One of the great struggles in the Church today is effectively catechizing God’s people. In a world so full of error, distortion, and half-truths, this has never been more necessary. I was asked recently to present my thoughts on this topic at a conference. I did so from the perspective not only of a pastor but also of one who grew up at the end of the era of the “old Church” and through the cultural revolution of late 1960s. Today’s post is the first part of my presentation at the conference; I’ll be posting the remainder over the next several days.I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
The four "failed models" he presents are use of a "professional [ha!] class" of catechist, the priority on teaching children, the "perfunctory" nature of much of the catechesis, ("rote" learning comes in for it,) and that "the premise was authority, not truth itself."
As I said, really looking forward to the rest, but I take issue with a bit of it.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I feel we can get nowhere unless we take a "Both/And" approach to virtually every question facing the Church.
Yes, learning should be a lifelong progress, but children must be the priority.
Look at secular life - it is more important to teach a 6 year old to read than to insure that voters keep abreast of current affairs, if for no other reason than that the second is impossible if the first is not accomplished.
No great building occurs without a foundation.
And is the emphasis on a "professional class" of catechist something of recent development? From households in 1st c. Jerusalem to villages cropping up in the environs of a medieval monastery to Don Bosco instructing street children, was the actual instruction ever thought of as the task of the Domestic Church, (admittedly, Bosco may not have been the best example, his charges had no families.)
And, just my opinion, the greatest tragedy of religious education, no -- make that simply education, period, in my lifetime, is the neglect of the magnificent tool that is the child's memory. (Not going to whine again, and bore you with the story of why I don't know my times tables.)
And Truth, yes, but Arguments from Authority are not worthless - the problem is a failure to establish that anyone or anything has any authority, apart from Our Fearless Leader, Lord Relativism. (Not a benevolent dictator.)
But very much looking forward to new instalments.
You Go, Monsignor Pope!!!!!