The motives

The motives

So the US bishops are set to approve a new Catechism for adults, an effort to help educate about what the Church teaches, i.e. what God wills. So how does the media spin it?

The nation’s Catholic bishops opened their annual meeting Monday with plans to take their pleas for loyalty to traditional church teachings directly to the 67 million Catholics across the United States. Facing deep divisions in their church over issues ranging from abortion to gay rights, the bishops talked about issuing three major pastoral messages.

Right. This about loyalty, about shoring up support. In others, as usual, the media template for the Church is politics, factionalism, and relativism. It couldn’t possibly be that the Church actually believes all of these things to be infallible truths. It’s that it wants to control people by getting them to believe “traditional” teachings.

I guess when you don’t believe anything yourself, it’s hard to attribute faith and sincerity to someone else.

  • ‘Erin Adriel, a sign-language interpreter from Ferndale who joined in a peaceful gay-rights protest outside the bishops conference, said, “The book may look like a new package, but what’s inside is the same old thing.”’

    Uh, we’re Catholic, not a Protestant church where we get to change with changing popular opinion. Why would anybody expect ancient teachings to be changed? It’s like complaining that the Orthodox rabbis haven’t changed the kosher laws.

    I didn’t know they were coming out with a new catechism. Is this going to be a condensed version of the official catechism? Heck, just taking out the footnotes in the CCC would halve the volume. How is this one going to be different from the CCC?

  • I know this blog article is about the media spin on a new Catechism for adults, but I have to say that I’m pleased that the bishops are possibly looking into teaching the Faith.

    This week my ten year old’s parochial school teacher told the class she didn’t believe in purgatory and had read on the internet that it was made up by the Apostles to scare people and there is no Biblical proof for its existence.  My son told us after school and announced that she was completely wrong (pray the Rosary with your children. It protects them from heresies).

    I spoke to the pastor. He said it was grounds for instant dismissal (Oh, no charity? wink) but I asked him and the principal to correct the teacher and keep a close eye on her work. (However if there is another incident I will lobby for her firing for I will not be a “partaker” in her work, as I would be if I took a stance of staying quiet when the Truth is not taught. I know, people will now say I have no charity wink ).

    But here’s the bigger problem: a room full of ten year olds went home that day thinking, “I can believe whatever I want” and I have to wonder, how often is this happening across the country for a SECOND GENERATION?

    We desperately need teaching. Now. Souls are at stake. This is life or death.
    Please bishops, act now. And don’t weaken or draw back when the protests start, especially at the major, big name Catholic universities.
    Mary, pray for us.

  • Meep,

    The new catechism isn’t just a condensation of the CCC, but a re-formulation for use as a text for teaching. The CCC is great, but it’s more of a reference book than a textbook. It’s likethe relationship of the Baltimore Catechism to the official Vatican catechisms of its day.

    For an example of how this is done, you should see Fr. John Hardon’s several catechisms that take the information of the CCC and put it in the question-and-answer form of the Baltimore Catechism. (Sorry, I’m not at home and don’t have the books at hand to give you the titles.)

  • Oh no, not more of the same!!!  (kidding)  I agree with you, Lili.  What are they teaching the kids in school?  Whatever it is, I’m afraid that most parents don’t have the amunition to refute it. 

    Nowadays, any Bozo with PC and a dial-up connection can post something on the Internet and it immediately has more creditibility with some folks than the inspired Word of God.

    By the way, did you know that studies have shown that middle aged, overweight, bald men are 8.6 times more attractive than 25 year-old body builders?  It’s true. 

  • Why the ‘american’ adult catechism when cardinal schoenborn is releasing one based on the large universal catechism next month? Isn’t that a duplication of effort?

    I wish (lily) that there were only a couple of ccd texts for kids… most of them out there (even with the bishops fine tooth combing of texts last year) are abysmal… the third grade text we use at our local parish actually has a whole chapter on recycling. Most are so watered down and consist of wordy and boring accounts of Jose and Amelia experiencing Jesus by being nice to their less fortunate neighbors that the kids’ eyes glaze over and stay that way all their ccd years. I’d like to see a basic ccd ‘test’ administered each year… stuff like the commandments, sacraments, holy days, corp works of mercy, deadly sins, short explanation of the Mass and so forth and so on. No touchy feely stuff. Also some kind of criteria for ccd teachers and DREs… there isn’t anything right now and in fact, I know teachers who hardly attend Mass, are divorced and living with a guy and who probably have doubts about the Eucharist and even the Trinity—or Purgatory as you mention. Which springs from the bad catechisis they had and are carrying on to this generation with the help of Houghton Mifflin, Silver Burdett and Ginn and other approved ccd texts.

    Anyhow, with the overwhelming election of Bishop Trautperson AGAIN (over Rigali and Vigneron) to head up the liturgical commission, it is up to us to recognize deficiencies and do what we can as faithful Catholics, to teach the Truth in our own corner of the world.

