I want to draw your attention to a post from Mark Shea titled, "I Hate Being Right All the Time."
Mark notes the tendency of cultural revolutionaries to dismiss the possibility that their revolutionary ideals will be either 1) taken to their logical conclusion, or 2) overthrown using the revolutionaries' logic.
Here's an excerpt:
The basic point of the series is that we are living on borrowed capital from the Catholic tradition and burning through it like Paris Hilton spending Daddy's money while creating nothing of value to replace it. As each phase of history passes by, we keep saying that nobody will ever take the next logical step from the premisses we have just set up as a platform for jettisoning some aspect of the Christian tradition. Then we are perpetually surprised when somebody does and the new revolutionary attacks the old one by citing the precedent established by the previous revolutionary.
As the Vatican Two Baby Boomers* slowly cycle out of institutional power, those who follow them will likely adopt the Boomer "logic of revolution" and seek to restore Catholic tradition by a kind of will to power; that is, rather than nurture an organic regrowth of doctrine, liturgy, etc. over time, we will be treated to a piecemeal overthrowing of the aesthetic choices made by our immediate ancestors through the exercise of raw authority. That's how They did it, so that's how We will do it!
We see this sort of thing happening already. And I think it's a bad way to proceed. Yes, we need to restore a sense of reverence in the liturgy; and yes, we need to re-teach the faith after wandering aimlessly in the catechetical desert for 40+ years. . .BUT how we go about restoring the tradition is as important as what we choose to restore.
Restoring Catholic tradition as an exercise of authority alone will not ground that tradition in the culture of the Church anymore than the liturgical/catechetical revolution of the 70's/80's forever established the dictatorship of sentimentality as our working model for evangelization.
In fact, simply ordering changes in local liturgical practices or banishing bad textbooks from Catholic schools (etc) will likely reproduce the JPII/BXVI generation's reaction against the Boomers. . .in the other direction.
What we need is catechesis, catechesis, catechesis! And not the touchy-feely junk that's passed for teaching these last few decades. I mean, hard-core, text-based, critical-instruction on the documents of the faith AND inspired preaching on living the faith within the truths of the tradition. Memorizing theological propositions from the Catechism won't do.
All of this means that we need a workable apologetics; that is, a means of teaching, defending, and living the faith that doesn't adopt modernist assumptions about truth, beauty, and goodness; or simply concede to the Enlightenment its definition of reason.
So, I'm all ears. . .
*I know, I know. . .not ALL Boomers are the same. I'm using the term as a form of shorthand.