New and Old Catholicism

Letter From Milwaukee

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is keeping pace with the rest of the Church in America as it embraces the usual causes and crusades under the banners of "community" and "equality" while all but shedding Catholic inconveniences like Mortal Sin and Sanctifying Grace. Apparently salvation now depends more on the sincerity of your handshake of peace than on works of charity. What sharpens this tragedy in Milwaukee, however, is the incongruity of so much hand-holding amid so many beautiful churches. A city architecturally endowed to preserve the past is abandoning tradition as quickly as our "sisters and brothers" in younger parts of the nation.

Venue is not essential for pious worship, but for those of us whose faith has not yet achieved mustard-seed size, Milwaukee provides many turn-of-the-century churches whose vaulted ceilings and gilded statues make them ideal for fervent prayer and ritual. Out of place are the diluted pro-life homilies that suggest our respect for life should also embrace the anti-tobacco and antipollution efforts. In spite of this spiritual banality, anyone with a modest amount of devotion can spend a rewarding weekend exploring many of Milwaukee's churches. The three that should not be missed are the St. Josephat Basilica on the south side, the St. Joan of Arc Chapel on the Marquette University campus, and Old Saint Mary's Church downtown.

The story of St. Josephat's...

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