    PS. My 16 yr old daughter teaches ccd and uses the Baltimore catechism which she has to hide in the lousy “blessed are we” textbook used in our parish. So I know at least 13 8 and 9 year olds who would be able to pass my hypothetical test, praise God.

    I really get worked up about CCD for especially the kids but also the adults because it is so easy to fix.

  • “Why the ten years, younger kids, teens, etc.

    I have seen this attitude of contempt for the faith in kids as well.  It comes from teaching it without the parents living it and the parents giving good example to the children.  It’s like an infected wound.

    The most respectful kids 10-14 years old are in my special class where the kids have had no prior religious instruction and are preparing for FP and FC and are hearing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ for the first time from someone who believes and lives the faith.

  • This story reminds me of that moment in Vietnam when a Vietnamese Army officer shot a prisoner, at point blank range, in the head. The infamous photo can be seen here , at the bottom of the page. Everyone points to this as typical of the atrocities that happened in Vietnam, and it works well for such purposes until one learns the backstory.

    The history of the photo can be seen here and here . The photographer describes the photo in this WaPo artircle here: : “Take Eddie Adams’s 1968 picture of South Vietnam’s national police chief summarily executing a Viet Cong officer on the streets of Saigon. The image became a talisman of the antiwar movement as an example of the war’s excesses. But Adams, then with the AP, recalls … that the South Vietnamese general, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, viewed the killing as an act of justice: the Viet Cong prisoner had just murdered a South Vietnamese colonel, his wife and their six children.”

    “How do you know you wouldn’t have pulled the trigger yourself?”, the photographer asks.

    You have been shot in the face, your best friend has been killed by the Islamic terrorists in Iraq, and bodies are being booby trapped. How do you know you wouldn’t do exactly what that Marine did?

    Read the history of that infamous photo and then think about what has happened in Iraq. Your eyes may be opened. You may not like what you see and you had better reserve judgement for behavior in a war zone until you have all the facts.

  • It seems that Eddie Adams died recently. He was so haunted by the photograph that made him famous that he wouldn’t show it in his gallery for several years. In this obituary Mr. Adams was quoted, “Sometimes a picture can be misleading because it does not tell the whole story,” Adams said in an interview for a 1972 AP photo book. “I don’t say what he did was right, but he was fighting a war and he was up against some pretty bad people.”

    The author of the obit reports that Adams felt the photo unfairly maligned South Vietnam’s police chief, Lt. Col. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, who escaped Communist Vietnam and settled in Virginia, where he passed away 1998.

  • “was their utter lack of respect for any of it…”

    It comes down to us adults (parents and neighbors).  I’ve caught myself reading the bulletin before mass and during the homily, which I saw our 9 year old pick up as a habit too.

    Us adults need to display the respect that our faith deserves and our children will follow.

  • Cathleen, You said: “I just finished teaching 16 hours of Confirmation preparation to about 20 ninth graders.”  I believe that it is almost impossible to teach youth religious matters in such large groups.  For me, it is a question of giving such instruction in small groups of 4 or 5 where there is more personal intimacy of witness to the faith and at the same time a loss of the anonimity that a child enjoys in such a large group.  my 2/wp:comment_id>
    2004-11-16 14:18:04
    2004-11-16 18:18:04
    I have taught sixth grade religious education for about ten years, younger kids, teens, etc.

    I have seen this attitude of contempt for the faith in kids as well.  It comes from teaching it without the parents living it and the parents giving good example to the children.  It’s like an infected wound.

    The most respectful kids 10-14 years old are in my special class where the kids have had no prior religious instruction and are preparing for FP and FC and are hearing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ for the first time from someone who believes and lives the faith.

  • “U.S. to Probe Shooting of Wounded Iraqi” AP Video
    “U.S. Marine Kills Wounded Iraqi” AP Video
    For one, they don’t know if he was alive or not and will find out in the investigation hopefully (has everything to do with everything) and I would say that chances are it was NOT an Iraqi given the large number of foreign fighters that have flocked to Iraq. 

  • Dom,

    Capt. Sims was a Catholic.  His mother Laurie is a good friend of mine, and his uncle is Fr. David Ivey, my pastor.  They are a large and beautiful family who could use prayers right now.  Thanks for posting this article.

  • Fox News had a very “fair and balanced” report on it this morning, I think on the Fox and Friends show.  They basically accused MSNBC and others of hasty assumptions in their reporting and they had Oliver North and someone else on to explain what probably happened.  It’s so easy for the newsmedia to get a video clip and pontificate on it; it’s a totally different story to actually consider all the events that may have led up to that moment and the difficult decisions that the troops find themselves having to make.  It was refreshing, at any rate, to hear such a good discussion of it on Fox.  If I could find a video clip online, I’d link to it, but their web site is difficult to navigate.

