Remember the Fresh Prince of Trastevere, at the recent Catholic Youth Synod in Rome, partying like it’s 1989?
Les surprises du #Synod2018 : quand les prélats de l’Eglise écoutent du hip-hop, au cours de la rencontre du pape avec les jeunes. #Mustwatch #dejaculte
➡️ https://t.co/3tHGVcoVo1 pic.twitter.com/JpXId9ELv2
— KTOTV (@KTOTV) October 6, 2018
The Church’s attempt to connect with the Youth Of Today™ continues to provide reliable moments du cringe. What’s the buzz, tell me what’s happening? Look:
When a legacy brand tries to stay hip and relevant with young people, the result often looks like Steve Buscemi’s “How do you do, fellow kids” meme. But the latest version is more like “How do you do, fellow Catholics?”
Yes, the Vatican is now trying to get in touch with millennials by releasing a game called Follow JC Go. As the name suggests, it’s based on Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game that was all the rage back in 2016 (and is still played by diehard fans).
Rather than chasing after Pikachu and Squirtle, the Vatican version involves collecting saints and other Biblical figures by answering philosophical questions about them. One hypothetical query on the app’s website is “Who said ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'” (Hint: it was Jesus.)
Once players “catch ’em all” using geolocation, their spiritual squad becomes an “evangelization team” that follows Jesus together. Players have to keep track of their avatars’ nutrition, hydration and “prayer count” by collecting special objects, saying prayers for the sick in hospitals and going into a church whenever they pass one.
Read more, if you can handle it.
To paraphrase the great Hank Hill, “Can’t you see you’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making the Church worse?”
Seriously, I don’t understand why churchmen who want to reach out to young people don’t try things like this performance of Psalm 53 below, which was presented to Pope Francis in Tbilisi. It is otherworldly. It presents the eternal. It is the polar opposite of breakdancing for Jesus and Follow JC Go. It stops you in your tracks.