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Living so close to “the imperial city,” as Currie calls Washington, means that most of his community members work in the nation’s capital.
Their close-knit Catholic neighborhood gives them the nurturing they need to be strong witnesses to the faith in the secular city.
You cannot live the Benedict Option without seeing both visions simultaneously. I heard about the Ivereigh piece from Catholic theologian Larry Chapp, who wrote a piece here explaining his and his wife’s launch of their Dorothy Day Catholic Worker farm. Do they really think the issue is that people are alienated from the Church because they think it lacks mercy?
Chapp e-mailed to point out this latest nonsense from Austen Ivereigh, in which he accuses you of advocating for a scorched earth retreat from modernity as opposed to the “Francis Option” that seeks only to build bridges and to build a new Christian culture from below by reminding people of God’s mercy. That people are just waiting around for God to forgive them of their sins? Maybe they know that nobody is waiting for mercy and all they want to do is approve of what is happening in the culture.
Through the church—the restored Temple—would flow the living waters of salvific grace.
In such a society, as he put it in Santiago de Chile in January 2018, ‘points of reference that people use to build themselves individually and socially are disappearing’, such that ‘the new meeting place today is the “cloud”, characterized by instability since everything evaporates and thus loses consistency’.
As George Weigel was to John Paul II, so is Ivereigh to Francis, seeing the pope as the herald of a New Springtime of Evangelization.
Here’s a lengthy piece from Ivereigh on Francis and evangelization, in which Ivereigh describes as “neo-Donatist” and “neo-Jansenist” — slurs that are both theologically inaccurate, and fancy ways of saying, “Oh bother, that Dreher fuddy actually expects us to take sin seriously.” Ivereigh writes: — that Christendom is over and irrecoverable, and that it is futile and counter-productive to invest energy and resources in unwinnable political battles that only reinforce the idea of Christianity as a set of ethical precepts that the Church seeks to impose via the state.
Jerome’s Parish community has been called to be a presence in the greater Washington area.
The only way they can resist the pressures of worldliness and secularization is by living near each other and reinforcing their religious identity through life lived in common.