In 1997, Dwight Ozard wrote an article called “Rethinking Church To Rescue The Gospel.” Ozard, who died in 2005, was focusing on the Evangelical churches, but his words seem to apply to the Roman Catholic Church in 2010:
For those of us who still believe in the church, our job is not its defense, but its reform…What will that mean? I’m not entirely sure, but here are a few ideas. First, the solution cannot be cosmetic. Simply updating or altering our aging hymnody, liturgies or idiosyncratic language will not make us relevant. (In fact, superficial attempts at relevancy only magnify our irrelevancy in our ever-changing culture – nothing is more annoying than an old guy trying to look young and hip.) No, reform must reach to the core of our vision of what it means to be a believer in America or it will fail. We will fool no one.
[Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish for the reference]