Meeting ourselves coming back. A reflection on the reaction to the reaction in our culture.

030113One of the things I often marvel at is that a good number of young people are more socially conservative than their parents.

I am in the last five years of the Baby Boom generation, perhaps the most selfish, immature, egotistical and rebellious generation that has ever lived in this country. The rebellion reached full flower in 1968, a terrible year not only of assassinations, but also of open sexual misconduct, the celebration of rebellion, of immature disrespect of authority and tradition, and a large percentage of people  stoned out of their mind.

Now, this generation (my generation) at some point had to take a bath (after wallowing in the mud of Woodstock), take the flowers of out its hair, put on a suit and go to work. But a lot of the selfish, egotistical and iconoclastic tendencies remained with this spoiled generation as they (we) ushered in abortion on demand, no fault divorce, cohabitation, low birthrates, widespread pornography, and numerous other social ills that amount to a general shredding of the family and a coherent and functional culture.

To some degree, the next generation will react to the reaction, rebel against the rebellion. And at least to some extent I have seen it. A lot of the younger people I have met and am preparing for marriage or see at theology on tap sessions, or meet over at the seminary and in novitiate for the Order in my parish , are re-embracing the tradition their parents and grandparents so carelessly cast aside. Further, these younger people see what a disaster the lives of their parents and grandparents have been with failed marriages, addictions, STDs, and many other ills.

At some level, disgusted by what they see, they are resolved to be more careful to avoid their parents mistakes. The knee-jerk rebelliousness of the boomers seems far less evident in their grandchildren whom I find more reasonable, teachable and even hungry for the truth.

I don’t know how widespread the phenomenon I describe is, and I suspect that the overall numbers in our culture are still headed in the wrong direction. The whole gay union thing is emblematic of that. Nevertheless there is a growing core, perhaps a remnant, of younger people who are picking up the pieces of things their boomer parents shattered and reconsidering once discarded treasures.

I pray only that it will grow and that increasing numbers of younger people will simply shake their heads in dismay at the foolishness of the Boomer generation and work explicitly to restore maturity, accountability and a love for the good, true and beautiful.

The following video is a humorous illustration of how, in order to rebel against the status quo involves another rebellion that, in effect, is a shift back to the status quo ante. What this video illustrates in a small and humorous matter is what I hope will be the case in bigger matters.

59 Replies to “Meeting ourselves coming back. A reflection on the reaction to the reaction in our culture.”

  1. I was born in the first year of the so-called Generation X, 1965, and I have always thought so many of the “boomers” and their era did LOTS of damage to our society. It was probably a lot of factors coming together but it is unfortunate how much damage was done in the name of freedom and love. So much of the music was great but what else? I was lucky to live with an older mom who, while divorced, put me first and tried to raise me with morals. So many of my generation had parents who shouldn’t have been parents. Unfortunately, we will reap what the Boomer generation has sown for many generations to come. I hope my generation leaves a better legacy. I don’t know – we are wounded.

  2. The key words here are “core” and “remnant”. The culture is still going downhill fast but as long as a significant minority of people keep the light of truth aflame, there is hope. The pendulum has to start swinging back sometime and while we’re waiting I’m going to work on rooting out the things in ME that have contributed to this awful current situation. God Bless!

  3. There is something spiritually mysterious about the Boomer generation (of which I am a member). It came after a series of world wars; it was like a drunken release or rebellion against all of that evil which preceded. It was raised to abhor that evil; it apparently sought an escape from that hopelessness which could only see WW III on the horizon, and it was certainly coming with all of its nuclear weapons and Communist / socialist slavery. It could only see society as being broken and without hope. It caved in. It began running away (as the jogging and “streaking” fads set in – a representation of the truth that society was beginning to or had already begun to run away naked). It tried to re-image itself through diet fads and new fashions. The Boomers were escaping – running away from evil – but running swiftly into a false good, another evil snare, like snipe birds being beaten from the bushes toward and into an unseen trap on the other side of the shrubs – into another prison of spiritual darkness.

    And now, another snare has been set – one which takes advantage of a nation which has been torn by racial or other social discrimination and by sexual abuse and disrespect for human life, evil which was frothing up like vomit during the late 60’s. The reaction now has been to favor one primarily because of the unique color of one’s skin or to disavow the seriousness of sexual sin by claiming that sexual relations and marriage and human life are not sacred nor created with a divine structure and purpose.

