indeed be the 'real,' or one of the 'real,' projects of New Class
Catholicism, since a fair amount of New Class Catholic rhetoric
becomes sensible in its light. Only one example need be given here.
The example is startling, not because it is untypical, but because it is
completely typical of the daily pronouncements of scores of sitting
Catholic professors in current American Catholic universities,
regularly publishing in nearly all American Catholic presses.
      Dr. Jane Regan is a faculty member at St. John's University in
Collegeville, Minnesota, the holder of a doctoral degree in catechetics
from the Catholic University of America. She made the following
remark with reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The
Catechism to which Dr. Regan refers, we need to remember, was
written directly by bishops of the Catholic Church, in extensive
consultation with all the Catholic bishops of the world, and was
approved by and promulgated by the Holy Father himself:
We will re-think and re-explore regions that the writers of the
Catechism think are settled. As we continue to live out of and
reflect upon the theology that underpins and flows from the
Second Vatican Council, we must continue to return to the
Catechism to change it, clarify it, make it more readable, and more
usable for the next generation. Eventually... we will have to come
up with a new text.
1. Regan JE et al. (1994). Exploring the
catechism. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical
Press, conclusion.
      From the perspective of 'modern' men with nineteenth-century
ideas (such as members of Skeptical Societies), of course, there is no
intellectual or scientific reason even to read the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, let alone to re-write it. From their perspective, not
reading, not re-writing, but burning, might be something rational to do
with the Catechism. Nonetheless, modern men with fully modern ideas
acknowledge the existence of pointless thoughts and activities (such as
'beliefs' and 'religions') that most men -- including themselves -- quite
often find irresistibly compelling.
      The nineteenth-century 'modern' task (and more than a few people
alive now are 'modern' only in the nineteenth-century sense) was taken
to be stamping out 'belief,' through argument, scientific demonstration,
or perhaps even by force in "extreme cases." Burning the Catechism,
not re-writing it, would be the sensible thing to do.
      On the other hand, the New Class agenda in this regard, genuinely
more sophisticated than the one similarly taken up by nineteenth-
century 'moderns,' accepts the inevitability of the compulsion to
'believe' silly things, and makes efforts to channel this truly irresistible
but still pointless energy in directions the New Class considers to be

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