You’re Older Than You’ve Ever Been…

…and now you’re even older. And now you’re even older…

Acccording to this, I’m a touch long in the tooth for Generation John Paul II, and probably a hair too cynical about institutions, the Church included.

According to one research associate: “Catholics in the ‘millennial generation’ are more likely to attend Mass weekly, pray every day, feel that religion is important and have a lot of confidence in the church than Catholics in either the Vatican II generation (born 1943 to 1960) or those in the Post-Vatican II generation (1961 to 1981).”

So I could complain that a few of us X’ers were there first on the whole “Eucharistic Adorations”/reviving old devotions thing, and that Big Media is overlooking people like me because it’s already packaged us as cynical sideliners – but I suppose that’d be typical Gen-X griping.

Confidence in the Church? That’s an interesting one. Confidence that the Holy Spirit guides the institution, protects it from errror in teaching about faith and morals, and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it? Sure. After that, it gets a little muddier (said the cynical member of the Post-Vatican II generation).

An interesting note from the piece:

“Their Catholicism is quite focused on John Paul II, especially his teachings on contraception and the family,” said Mr. Keating, who teaches at Providence College in Rhode Island. “It’s fairly significant. They are a force in the church.

A line like that seems bound to attract some of the people who complain that John Paul II spent way too much time on sexual mores. My initial answer: sexual mores are deeply tied up with personal sanctity. You begin with what’s close to you. But further: sexual mores are deeply tied up with the family, and the family is a public institution that has considerable impact on society. I was happy to see the two – contraception and the family – mentioned together.


  1. Tim Drake says

    It’s surprising it took the New York Times this long to figure out that the JPII Generation is a “force in the Church.” Where have they been the past 10 years?

  2. Ernesto Pinamonti says

    Keating’s point (about Generation JPII’s focus on their namesake’s theology) is pretty valid. It does set them apart. Tradition-minded Catholics born between ’61 and ’81 — at least the ones I know — are familiar with the Pope’s teaching and writings but see it as an affirmation of the the teachings of popes and theologians who came before. Yes, JPII did teach about contraception and the family, but he wasn’t the first. Paul VI wrote humanae vitae 10 years before JPII ascended to the throne of Peter.

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