    We have walked into another snare, but Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is leading us out. His action is a wake-up call.

    Wake up! Something is happening. Wake up!

    1. Possibly you’re correct, I don’t know. Ever since he resigned I have suspected that this is more significant than just an frail old man resigning from position of great responsibility for health reasons. Something is going on here and it may be the marker that this is the Turn of the Age, or it may not be. I don’t know, but I suspect it and hope for it. In any case, even if it is, we will probably never know for certain during our lifetimes and things will continue to appear to be getting worse through the rest of our days. But, we will still have our work to do in the vineyard nonetheless.

      1. Yes, speculation is natural here given the speed and suddenness of the resignation. But as I have said in an earlier post, I am content to just take him at his word and presume no “back-story.”

        1. Right, and I did not intend to imply a “back-story.” I see Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his stepping down, as a weapon against that immorality which is being legislated in our own country. I would like to think that we will now have a Pope AND a Pope Emeritus to fight the spiritual war on the moral decay of our society. It is like having the playing power of two queens on a chess board, except that one queen moves invisibly, spiritually, quietly and powerfully from behind the walls of a monastery – now acting with “weapons” heretofore unknown to the Evil one. I believe that he can be a most agile and cunning servant to the “Servant of the servants of God.”

          1. Absolutely beautiful perspective! It is one filled with hope. Thank you TaillerHuws.

  4. When I was in college, in the early part of the last decade, my friends and I started “Anti-casual Fridays”, on which we wore ties and jackets. The movement became pretty big, so that by the time we graduated, lots of men on campus that had no connection to the original movement would wear ties and/or jackets to classes, and nobody thought it was a big deal anymore.

  5. I was born in 1988, about 25 years after the end of the baby boomers. But one thing I love most is when baby boomers admit their generation destroyed Western civilization. I don’t know what’s better: baby boomers who hate their generation or women who hate feminists.

    That said, there’s definitely a group of people who realize how the baby boomers were miserable failures at everything except destruction. For those that don’t realize this, they are part of that vast bulk of people that don’t think. Like Henry VIII said in A Man for All Seasons: “There’s a mass that follows me because it follows anything that moves.”

      1. indeed Msgr. the pithiest comment in your clip was “… it always makes sure I do my laundry before Thursday” are not spiritual ablutions what got BabyBoomer Saul to become AwesomeEvangelist Paul — never equate hate with virtue, for some have entertained angels unawares… Hebrews 13:2
        Who raised the baby boomers?
        The war-wounded of WWII (raised themselves by the war-wounded of WWI, sin begets sin begets sin begets… you get the drift)

  6. Msgr:
    As an aging boomer myself, I had a reaction to your post.
    You decry “the the most selfish, immature, egotistical and rebellious generation that has ever lived in this country”. You point to “wallowing in the mud” of Woodstock and, as with so much of the ordained Church, you point to the “sexual misconduct”.
    What about the facts of the enormous racism, police brutality, and the immorality of an illegal war that killed millions of innocents; all before and after 1968. These facts existed and were all evolving during the era that some call the “greatest generation”.
    We Boomers may be what you claim we are, but some Boomers heroically exposed the lies that lurked behind the curtain of America’s national hypocrisy, and that of the Church. In 1968, I tried to be “mature” and respectful of the “authorities”. I volunteered to go and fight for my country in Viet-Nam. Then, I saw for myself and learned from others how very much we Boomers had been lied to by the “authorities”; and now we know about the sexual misconduct going on in 1968, perpetrated by the “authorities” in some of the rectories of the Catholic Church. If nothing else, the Baby Boomer generation made it harder for liars to prevail.
    So don’t condemn so many with such gusto. Let’s not be so judgmental. Let’s be grateful and hopeful that, a sinful as it is, the world is unfolding as God created it. The Church that Jesus, the Christ, set in motion, may one day prevail; and if it ever does, it won’t be because the younger generation is going back to wearing suit and ties.
    “Peace and Love”

    1. Well, the whole “immoral war” thing is ambiguous and history will better judge that later. As for the racial healing, we might refer to it as “our (i.e. we boomers) tainted nature’s solitary boast. That said, it was initiated largely by the generation that preceded back in the 50s when most of us boomers were either unborn or just snot nosed kids. Nevertheless we did carry its legacy forward.

