Writes Michael Matt:
I wonder if it’s possible for so many of our modern churchmen to be any more out of touch with reality than they already are. They keep making grand and solemn statements to the world about this and that social issue, almost as if the world hadn’t stopped listening some twenty-five years ago. With all due respect, exactly who in the world do they imagine still cares? On any given day, Miley Cyrus has more social impact on society than any ten princes of the Church combined. If they realized this perhaps they’d start trying to say things that actually matter to real people, rather than just media people.
Media people are not the real people. The ones I lived with in Rome during the last conclave, for example, care much more about good Roman restaurants than Roman Catholic rituals. A casual observer watching them at work, however, buzzing around with their cameras and high-tech microphones, might have come away with the impression that these guys really do care about all things Catholic. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
So if a cardinal or a pope evaluates the world’s reaction to his words by the media’s reaction, he’ll likely end up with a fairly skewed notion of reality, if not utterly oblivious to the fact that in the real world—in the bars, cafes, stadiums, workplaces, kitchen tables and churches—nobody cares. The scandal has been too great, the words too vapid, the dumbing down too complete, the liturgy too stupid, and too many churchmen just too silly to matter anymore—which is why millions have opted out of the Church altogether.