Wednesday, April 9, 2008

WHAT THE CHURCH CAN LEARN FROM MODERN MEDIA

There was a rumor going around for a while that UPS was going to change the image of the brown truck. It was reported that they were going to go to a more hip color like green. What made it really interesting was the public outcry against it. People loved “their” brown trucks. Talk about a market icon working for you.

The Catholic Church has much the same thing. We have an image. Do you want to know what it is? Look at a news program talking about something bad happening in the Church. The images they throw up on the screen scream, “CATHOLIC CHURCH!” Listen to what is in the background. Is it guitar playing, bread and wine drinking, vaguely heretical claptrap? No! It is Gregorian chant! If a movie wants to portray clergy gone astray (and they are almost solely Catholic, you wouldn’t even think there were other denominations sometimes) they are not wearing cardigan sweaters and brown loafers. Cassocks baby. That’s what you see. Are they filming inside a Church? Are you left wondering, “Is that a Baptist Church, or maybe Lutheran, or maybe Seventh Day Adventist?” Nope. The statue of Mary and the racks of tiny burning candles enlighten you immediately to the fact that this is a Catholic Church in much the same way a quickly passing brown truck assures you that UPS is on its appointed rounds even if it zipped by so quickly you couldn’t read the letters on the side. (Who ELSE would have a truck that color?)

Some people may want us to be green – flashier, more happening, relevant, but we are brown, brown, brown. And that’s not bad. It works. Great market recognition. It may not cause anybody to look for us, but if they are looking we are darn easy to find. So let’s celebrate it instead of being afraid of it. Blow off the dust. Shine it back up! If it was used poorly in the past lets use it well now. No need to reinvent the wheel. “Don’t fix what aint broke.” When we are not ashamed of who we are or who our family is and where they came from, we can relax and enjoy life more.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Good points. Well said.

A few years ago when the scandals broke.. I couldn't help thinking that the second reason for the whole world's shock was because there are huge expectations of holiness in Catholicism. Rightly so.

Carol

Tony said...

Father, I have been a fan of occult movies for years. Movies like Rosemary's Baby, and End of Days.

When clergy is fighting demonic forces, and is thwarting the will of Satan, it's not a Methodist minister, it's not set in a Pentacostal tent revival, it's always in a Catholic church, with faithful Catholic priests. And the Catholic church is traditional, spires, arches, statues, frescoes, candles and incense. And when the priest is getting rid of demons he's inviarable using Latin.

The Buffalo said...

As my grandfather always said: "Ya gotta dance with the girl that brung ya. After all, she's the one that got you to the dance in the first place."

eileen said...

your last lines: "If it was used poorly in the past lets use it well now. No need to reinvent the wheel. “Don’t fix what aint broke.” When we are not ashamed of who we are or who our family is and where they came from, we can relax and enjoy life more."

Shaking my head *yes*... Thanks, Father. It is especially refreshing after recently viewing a ridiculous you tube video of a priest dancing in a "conga" line while holding the book of the Gospels.

sparky said...

Awesome post Father.

Ironic that the people in Hollywood (who are not exactly fond of us) have a better sense of Catholic identity than we do.

I believe there is a CD of Gregorian chant being released because of the video game Halo. It's a violent game and the music enhances the sense of awe. The media get it. It's a shame we don't.

Anonymous said...

Yes, father, when people rail against the Church, you always know *which* church they mean. It ain't the Calvinists. :-)

Your post reminded me of the movie "Dogma," one of my favorites. The Jesus statue grinning with a big thumbs up -- that was classic parody of updating those symbols that say Catholic Church.

Anika