      Also I had to smile when you wrote: don’t condemn so many with such gusto. Let’s not be so judgmental. Your comments are so perfectly emblematic of a generation steeped in moral relativism and seeming incapable of distinguishing between general observation and specific condemnation. I do not say this of you personally, but your comments are right out of the boomers lexicon 🙂

      Finally, no it’s not about suits. The video was just a funny illustration that sparked a line of thought.

      1. Historically, you’re absolutely correct, Msgr. Pope. The Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s could never have triumphed unless the generation of white southerners who came of age during the Second World War had been prepared–perhaps the revulsion against Nazi racism played a role here–to let go of the racism of their parents. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act required acquiescence from white southerners in order to be enforced. The boomers of the 60s, as you correctly judge, made no contribution to the Civil Rights Movement, other than accepting it in the name of “liberation.” Boomer ideology, however, has influenced the Church, all round the world, more than we think. Oh, so many young priests whom I knew in the 70s and 80s talked of sin as “whatever separates us from God,” and ignored the objective sinfulness of specific acts. Consequence? Tolerance, even practice, of pedophilia.

      2. Believe it or not, some things are relative in this life. A generation doesn’t spring forth in a vacuum. It is formed by what came before and shaped by what it is forced to face. To broadbrush an entire generation of human beings is uncharitable at best, and immature at least. I think the statute of limitations for blaming one’s parents for everything runs out at age 30. Enough with this silly ‘blame the boomers’ meme.

        1. You’re simplifying which is also “uncharitable at best, and immature at least” For the record I agree with you that my boomer generation did not come out of nowhere and I think the “greatest generation” has a lot to answer for. So you be of good cheer Linda and don’t take too personally what is a general observation, not a universal observation. Serenity consists in making necessary distinctions as does orthodoxy.

          1. I don’t take it personally. I just think this silly meme shapes too much of the current dialogue in the Church. It separates people and is not helpful. I say the same to those who claim that millennials have no values or vision. Every individual has a story that deserves to be heard. When I was active in youth ministry, our hope was to help connect teens and young adults with their parents, not drive a wedge between them or urge them to see older adults as foolish.

  7. I, too, was born in the first year of the baby boom era, 1946. For you younger baby-boomers I have a different perspective. When I was born, the only people who influenced me until I was in college were members of the previous generations, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Also, my school teachers were from the older generations. Those generations, particularly those who lived through the Great Depression and WWII have been “baptized” the Greatest Generation.

    So all these things described by you were not part of what I experienced, until college. But even then, I saw the rebellion as belonging to a minority. To me they were on the periphery of my life and experience. However, they sure did get a lot of press. I never bought in to it, nor did my friends. I managed with God’s grace and with the examples of good companionship to avoid the pitfalls that are blamed on the generation into which I was born. To my way of seeing things most of us early boomers were more like my friends and me and less like the rebellious ones.

    I thank God for the younger people who seem to have more sense, but I have noticed many younger people who have shed their Catholic faith and live a hedonistic life. So, maybe both sorts of people exist—in every generation. But those who do evil seem to get all the publicity and accolades from the media.

    1. Well, said, we are talking here about a sort of continuum of over twenty years wherein tumultuous changes were sweeping through. I think the worst years are exemplified by those who were in college in the later half of the 60s and into the mid 70s. Bad times then and bad behavior was on steroids.

