Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 23 November 2009

Standing in the Need o' Catechetics

A writer on a food and nutrition "news" site, of all things, weighs in on the public confrontation between a bishop and a sinning member of his flock, (publicly sinning, I should say, we are all sinners, but most of us don't call news conferences or give interviews to trumpet it, and hence save ourselves widespread discussion of our moral failures.)

Putting aside the question of, why? (and it's a pretty big one,) she thinks that is the correct forum for the topic, she gets one thing remarkably right.

From her complete ignorance of some pretty basic tenets of the Faith I have to assume she is not a believer, and yet -- she knows that ultimately the Blessed Sacrament of Our Lord's Most Precious Body and Blood belongs in the category of "nourishment."
So, right for the wrong reasons.

Here's the howler:
Holy Communion in the Catholic Church is one of the holy sacraments. Practicing Roman Catholics believe in extreme unction; in other words, that the wine and unleavened bread are transformed into the actual body and blood of Christ - a belief that in itself, is somewhat controversial.
Commentators on the site spew the to-be-expected anti-Catholic venom, but even worse is the scandalous level of ignorance displayed by supposed Catholics in her combox.
It looks like everyone noted the mistake regarding Unction, but I think most Catholics also understand that the Holy Sacrament is SYMBOLIC and that we understand that Jesus also meant for the act to be symboic. Not that we actually think it turns into the body/blood of Christ....literally. C'mon, get your act together or don't write articles in the future. GEEZ!
So much work to be done.
The families who grace our sanctuary during our baptismal marathons are, in many cases, patently "unchurched."
Someone got the idea that the way to make them better informed was to increase the requirements on them, of attendance at classes "taught" by a Church Lady, (note that the term does not indicate the sex of the person to whom it is applied,) of attendance at specific liturgies over a several week period, etc.

This does not seem to breed attachment to the Church and her Rites, or to the parish -- it breeds resentment. (The resentment is, not unnaturally, highest among those who are already faithfully practicing Catholics involved in parish life.)

I gather from recent reading that Mormonism has the highest "retention" rate of any denom in the US.
There is something to be said for compulsary education and mandated service.

I'm just not sure what it is.....

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