Via Media

A report:

One can see this in all sorts of small ways, even in a city like Paris—the ville natale of secular Enlightenment and a cultural epicenter for so many of its progeny. Last fall, I lived in Paris after some eight years away, and I was surprised and heartened by what I saw.

The homilies in various Catholic churches I attended were rigorous and unabashedly theological (here, if not always in politics, the longstanding French taste for speculative thinking is a blessing). Several Catholic parishes in the center of Paris are able to attract about 25 to 30 people for each of their respective lunchtime and evening Masses, and hundreds of people for Sunday Mass. Religious instruction is much better publicized and offered more widely to diverse ages and educational levels than it was when I last lived in the city in the mid to late 1990s.

The Catholic radio station, Radio Notre Dame ( broadcasts music, religious conversation, and theological debate from the center of Paris 24 hours a day, now mixing its format more broadly to appeal to different age groups and aesthetic sensibilities. It has created a broader network that offers Christian content for religious radio stations throughout France and the francophone world.

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