      1. Ruth Ann described well the gradual incroachment of socialism’s influence that began it’s ground influence in the United States through university academia , liberal arts such as journalism , entertainment arts and civil rights movements in Europe back with Marx and Robespierre. it’s Euopean counter part was conservative Fascism both of which grew out of a disdain for monarchism, all which subjugated the common citizen. They are the antithesis of what the United States constitution was founded on and why we became involved in two World Wars as well as the impetus for the wars that followed. It took 80 to 90 years before the socialist influences were able to make significant advances in the U.S. with a generaton or two of prosperity without serious world threats directly to our shores and society. The growing socialist influences in higher learning institutions, and advancing media technologies didn’t began to affect Ruth Ann and others of the boomer generation until the late fifties and 60’s with the civil rights movement, and the incursions and deepened involvement in Vietnam. Vietnam was the undeclared war which became a political war and not something the whole country down for the struggle to win. The socialist media played it up for the flaws the war was based upon and enough young people in the higher education institutions were ready to turn on, tune in, and drop out. Television became the medium showing the inconsistancies and falacies of the Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, Father Kows Best sitcoms and the draft lottery, civil rights riots, body bags, and reality horror of the Vietnam War sharing time slots nightly in everyones living room. You didn’t have that before the late fifties and 1960’s. Take all that along with the Vatican II upheaval in the Church during this period and no real moral leadership in this country until President Ronald Regan and friends you’ve got trouble right here in River City with a capital T and the rymes with D and that stands for Denial. And for the low informed voters i am not talking about a river in Egypt. Once you have a disease, know how you contracted it, then the real work comes in finding out how to counteract the devistating effects, stop the spead, and cure it. And for the low informed voters I am not talking about the West Nile Virus. Blaming individuals for having caught is a lesson in futility. I was the sixth child in a family of eight kids with the oldest born in 1941 and the youngest born in 1961. I was born in 1951 and was a senior in highschool in the fall of 1969 right after the summer of Woodstock. I had influences across the gamut of the baby boomer generation and the greatest generation but to suggest that we are possibly seeing the beginnings of a backlsh to my generation I think is premature. The disease is thriving in the highest levels of our executive congressional and judicial braanches and we haven’t even begun to fight it yet. We are at the level of a low moral information generation at best merely rehashing old styles to be different. They did that back in the late 60’s and through the seventies. At worst we are witnessing the rise of an entitlement generation living under a nanny state offering the utopian myths of socialist redistribution of misery. With the mouth piece of a progressive mainstream media who is an accessory to the policies of this government, the Internet, sound bite present generation is sheep for the slaughter in the destruction of a moral society through relativism starting from the Dr. Seuss primary education up as well as the the initial method of from the higher eduction down.

  8. Thank you, Msgr. You often stick up for my generation, and I appreciate it! My Baby Boomer parents tell me they were the last generation to do anything, that my generation is a bunch of complacent whiners. I’d like to think that after being hurt by our parents’ divorces, drug addictions, and calloused hedonism at least some of us are scrounging around for a solution to the societal ills we’ve inherited. Please pray for us.

    1. Yeah we “oldsters” often talk negatively about “these young people today.” But I remind them, we raised them. That said, many of them outshine us, especially when WE were their age.

  9. I wonder if it’s that the young are more conservative than their parents, or that only the more conservative boomers actually had children.

    My parents weren’t hippies…. neither were most of my friends’ parents. They were the ‘silent majority’ who got ignored in the scramble after youth! and a new age.

    Actually, I think the problem, at least in the Church, lies with the ‘silent generation.’ The Boomers had no say about how V2 was implemented at the parish level. They, like Gen X, were mostly innocent victims… young teens at the time. And when you look at the Richard McBrien and Gary Willses of the world, they’re not boomers. The silent generation where the cool young teachers who taught the boomers…. and I think they may actually be the actual source of the craziness in the Church….

    1. This could well be. It is hard to find survey’s that track this sort of theory more specifically but anecdotally I think your point may well be on target.

    2. there is something to your first sentence deirdre…

      being a boomer, I always get angered when I read some media piece that lionizes the ’60’s generation’ . I didnt do any of that junk, neither did a majority of my friends. I ended up having 4 well adjusted kids.

      the whole debacle reminds me of how a small minority in key positions effected a communist revolution in Russia a hundred years ago. the vast majority ended up being herded like cattle toward the ‘revolution’.

  10. I couldn’t agree more with this! I am a baby boomer too, and have many regrets looking back over my life. However, having raised children who are now young adults, I am seeing a groundswell of young Catholics who, as Msgr. Pope wrote, are “reasonable, teachable and even hungry for the truth”. Especially “hungry for the truth”. No more “I’m OK, you’re OK”, let’s bring out the guitars at Mass and all sing Kumbaya! No, they are replacing the Kumbaya fluff with Gregorian Chant and a love for the Latin Mass! They love the church in all it’s beauty and truth. I am seeing youth groups like “Life Teen” with their loud, rock group type music at Mass, and too little emphasis on teaching and equipping them with the faith, to an approach that is more reverent, more catechetical, and frankly, more respectful of our teenagers who are, contrary to the mantra I too often heard that they are “millennial babies” and can’t handle all that stuff.(Which I always felt was insulting to our young people) They do not need to be “entertained” and do not need to have the “world” brought into the practice of their faith. Instead, they deeply desire to be shown how to “live in this world but not be part of it”. They want to bring Christ into the world – not replace Christ with the world. I am so encouraged at what I am witnessing! God is raising up “soldiers for Christ”! It may be a small army, but they are being well equipped to fight the (spiritual) battle of this world! My son is in seminary preparing for a vocation to the priesthood. The order he is in, which is very holy, faithful to Christ and His church and ALL her teachings, is growing every year! While those orders (for both priests and nuns) who are less or not faithful to the church, are dwindling. Thanks be to God!

