The Personalist Project

Bishop Robert Barron has a new series out, and I really hate its title: "Catholicism: the Pivotal Players"

It's obnoxious and reality-distorting. Catholicism isn't a scheme, and saints aren't "players". The concept inexorably suggests power dynamics, which are the spiritual contrary of gospel dynamics. I think all those named as "players" in the series would have repudiated it with indignation.

Also, it's very weird and arbitrary, in my opinion, to call someone like, say, G.K. Chesterton a "pivotal player" in Catholicism. He's an interesting person. Someone whose life and works are worth studying. But Catholicism had been a rich and full reality in the world for almost 2000 years before he was even born. 

Two deplorable trends menacing "the new evangelization": 

1) Marketing habits and techniques

2) A celebrity culture

Both of these are essentially at odds with the gospel and have to be clearly and firmly kept in check if they're not to do harm.

I'm thinking with fresh admiration of the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous and its offshoots have among their founding traditions these two:

1) Anonymity, "ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."

2) Growth and public relations by way of "attraction rather than promotion"

I wish all those involved in Catholic evangelization and apologetics would learn from them.

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