I got into a conversation the other day on the question of whether or not some of us Catholics, especially some religious and clergy, have absorbed (perhaps unwittingly) or even embraced a post-Christian theological mood.
It's a tough question, I think. I have written before about how I sometimes see religious relativism and indifferentism creeping into our Catholic life and discourse, especially in the form of the comfortable and civil theology of 'many paths to one (alleged) truth.' I have argued before that this must be resisted. For one thing, it doesn't stand up to sacred scripture. It also suggests that God is an incompetent revealer; what God reveals about himself cannot be understood on its own, because (for example) it is irreducibly bound into culture, patriarchy, language, etc. In the end then, because all "religions" (the problem of what counts as a religion is not asked) aim at some truth or transcendence which is imagined as a unity, God is ultimately unknowable. So we end up with a funny kind of relativistic, post-modern gnosticism which is so vague as to have almost no spiritual utility apart from helping us get along and avoid arguments while we strive to build up the kingdom of man.
But that's enough ranting. To get back to the original question raised by my friend, I think we have to be attentive to the language we use. Does our religious speech affirm the scandalous particularly of Christianity or does it slyly water it all down into generic terms? Do we say 'faith communities' instead of 'churches' so that we can hold up the political correctness of 'inclusivity?' When we say 'churches' are we saying what the Catholic Church means by this term, or are we also speaking (uncarefully) about Christian bodies that are properly not churches but 'ecclesial communities?' Do we use terms like 'minster' and 'ministry,' which have specific meanings in Catholic Christianity, in the generic sense of any religious service or work? Do we use generic spiritual language like 'growing in faith' and 'making meaning' rather than talk about holiness in Christ and proclaiming the Kingdom of God? Has Jesus Christ Himself begun to slip out of our speech, in favor of a generic 'god' or a 'spirit' which is whatever anybody wants him or her to be?
Let us discipline our speech, and resist the forces of relativism and indifferentism.