    1. I too note a decided return to doctrine and tradition among the younger Catholics and a significant number of them with a strong love for the Traditional Latin Mass. That said, I also think there are a lot of young people also in the Steubenville mode who appreciate contemporary Christian music and charismatic gifts too. NB. Contemporary music here is a lot different than the “folk” music of the 70s and 80s. It is more God-centered for one, a a bit more akin to “rock” than folk. Like it or not, many young people I have talked with do relate to it, not always for Mass necessarily but in other settings.

      1. Oh, I do agree with you – my son, who is in the seminary, graduated from Steubenville! Ironically, it was there that he fell in love with Gregorian chant and the Latin Mass (which, while he was a student there, was approved to be offered) and was drawn to a seminary that has both as part of the practices of their order. Additionally, my mother, was a devout Charismatic (convert) Catholic. So I am familiar, and love and appreciate both as holy ways of devotion. Oh yes, you are right that there is a difference in “folk music” and “contemporary” music. Or, as some call it, “praise and worship”. Which is most of what is offered at “Life Teen” Masses. But is not felt to be appropriate for Mass by many – just as you stated. Our parish in fact, just cancelled the “youth Mass” due in part, to poor attendance. Swept out with it – the Life Teen youth program. To the delight of many parishoners. Thank you for your reply! Mrs. S.

  11. Msgr. Pope,

    as a Boomer, I agree wholeheartedly that our generation set course for the darkness and strayed from the light, I and a few others have returned to the light and I am relieved to say in our far Northern Climbs we have many young faithful. I am also amazed and encouraged as our prayer groups have seen the median age fall from 60 to 30 in the past two year’s alone and we see more younger people come from the local University to join in the communion of the Mass, instead of one or two students we now see 20 to 30, especially at Life Teen Mass.

    I like your statement about the immature disrespect of authority and tradition, as it fits so well with some in the Holy Orders, as I was astonished to read in the Minneapolis paper, statements made by a nun, Sister Simone Campbell, the director of the “Network” a Washington based lobbying group. She and her group, nuns on a bus, will be in Minnesota this spring, touting in her words that she is excited about her and her group being censured by the Vatican, the ultimate authority in the Church. She also questions the validity of the Bishops, priests and deacons that tow the line as being out of touch with the gospels.

    Is this being self indulgent on her part? Why censure and nothing more? Does this border on Heresy?

    If secular Catholic organizations give her credibility she will never stop spreading division among the faithful. I pray she awakens to the fact that the secular world holds her on a pedestal for as long as they need her and once they are done they will feed her to the lions. I pray for her and her group, that they will see the light.

    1. It is true enough to say that the Boomer generation is not only resentful of authority but also reluctant to use the authority they have. I have often articulated here that the use of punitive measures in the Church is a matter of prudential judgment and I will not, certainly as a priest but also as a disciple, rebuke individual Bishops on the use/non-use of such measures. But it does seem clear that younger clergy and bishops are more likely to consider punitive measures as we move forward into the future.

  12. While I am not a fan of the baby boomer generation, they are unfairly blamed for many things. It was the so-called ‘greatest generation’ that gave us the excesses of the ‘spirit of Vatican II’, the welfare state, the legalization of abortion, etc.

    1. Fair enough. I have my doubts about the “greatest generation” motif too. Among other flaws they raised, collectively speaking, a bunch of spoiled children.

      1. Yep! There is a connection with how the “greatest generation” raised the “baby boomer generation” tht explains the mess we are in. The problem is that there is a great deal of momentum to complete the destruction and in the fall to grab onto everyone and everything good in the process.

  13. That’s me you’re talking about. I had been involved in Wicca and Objectivism, and after seeing the mess that I and my generation had made of our lives and the world, I realized that all logical moral systems are sabotaged by the selfish subjectivity of their practitioners, and that subjectivity fit the description of “original sin”. And since Christianity was the only religion to pinpoint that problem, I had no choice but to accept Jesus.

  14. I would say that the rebellion reached full flower when abortion was legalized, and legalized by the people of the generation prior to the Boomer Generation.

