Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Catholic Ramadan?

~I really don't know whether to laugh or cry. Someone please tell me what's up with Dutch Catholics? From The Daily Telegraph we have this report:
Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the "Christian Ramadan" in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity.

The Catholic charity Vastenaktie, which collects for the Third World across the Netherlands during the Lent period, is concerned that the Christian festival has become less important for the Dutch over the last generation.

"The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent," said Vastenaktie Director, Martin Van der Kuil.

Three decades ago the Catholic Church was as strict as many Muslims are about Ramadan with a total ban on meat and alcohol during the 40-day Lenten period between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

Most Dutch Catholics now focus on charitable work after the Vatican loosened fasting strictures for all but the first and last days of Lent back in 1967.

Four million Dutch describe themselves as Roman Catholics and 400,000 people attend Mass every week but only a few tens of thousands still mark Lent by fasting, said Mr Van der Kuil

Vastenaktie organisers hope that by linking the festival to Ramadan they can remind Christians who may be less observant than Muslims of the "spirituality and sobriety" of Lent.

"The agreements are more striking than the differences. Both for Muslims and Catholic faithful the values of frugality and spirituality play a central role in this tradition," said Mr Van der Kuil.
The image of Lent must be polished????? If you are merely interested in "image", you have totally lost your way.


Anonymous said...

The bishops of Holland are not Catholic.
That is why this happens.
When will the Vatican get around to sending the Netherlands some shepherds?
God bless you.

Jeffrey Smith said...

The bishops didn't do it. Take a close look and you'll notice that it's an idea being used by one Catholic charity in the Netherlands. It's a case of a misleading headline that's not being explained.