The 2nd Vatican Council, and much more its aftermath and application, by and large have been a disaster for the Church, a disaster at once pastoral, intellectual and institutional.

As a result of this disaster the popular Catholic life that had existed was in large part destroyed.  Although Catholic culture is much broader than simply the reception of the sacraments and catechesis, it depends upon such formal elements of Catholic life. Without them it cannot last.

It is thus hard to envisage any ready way out of our present situation, since both the formal and the popular sides of Catholic life have been affected.  So how can we respond to that situation, in which the Church neither enjoys the patronage of any powerful government nor commands widespread enthusiasm and loyalty on the part of the Catholic people at-large?  In such circumstances how can the Church and Catholic life be maintained, nourished, and extended?

Sadly, the measures that can be suggested to achieve this end seem woefully inadequate.

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Archbishop Chaput on the awesome value of a truly Catholic higher education

Archbishop Charles Chaput, speaking at Assumption College recently, spoke  about the link between faith and reason and the importance of a Catholic education:

The genius of Catholic higher education is the schooling it gives in the mutual dependency of faith and reason.  At its best, it refuses to separate intellectual and moral formation because they are inextricably linked.  It gives primacy to the disciplines that guide the formation of a holistic view of reality — philosophy and theology.  It aids in the creation of a Christian culture and explains what this means for human thriving.  It offers a coherent anthropology that treats the human being as a whole, and actually gives meaning to the words “human dignity” instead of turning them into a catch-phrase for the latest version of individualism.  It offers an immersion in the virtues, and an appreciation of humanity’s material and spiritual realities — the visible and invisible world — all of which gets their life from belief in Jesus Christ.

To put it another way, Catholic higher education is heir to the greatest intellectual, moral and cultural patrimony in human history.  It has a deeply satisfying answer to who and why man is.  It’s beautiful because it’s true.  It has nothing to be embarrassed about and every reason to be on fire with confidence and apostolic zeal.  We only defeat ourselves – and we certainly don’t serve God – if we allow ourselves to ever think otherwise.