    1. Fair enough. I have my doubts about the “greatest generation” motif too. Among other flaws they raised, collectively speaking, a bunch of spoiled children.

  15. The only way left to rebel is to be conservative and traditional. Nothing else raises eyebrows like a mantilla or a third baby, as my husband and I have seen! The shock value of “We’re not having sex until we get married” or “We’re using NFP, not contraception” far superseded the shock at any youthful piercing indiscretion or ridiculous fashion choice. Our parents are Boomers, we just hit 30. My husband’s father ends up asking him to explain & defend Church teaching on “conservative” issues, like women’s ordination and why we should have the Tabernacle front and center in church rather than putting it somewhere else to encourage people to hang out and talk before/after Mass. My mom and dad almost had twin heart attacks when I converted, with my mom cornering me in a bathroom right before the Easter Vigil to ask why I was okay with the Church’s position on abortion & contraception. I shudder to think what any of them would think if they knew we actually went and prayed outside abortion clinics. Being a “serious” and tradition-minded Catholic is much more shocking to the world and to our elders than any crazy style/behavior/language/music could be.

  16. That’s really interesting, and I don’t know if I can even properly take a step back and think about whether it’s true or not. I’m certainly more conservative than my parents are, and I’m certainly surrounded by conservative friends of my age (16), but I think that’s more of a living in the Deep South and going to a Christian school thing than a cultural trend.
    One thing I am noticing a bit more in my Protestant friends is a renewal of practices like fasting and penance as well as a more logical approach to theology. And they are nicer to Catholics 🙂

  17. I was thinking about Msgr. Pope’s great blog article above, and I agree with his assessment. I was born in the early 80s, and I can attest to the fact that many Catholics of my generation are gravitating toward more traditional ideals and values. I think it helps that the perceptive ones have witnessed firsthand the ramifications of the moral decay of their parents’ generation, and they yearn for permanence and stability.

    I think there’s also been a ‘trickle-effect’ with Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in recent decades…. many young Catholics have heard/read about it in the colleges (I sure did). Then they get married, and there seems to be a tendency for them to have larger families. In my parish, for example, most couples who are around 65– even the ones who have been practicing Catholics their entire lives– have the ‘comfortable’ number of progeny: two. Many of them admit that their upbringings were saturated with many of the secular notions of the surrounding culture. But most of the Catholic couples I know in their late 20s and early 30s already have 3, 4 or more. It’s interesting.

    I also find it encouraging to see so many babies being born into these stable, devout marriages, the Church blossoming through procreation….

    Those who are deeply entrenched in the more immature and selfish ideologies seem to be dying off precisely for that reason– they aren’t the ones having kids. Just look at what’s happened in Italy.

    In any case, I am sure there are many factors which contribute to the resurgence of conservatism among the young adults, but I believe this is a pretty big one: the Church’s teachings on sexuality are finally REALLY circulating enough to create a better-informed generation who shall, God willing, make wiser choices.

  18. The rebellion was deliberately fomented. Drugs were dumped from limousines in garbage bags onto college campuses. This was all part of a plan which has succeeded: the moral and social degradation of society. So.. I don’t believe we can really blame that generation so much as recognize the manipulation. There IS a hidden agenda, and a few people control it, who have enough money to shape and control culture. Hollywood was CHOSEN as the culture creator = alternative was Britain, of course… look who is in control of it, their personal lives, and their goals for the United States. One creator in Hollywood has stated as follows: ‘It was always my life long intention’ to bring about the destruction of the moral fabric of the US.

    I’d say my stand on this was shaped by many factors, not least listening to Canadian (originally from Scotland) recluse Alan Watt, whose web site is (Note: not the same person as Alan Watts) – he understands, has been approached by, and effectively teaches about the realities of the so-called ‘nwo’. Another person who can offer thoughts, and he’s part of the generation under discussion, is Brother Nathanael. One can watch his videos on youtube. Born Jewish, he converted to Orthodox Christianity. He KNOWS what’s going on from the perspective of motivation.

