A Snapshot of the State of Catechesis
#21
What these two posts from imdb reflect is actually a growing trend captured by all the recent research from Pew, Gallup, etc., namely, that Christians, whether Catholic or not, are leaving the faith principally because of doctrinal disagreements and that these arise from environments where they feel uncomfortable asking questions about their faith and seeking answers for their faith.

The emphasis is slightly different. People are reporting that they felt like they couldn't ask questions, and people who did ask questions and left report experiences of being shot down and embarrassed for asking "stupid" questions. I remember helping teach RCIA, and when the parish deacon was giving a guest presentation on holy orders, he went off on a bit about why soon women will be allowed to become priests, some of the catechumens looked at me very uncomfortably. They wanted to disagree; they wanted to ask. But the deacon had such an A-type personality that everyone felt uncomfortable saying anything. Once he left, the questions came flooding in from these poor people. I've been told similar experiences by my friends who help at the RCIA at the local cathedral...

Since these people don't receive reasonable answers, they then quickly conclude that there is no answer or that the answer is whatever the majority of society reports it to be.

So we should be focusing on catechesis, yes, but more importantly, we should be making sure that we create the environment for others to ask questions and to realize that there are very reasonable, persuasive arguments in favor of the Faith.

We're at a point where mass literacy allows us to have the illusion that we can understand sophisticated arguments when most of us really can't. However, the psychological result is that many are hoping to hear something more sophisticated presented to them (even if we can't understand it per se), and when we hear watered down stuff or are not encouraged to seek answers, we are ready to assume in this age of ultra-rationalism that Faith is a fundamentally irrational thing or at least non-rational (fideism), as some famous atheists like Michio Kaku maintain.
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#22
(05-07-2016, 10:35 PM)richgr Wrote: The emphasis is slightly different. People are reporting that they felt like they couldn't ask questions, and people who did ask questions and left report experiences of being shot down and embarrassed for asking "stupid" questions.

Absolutely! I think that this issue was just one of the many problems with catechesis before Vatican II. Honest questions deserve honest answers, and too often those answers weren't given, with the questioners being made to feel as you described.  The results of that are part of what we're enduring now.

(05-07-2016, 10:35 PM)richgr Wrote: (snip)

We're at a point where mass literacy allows us to have the illusion that we can understand sophisticated arguments when most of us really can't. However, the psychological result is that many are hoping to hear something more sophisticated presented to them (even if we can't understand it per se), and when we hear watered down stuff or are not encouraged to seek answers, we are ready to assume in this age of ultra-rationalism that Faith is a fundamentally irrational thing or at least non-rational (fideism), as some famous atheists like Michio Kaku maintain.

That's one of the great problems with any sort of traditionalism, whether with regard to religion or politics. The liberal views of things can be summed up in pithy sound bytes and sexy bumper stickers; the traditional view of things requires serious thought and longer explanations -- things most people aren't made to deal with. And, so, here we are.

I say give them the long, complicated answers anyway, even if they're likely to not understand or be willing to invest the time to follow along, what with their smart phones bleeping at them incessantly. At least they'll know the answers are out there and that a traditional mindset isn't a matter of being "brainwashed" -- which liberals accused us of being while being themselves, ironically. And, meanwhile, make "the long march through the institutions" to control the channels of culture, reclaim Western civilization, and to make the "common sense" answers that are accepted without thought traditional ones instead of ones born in the Frankfurt School.

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#23
All of these kinds of posts are just ridiculous. People are told complete nonsense and outright lies. They have no clue about theology in any sense. Their knowledge of Catholic/Christian history is completely distorted as they're told complete garbage and believe it without questioning it... because we can question Catholicism, but can't question what mainstream historians and scientists have to say even though they're proven wrong over and over again.  It always grinds my gears when I talk about what the Muslims are doing in Europe and have been doing since the founding of their religion and people try and bring up the Crusades. Or when people talk about the Inquisition. They know nothing about what these two things really were about.

They take small instances from the Bible (typically from Genesis) and try to make it sound ridiculous and use it as their reasoning as to why it's all wrong and made up as if they're the first person to have these kinds of questions in the thousands of years that Sacred Scripture has been around. People in our time think that they're so enlightened and that what they believe is so new and never been thought of or done before.

Then they spread their nonsense in all of these places and people read it and those with weak faith have it shattered.
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