where the missionaries et al have fed the people and led them to Christ, and all WITHOUT fancy surroundings and church buildings. You are making the mistake of the model of the Catholic Church being what we have experienced in America and much of the developed world. It is an error to assume that is the way the Church should be.

I think you have a faulty understanding of what humanism actually is.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

[/quote]

Not in all cases do I see this happening, hopefully far from it. The idea I have in my head is giving money to a drug addict. What is accomplished through such an act? Should we even call it charity?


#17

There was a movement for Christian humanism. In the culture at large, though, even among Christians, Christian humanism has largely been supplanted by secular humanism. Now, secular humanism is being supplanted by simple unbridled narcissism.


#18

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:9, topic:319007"]
I certainly hope I am misunderstanding you, and you are not trying to imply that the new Pope is trying to be the center of attention. That would be a rash judgment indeed, and a rather sinful one, don't you agree?

You know, Pope Francis is not doing anything extraordinary in his view. He has always lived simply, and it seems no one has accused him of false humility while he was living simply as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, eschewing the more luxurious lifestyle he could have lived. He is who he is, and his religious sensibilities as a Jesuit didn't disappear because he became Pope.

While we want everyone to accept us as we are, and to be understanding of what things make us who we are and influence our actions, and don't feel we need to bow to the pressures of others, it seems many people aren't willing to give the same consideration to the Pope. We want him to be what we want him to be, forgetting that God knows this man better than we do, and his number one priority is being who God wants him to be.

He is also not stupid and probably well aware of the unjust criticisms thrown his way.

[/quote]

No I don't intend to judge the pope. I don't even know him well enough. I am just saying that sometimes people can be humble with wrong intentions and that not having nice things doesn't automatically make you holy.


#19

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