    I’m not Orthodox, and am not ‘plugging’ either of the men mentioned here; my only purpose in writing is to emphasize: EVERYTHING is deliberate, far more than most people realize. Including, for example, why St. Malachy’s prophecies were added to many years after his death to create the impression that Right About Now, the papacy would come to an end. The people manipulating things (and it’s a spiritual battle more than anything else….) KNEW that their goal was to wind up how things had been for a long time, right about now, or slightly later than now. Theirs is an apocalyptic stance in which 90% or more of the population will be exterminated. This is underway now, deliberately, with destruction of food, water, atmosphere, bodies and intellects. It’s all being financially supported; it is all deliberate and it is all incremental.

  19. Seems the grass is, always was, and always will be greener on the other side.

  20. One result of the “Rebellion of the Boomer generation” is that the state-sponsored pension plans of the First World (Greece, Japan, the U.S. Social Security, etc.) are all facing the need to push the retirement age higher. There are too few babies being born since the late 1960s to support the many people scheduled to pass age 65, or even age 70 in coming years.
    God is not mocked. He simply allows people to carry out their revolt against traditional moral principles – which, btw, have very rational bases – and reap the consequences.
    Not many of the younger Boomers are planning on working past age 70; but they better consider it, to atone for their failure to have enough children to replace themselves.
    Lent is an excellent time to consider repentance for one’s sins.

  21. A minor technical discussion.
    The Baby Boomers were born from 1946 (end of WWII) to 1956 (Last generation liable to be drafted.) The Jones Generation was born from 1957 (max. number of babies born) to 1964 (year after Kennedy assassination.)
    Boomers were the most rebellious and destructive generation, reflecting the strong desire of the “Greatest Generation” to break free from the conformity of WWII. Also, seeing the hypocrisy and lies of the “Greatest Generation,” bred in them the total distrust of authority.
    Jonesers, on the other hand, were always a day late and dollar short when it came to participating in the riots and chaos the Boomers wrought. So, they became the most moral-less, practical, Yuppies there ever were.
    Also note that Vatican II was being implemented right at the break between the Boomers and the Jonesers.
    That’s why the Jones generation is, for all practical purposes, lost to the Catholic Church. Reaching confirmation age right when the Church redid everything completely confused and alienated them.
    See The Fourth Turning for more details.

    1. Fair enough, but your terms are obscure. I suspect 90% of the readers here or anywhere have ever heard the term “Jonesers” That said, I admit a distinction between 50s and 60s kids.

      1. Monsignor,
        Don’t worry, according to Wikipedia:

        “A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[1] ”

        So, according to the U.S. Government, they’re all Baby Boomers 🙂 .

  22. I think there is a growing awareness on the part of the post-Baby-Boomer generations of the damage caused by some of the changes that happened in society, even if its just a small core or group that’s beginning to express this dissatisfaction. It’s not like there wasn’t any good that came out of that time period and you’ll never catch me saying stuff like “d**n hippies” but I think people more people are beginning to believe the baby got thrown out with the bathwater. For some of my generation and younger, dealing with the effects of those changes and the instability in jobs, family and relationships, it’s hard not to look at the world the previous generation was raised in and think “you had it so well”. At least the white, middle-class Boomers did.

    It’s easy to look at that video in the post and think it’s just young people being ironic or it’s just the pendulum swinging the other way. Maybe to some extent that’s true but there’s also a genuine appreciation of some of those “old-fashioned” standards. They were actually useful a lot of the time and they helped foster the style, beauty and civility that lot’s of people crave nowadays. I think the people in that video are, under the guise of having fun and rebelling against the current “status quo” by adopting the previous “status quo”, expressing a genuine human need. It seems shallow but when you dress up you are going a little beyond yourself and that’s attractive because people in general want to grow beyond themselves.

  23. The discussions on the WW2 generation introducing Roe v Wade and raising the narcissists that would provide the opportunity reminds me of the recent news about Maryland’s death penalty. As you’re probably aware, as it may be the only issue many Catholics have been able to agree with the Maryland political class in recent years, Annapolis is considering ending the death penalty. Well, just one problem: A recent Washington Post poll reveals while Maryland residents claim support for the standard arguments against the death penalty, in the end they want vengeance and see no concerns with the state administering it. It would appear, Maryland citizens have become desensitized to unjust state authority and the culture of death.

  24. This does not pertain to your present blog, but, I have not seen this addressed anywhere. The internet has thoughts on everything from the ex-pope’s shoes, to titles. I think it is not possible to obtain an indulgence during sede vacante because one of the conditions is to pray for the Holy Father. We have NO Holy Father to pray for, so, we can not obtain an indulgence. I hope you can answer this. Thanks Msgr.

