The Catholic Church of the Third Millennium has retained many of its medieval images and formulations making its message incomprehensible for modern people. The book suggests different ways for modern Catholics to speak about Scripture, hierarchy, Jesus, the afterlife, sacraments, sin, redemption, sacrifice, supplicating prayer and other issues. His study seeks to be a faithful translation, advanced by modernity, of the same message that was previously transmitted in traditional medieval language.
6 x 9
Lenaers contends that the Catholic Church in the West is declining because of a cultural mutation that started in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the rise of modern science. Phenomena that had previously been ascribed to supernatural powers appear to have natural causes independent of the divine world. As a result, the divine world has become less visible and plays a less obvious role. Nonetheless, Catholicism, and most of Christianity, have remained attached to the language and images of the Middle Ages. This attachment makes the church a foreign object in the modern world. Its message has become incomprehensible for modern people.
The church, Lenaers suggests, is badly in need of a new language, starting with a new way of speaking about God. The image of God residing in a different world must give way to one of God as the deepest ground of the cosmos. This cosmos is not an ultimate, final creation, but God’s progressive self-expression. This new interpretation has far-reaching consequences for the entire Catholic doctrine of faith. Lenaers attempts to show new ways for the modern Church to speak about God, hierarchy, the person of Jesus, afterlife, sacraments, sin, redemption, sacrifice, supplicating prayer and other central topics. His study seeks to be a faithful translation, advanced by modernity, of the same message that was previously transmitted in traditional medieval language.
Roger Lenaers (born 1925, Ostend, Belgium), entered the Jesuit Order in 1942. He studied philosophy, theology and classical philology. As a high school teacher of religion and classical languages, he wrote many essays about the impact of modernity and secularization on the Catholic school. Afterwards he enlarged his field by writing the present book which basically reformulates the entire Catholic faith for the faithful of the secularized 21st century.