One of the recurring words of modern times is the word “relevance” and it’s related form “relevant.” There is great insistence today that whatever is said, taught, or presented should be relevant. Often what this means is that it should be applicable, reasonable, understandable, easily grasped, and, above all, modern.

And this is the most problematic aspect of the modern meaning of the word. Thus, relevance has to do with being in agreement with, or in step with modern times, with the thinking, leanings, customs and mores of people today, here and now.

And not only are our ideas, teachings, and views expected to be relevant, so are our institutions, such as the Church. Widespread and often are the demands that the Church should be relevant; that her teachings, structure, methods and views should be up-to-date, and also speak more to the issues modern people see as most important.

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