Michael J. Matt
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born in Freehold, New Jersey, September 23, 1949, the firstborn of Douglas and Adele Springsteen. Although the family name is Dutch, his father is Irish and his mother, Italian. He was baptized Catholic and both of his parents were devout Catholics; he went to Catholic school (St. Rose of Lima in Freehold), was an altar boy and, with his first band, The Castiles, performed not infrequently for Church Youth Organizations and other Catholic events before his meteoric rise to rock ‘n’ roll fame.
Springsteen had it all–a good Catholic family, Catholic schools, devout Catholic parents. So what happened? We would argue that Springtime smacked Springsteen right in the mouth. He came of age just after Vatican II had closed and the Church was in the throes of universal revolution.
Before it was over, the mighty Catholic Church would abandon Latin, throw out the old Mass, minimize most of her moral teachings, abandon her traditional identity, and attempt to reinvent herself as first and foremost a champion of the world’s poor and underprivileged–a noble aspiration indeed, unless it is done at the expense of the mission Christ Himself gave to His Church: to teach, govern and sanctify souls. The concerns of the body and the human condition gradually eclipsed those of the soul and the life of the spirit, and very soon thereafter the beacon in the Catholic lighthouse grew dim as the intensity of the storm increased and the world became lost at sea.
Springsteen, now a rabid liberal, likes to cast everyone as a victim in need of a massive nanny state to make things right. The irony here, of course, is that he himself is a victim– a victim of the new orientation of the human element of his Catholic Church. Stripped almost entirely of his identity as a Catholic, his is just another little ship among millions that lost their way in the night and crashed into the rock.
Pray for him. Pray for your children. Pray for the Church.