The Catholic website New Advent sent me a tidal wave of traffic this week with a link to my post “How to estimate church attendance”. THANKS! And thats not all. The Catholics are making themselves felt all over the emerging church blogosphere right now:
– Cathlimergent introduces itself all over twitter [@Cathlimergent] as a new social network for Catholics exploring emerging church.
– This Fragile Tent generates response with this morning’s post “Where are all the Emerging Catholics?” Where are they? Well, you will no doubt point to Emergent Catholics, Alan Creech, and a mountain of other Catholic bloggers and emerging church people.
Some of this interest was generated earlier this year in USA by an event with Father Richard Rohr and Brian McLaren, billed as the “first ever Catholic-Emergent conference“. Which is partly true because it was the first time Emergent Village [the group] partnered with Catholics for such an event. But it is not true that this was the first such event for the emerging church [global movement] because events with both Catholics and Protestants leading are relatively common, but not publicized on the same level of intensity and jubilation.
Richard Rohr is a delightful and godly Franciscan believer. I met him once. Brian McLaren is a delightful and godly Protestant believer. We have met many times and I consider him a dear friend. The event sounded great and I would have liked to have been there. But the stories generated from the event have not been all that accurate and in some ways, they have been insulting to Catholics who have, actually, a rich history of involvement with the emerging church movement that predates the year 2009.
I cringed when I read “Catholics Join Emerging Church Conversation”, an article that started off with . . .
“A group of Roman Catholics are dipping their feet in the Emerging Church pool, joining a conversation that has long drawn the interest of Protestants and Evangelicals.”
The truth is, the emerging church pool is deeper and the movement is older than suggested by the article, AND, Catholics have been more involved than they know. And so, I feel a short blog series coming on that I hope will add a little historical accuracy and justice to the involvement of Catholics in the emerging church. Or at least tip the scales. I will try to blog over the next week about some things that the emerging church learned from the Catholics, and you can decide for yourself. Emerging church discernment critics, [hi Ken, greetings Ingrid, whassup Roger] take out your pen and paper.
In the meantime, check out when I preached in Italy at a charismatic Catholic church