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Os Justi Press

The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity

The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity

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The decline of the Catholic Church in the developed world has been accelerated in the last decade by a devastating series of scandals involving sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. But just as clerical abuse fits in to a wider story about the abuse of power in the modern “sexual marketplace,” so the decline of Catholic church-going and religious belief finds its context in a wider collapse of cultural institutions and shared beliefs: the crisis of modernity. This is no source of comfort for Catholics, since in recent decades the Church has provided neither shelter from secular trends nor a compelling analysis of the crisis.

In these essays, Dr Joseph Shaw examines what the Church has in common with the wider world as it passes through this crisis as well as the perennial wisdom of her tradition that shows us how to escape it. Part 1 examines the place of the ancient Catholic liturgy in modernity, defending it as something supremely suited to engage our deepest instincts towards the worship of God. Part 2 turns to the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council and addresses a series of lines of attack on those Catholics attached to the traditional Latin Mass—notably the attempt to link them to clerical abuse. Part 3 addresses one of the most contested issues of our times, sexuality and gender roles, and asks what the Church can still say about them.

Dr Shaw approaches these explosive topics with seriousness and honesty, leaving behind the point-scoring of social media and partisan journalism while not shying away from unpopular teachings and uncomfortable conclusions.

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