  25. I cannot begin to convey the sense of dark despondency among my classmates during my high school years (1967-1971) against the backdrop of the never-ending Vietnam War and the involuntary Draft. I apologize for the language, but, sad to say, this song of rebellion is emblematic of my experience of the times: Inner city minority and rural poor, you were going off to war.
    …And Jim, you died when, for all practical purposes, the war was all over and your tour was nearly up.
    Jesus, I trust in You.

    1. Sorry, you don’t get to post the link to that filthy potty mouth video, I distorted the link. It is so typical of an angry and immature generation. By the way my Dad went to Vietnam and served. So my family had skin in the game too. I don’t need to listen to some potty mouth snot-nosed, doped up rock star to speak to my anger. Most gnerations have had to face war, but the boomers are the ones who got high. I am not edified by the garbage you have linked to in the video.

      1. …Eugene McCarthy, one of the voices of peace, had been defeated; and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated. The war had continued on for more than a decade with no foreseeable end or means for victory. It was unclear what was the goal or who was the enemy. The war made no sense.
        …I surely do not condone the immorality of Woodstock or the disrespectful language, but can well understand what led up to this protest. As a teen, I shared this sense of despair. As offensive as it is, the Woodstock song captures the times.
        …To my knowledge, none of my immediate high school classmates were getting high or leading immoral lives. Most kids wanted to settle down, raise a family, or continue their education after graduation. But for the boys without means to go to college, the future was uncertain. They had no vote. By luck of the draw, in the Draft Lottery, they could find themselves in Vietnam.
        …I thank your father for his service, and thank your family for your sacrifice. I mean no disrespect to all the men and women who served so bravely in Vietnam.
        …But you mentioned many factors impacting the baby boomers and rebellion, but left out this major factor: the Vietnam War and the draft. The rebellion was not totally without cause.

  26. I see this often play out in how many of my girlfriends and I are having way more children than our mothers or even our grandmothers had.
    I have a genuine sympathy in my heart for those boomers who find themselves alone or into their second or third marriages as they enter into their 60s or 70s. I know they see the youth proliferating like pious rabbits as their own parents did…it’s so obvious that they rebelled against something beautiful, not oppressive (in this case, traditional Christian sexual morality). What a loneliness and deep regret that must be!
    I also LOVED the video. My husband is now going to suggest “Formal Fridays” to his spiffy start up tech company in SF. GB!

  27. The way I see it, the backlash to the largely self-absorbed baby boomer generation already began with the tail-end of the baby boomer generation itself, those who became of age in the late 70s and early 80s (myself included) not in the 60s. When we grew up much was already changed from the 50s, and not necessarily for the better. We were the first ones to be directly and negatively impacted by the fall-out of the 60s and change in culture. We late baby-boomers were primarily shaped by the economic downturn of the late 70s and the Carter malaise, not the Vietnam War. Flower power, etc., to many of us was rather naive nonsense when our parents struggled to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. So the rejection of the hedonistic culture that the 60s generation ushered in was already being rejected by many in the 70s generation. But growing up in the shadow of such a loud generation, our voices were largely drowned out, not to mention summarily ignored and ridiculed. When you look at families who had kids that straddle both the 60s and 70s generation you often see quite a difference in world view and life style among siblings.
    Trouble is, like with any generation, the 60s generation had their most influence while having leadership positions in society while in their 50s and 60s and they have only recently begun to retire. It is only now that we can begin in earnest to undo the damage.

  28. Monsignor Pope, I’m sorry to say that I was influenced by the Boomer generation for the negative. Specifically, I grew up reading books by authors such as Judy Blume and Norma Klein. I really, really regret having read their books. It caused a loss of innocence and and something else…it was like spiritual liposuction.

    Thank you for your enlightening and truthful blog. 🙂

  29. I am in that baby boomer crowd–and your comments are CORRECT. It was a time of self-centered selfish immaturity seeking godless pleasures. It was in the angry hate filled music, clothes, movies–everything! Unfortunately the push for two children per family was a “hard sell, and if you had more than two–strangers and even relatives would tell you “time to stop having children”!!
    I am sorry to say it even effected the Church. We had to scramble to avoid liberal thinking and find a holy Mass where priests still head confession and were orthodox.
    Today I am glad to see young couples with many children that know what really counts, and have not followed the path of stupidity (which is selfishness).
    Thank you for your USUAL–wise commentary!!

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