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Letters

Elitism

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 Contents - Mar 2006AD2000 March 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The challenge facing Pope Benedict - Peter Westmore
Documents: Benedict's first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est' speaks to the heart of the Faith - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Archbishop Hickey: how to address the crisis of faith - Archbishop Barry Hickey
Mass: How can differences over the Liturgy be resolved? - Fr John O'Neill
Liturgy: Eucharistic faith: why the Mass needs re-enchanting - Alvin F. Kimel Jr
Modernism: 'New Church' not true Church: what modernists believe - Pastor Remotus
Vocations: Dominican Sisters: religious vocations continue to rise in Nashville - Tracey Rowland
The distribution of Holy Communion past and present: an historical survey - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Media: Archbishop Hickey presents the Christian message on TV - Daniel Tobin
Letters: The Fortified School - Chris Hilder
Letters: The Eucharist - Jim Howe
Letters: Adore 2006 in Brisbane - Tim Wallace
Letters: New Age - Richard Congram
Letters: Intelligent Design - Peter Barnes
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: St John Vianney - Maureen Wright
Letters: Guitars - John Daly
Letters: Elitism - Jeff Harvie
Letters: Relic of the '70s - Don Gaffney
Letters: Vaccines and abortion - Judy Law
Letters: Gender neutral - P.F. Gill
Books: 'The Case For Marriage' by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: Edith Stein Discovered: A Personal Portrait, by Pat Lyne OCDS - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Black Robe And Tomahawk: Fr Pierre-Jean De Smet SJ (1801-1873) - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Golden Priest, Wooden Chalice, by Fr Tim Norris - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Bringing Christ's love to the bereaved: a ministry for Catholic parishes - Fr Dennis Byrnes

I am a convert of the last six years and in the last couple have been privileged to be introduced to authentic, traditional, orthodox Catholicism and to have met priests who haven't lost their way in the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" (which bears no resemblance to the reality of Vatican II).

These priests have opened up a sacred and beautiful world to me that is at risk of slipping away and I am now very much at home with the Church, as it was meant to be.

What I am not comfortable with are the attitudes of some who call themselves orthodox. Note please that I said "some", and not "all". Being orthodox to me means following a true and not watered-down path. It has nothing to do with being elitist, exclusivist, or conservative to the point of being heartless.

I feel for those in the Church who, like me in the beginning of my practice, were denied the gems and the true essence of our Faith. Yet there are those who seem comfortable with having an "us and them" situation, who appear not to care less about the rest of the Church membership, or the rest of the world for that matter.

They are the ones who know lots of Latin, and can tell you what St Augustine said to someone in a particular year. As long as "we" get our Latin Mass, the rest apparently don't count.

Is this what Christ intended? Christ was anything but elitist. Did He hang around with the pious folk and do lots of back-slapping and self-congratulating? Not at all. He came for the sinners, and He loved them no less despite their sins or their ignorance.

There should be no room in the universal Church for any intellectual elite. We should have compassion for those who are earnestly trying to be close to God, but have not had the education that existed pre-Vatican II (or through good priests post-Vatican II).

We should want the truth to be shared with all, and not as something exclusive for "special people". And closing our hearts to Protestants, atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, etc - who lack our advantages - is no better. I love my Church, but I don't want to be associated with a heartless group of elitists.

JEFF HARVIE
Rockhampton, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 2 (March 2006), p. 16

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