Sunday, May 13, 2012
PART II: IT'S MORE THAN A SLAP IN THE FACE THAT NEEDS TO BE RECOVERED!
MY COMMENTS FIRST: Below is a survey that the Camden Diocese recently undertook which confirms the anecdotal evidence I and many others have about the state of catechesis in our Church today. It is abysmal. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, The Baltimore Catechism gives the bare bones fundamentals of the Church in a very clear and concise way. Most Catholics don't do much more "doctrinal development" after the 8th grade. If we don't give them the fundamentals prior to the 8th grade as well as the Baltimore Catechism did, then we end up with the results of the survey below.
For the first time in my priesthood, I used Baltimore Catechism #1 with our 1st through 6th graders this academic year. I visit the school on Thursday and visit the 1st through 3rd grades one week and the 4th through 6th the next. I spend about 15 minutes with each grade. I am amazed at how good and easy it is to teach the Baltimore Catechism. I give the test that is at the end of each chapter to them orally and they really enjoy that part and are learning the fundamentals of our Catholic Faith. The Baltimore Catechism is an easy book for parents to use in the home with their children and keeps the parents informed about the basic fundamentals of our faith which have not changed since Vatican II despite rumors to the contrary!
The survey discovered the following shocking news: "Nearly 60% of practicing Catholics in South Jersey believe that Jesus sinned while he was on Earth, according to a study released by the Diocese of Camden." And one religious educator surmised this was a result of the fact that, "We teach our children that Jesus was human, that he was normal," she said. "We tell our kids that Jesus had a childhood just like them. So they think that includes sin."
My observation: The most disastrous thing we've done with catechesis and devotion in the past 45 years is to emphasized the humanity of Jesus to the detriment of His Divinity. It is clear though from dogmatic teaching, that Jesus is One Divine Being (not a Human Being) with two natures, divine and human. But He is first and foremost the Divine Being, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. That has to be emphasized in both religious formation and liturgy, especially liturgy!!! Hasn't our post-Vatican II experience of liturgy in the typical Catholic parish in this country failed miserably with emphasizing the awesome Divine nature of the Most Holy Trinity in whose presence there should be fear (fear of the Lord) and trembling (piety)?
Below the survey is another "Catholic" view on her faith. I presume she was taught the Baltimore Cathechism, but has become such a "spirit" of Vatican II Catholic that she says fantastic things about how her Catholic faith motivates her in her politics. Her view of Catholicism very much fits in with the results of this survey and shows once again the dismal state of affairs in the Post Vatican II Catholic Church. It is a fallacy and myth that Ostriches bury their heads in the sand. Catholics should stop burying their heads in the sand when it comes to praising the so-called "renewal" that has happened in our Church as a result of the Second Vatican Council that began 50 years ago this October!
From USA, TODAY:
CAMDEN, N.J. – Nearly 60% of practicing Catholics in South Jersey believe that Jesus sinned while he was on Earth, according to a study released by the Diocese of Camden.
By John Ziomek, Courier-Post
New Jersey Bishop Joseph Galante says he found survey results both 'disturbing' and 'intriguing.'
That finding, contrary to the church's fundamental doctrine, is both disturbing and intriguing to Bishop Joseph Galante, who spoke about the study Thursday.
"The number of Catholics who have a very flawed, a seriously flawed, understanding of who Jesus is, that's troublesome," Galante said. "Jesus is the foundation of who we are as Catholics."
He considers it part of the reason the Roman Catholic church is having problems, including low attendance at weekend Mass and lack of an inviting and welcoming atmosphere in parishes.
The study, done for the diocese by the Barna Group, a California-based firm known for its work on U.S. religious attitudes, took an extensive look at the beliefs and practices of residents in the six South Jersey counties that form the diocese.
Barna conducted telephone interviews with 621 people 18 and older in February. The study cost the diocese $25,000.
"Too often we work on anecdotal information from within the church," said Galante, who called the investment worthwhile. "We wanted something more solid than that."
Results of the study indicated that 4 of 5 South Jerseyans identify themselves as Christian with a third identifying themselves as Catholic. Another third are Protestant, and the rest are not identified with a specific faith tradition.
"What intrigued me in particular was the high number of people who don't attend Mass simply because they have other priorities," said Galante, including spending more time with family.
"One of the things we need to do is emphasize that worship time can also be part of family time as well. These findings are both troubling and a challenge as we begin to deepen our evangelization efforts."
He said he would ask businesses to allow their employees time off for Saturday or Sunday worship.
"I would like to make observing the Lord's day a priority throughout the diocese," Galante said.
Catholics seem to have a disconnect in learning about the humanity of Jesus and his lack of sin, said Kathy Isherwood, director of religious education at Christ the King Parish in Haddonfield, N.J.
"We teach our children that Jesus was human, that he was normal," she said. "We tell our kids that Jesus had a childhood just like them. So they think that includes sin."
"In effect, we focused more on (his) moral teachings and bypassed the fundamentals," Galante said in regard to the Jesus-as-sinner issue. "Or we presumed that people knew the fundamentals, which was a bad presumption. We have to refocus and reteach."
The old fear factor approach — come to church or go to hell — will not work in today's world, Galante said.
Sister Roseann Quinn, the bishop's delegate for lifelong faith formation, said Thursday it will be a gradual process to turn people's beliefs around.
"We have to figure out ways to gather people and present the faith to them in ways that are meaningful," Quinn said. "We have a lot of work cut out for us."
Other highlights from the faith study conducted for the Camden (N.J.) Diocese:
— Nine in 10 residents within the diocese say they have heard of the Catholic church priest abuse scandals and nearly all consider it a "major issue."
— 56% of adults still hold the Catholic church in high regard; 1 of 3 residents have an unfavorable opinion.
— 2 of 3 residents strongly agree that their religious faith is very important in their lives.
— 58% agree that the sexual expression of love should be reserved exclusively for a man and woman married to each other; 39% disagree.
— More than 4 in 10 Catholics disagree that sex should be reserved for marriage.
And this is what a "spirit" of Vatican II Catholic had to say in praise of her Catholic faith:
CWN - May 11, 2012
US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that her Catholic faith “compels me” to favor same-sex marriage.
"My religion has, compels me--and I love it for it--to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination,” Pelosi told reporters on May 10.
The former Speaker of the House welcomed the announcement by President Barack Obama that he would support legal recognition of same-sex marriages. She said that the presidential announcement showed a recognition that the time is right for the move, adding, “what is inevitable to some of us is inconceivable to others.”
Last year Pelosi identified herself as a “devout Catholic” in a speech in which she opposed “conscience clause” protection for health-care workers who are morally opposed to participation in abortion procedures.
BISHOPS OF AMERICA, WAKE UP!