  • ” INAB, the CCC, and the Manual of Prayers from the NAC.  Other than that, I don’t really use any kind of texts.  My catehcumens are expected to bring their bibles, but as far as the CCC and the Manual are concerned, they are optional.

    As far as apathy goes in the kids….I think that it should start with them.  Don’t focus on making it work at home…kid’s minds are much more open than adults.  And kids can be a HUGE witness to parents.

    Case-in-point.  At my parents parish in Iowa, Mother sits on the parish tribunal (trustees).  They were discussing how to combat the apathy that has invaded the parish, due to the “scandals” that have pervaded the parish over the last 10 years.  (Oh yeah, there have been major problems with the parish I grew up in, but have you heard me belly-aching about them?  Nope.)  They were discussing the idea of cutting a Mass on the weekend.

    I approached Mother and said, why be reactive, why not be proactive?  Instead of cutting a Mass, why not start something?  I suggested Eucharisitic Adoration.  Needless to say, the parish now has Eucharistic Adoration every Tuesday from the end of 8am Mass to 5pm.

    The point?  Father Schriber went to each class of the grade school (St. Mary’s) and explained the concept of Adoration to them and has made it a requirement to go to Adoration.  He is the superintendent.  Each class goes to Church for 1/2 hour during the day….think this will have an impact?  It already has….in the last month since this started (only a month), attendance at all 3 Masses has started to increase and I contribute it to two things….1. Eucharistic Adoration and 2. The kids going home and talking to their parents about it.

    If you think that teaching the kids regardless of what the parents think is fruitless, I disagree.  If the diocese of Sioux City, Iowa had a bishop, I’d be supporting him and I know he’d support what was going on in my parents parish.


  • Ah.  It’s true I use the CCC as a reference book, though I did read carefully through the part on the creed during RCIA. I’ve got other catechical (sp) materials at home for adults, but I like having something that’s complete.

    Anyway, I look forward to this new one, and will probably buy it to have for my family.

    By the way, the reason this cradle Catholic didn’t get confirmed with the other 10th graders was partially spiritual snobbery…no one in my CCD class was serious, and I knew they were going to go to confirmation class to make their parents happy (and they knew that their parents wouldn’t make them go to CCD any more… or church…) I’d rather not talk about CCD. It was rather useless. In any case, RCIA was a much more pleasant experience, and due to my experience, my husband (then fiance) converted.

  • “I read an admittedly somewhat profane book when I was a kid called Nov 2004 06:52:50 -0600

    The media have jumped all over a story about a Marine supposedly caught on tape shooting a supposedly injured man., what we don’t know is whether the man was alive or not to begin with (the Marines were arguing over it) and whether he was armed. What we do know is that the Marine who did the shooting was shot in the face the day before and returned to duty, that one of his buddies had just been killed, and that the terrorists had been booby-trapping bodies. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be an investigation, but the way this has been handled by the most of the media has prejudiced the case, and world opinion, against the Marine involved and the US effort in general.

    Now for another perspective of what’s going on in Fallujah for our men in uniform. The San Diego Union-Tribune has a story of Army Capt. Sean Sims, leading his troops into battle. It’s a personal story of sacrifice and loss that reminds of this war’s cost to us. It’s easy to forget that the war is not just body counts and pictures on the tube, but it’s real blood shed by Americans and Iraqis in a fight against an evil ideology. Capt. Sims is an American hero lost too soon.


    2004-11-16 06:52:50
    2004-11-16 10:52:50

    2004-11-16 08:17:35
    2004-11-16 12:17:35
    As your Boston Boy Jay Severin said on Imus this AM, “If we had imbeds in WWII, we would all be eating lousy spaetzle and singing Deutschland Uber Alles”.

    And he is right.

  • tkozal listened to Jay Severin this morning, and I listened this afternoon.  In addition to pointing out what he believes was the manifest rightness of this marine’s actions (based on what I’ve heard – and only on what I’ve heard – I tend to agree), Mr. Severin reminded the audience that one certain JFK (the non-president, not the actual one) did something roughly analogous during his Vietnam stint and was a decorated war hero afterward.  Just one thing (among many) to keep in mind when one hears the leftist kvetching and armchair wargaming going on.

    The far larger concern, in my mind, is how this will play among the Iraqi people.  The last thing our beloved military heroes in Iraq need is ideological fuel provided to Iraqi terrorists by a leftist U.S. media cadre.  Indeed, could the media’s spin on this perhaps be another analogue to how the anti-war words of JFK (the non-president) demoralized our troops in Vietnam and, in effect, gave support to the ideological goals of the North Vietnamese?

  • Good for you, Cam.  Rich it up—that’s the way to get people into the Churches.  Giving up or trying to browbeat people into mass doesn’t work.

    I won’t use a new local catechism written by a committee of bishops, sad to say.  I would not be able to count on it, I would bet.  Rather have one of Fr. Hardon’s or one of Peter Kreeft’s books.