Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Catholic education’ Category

Much has been written about the Pew Survey and the loss of the number of Catholics in the USA. If they qualified as a separate denomination, the Americans who have deserted the Catholic Church of their childhood would constitute the third-largest religious group in the country, with 10.1% of the population.  For every convert to the Catholic church, it losses 4. However, there are some positive numbers as well which bode well for the church.

CARA Reflections on Pew’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey 

None of these other Christian churches has had as much success as the Catholic Church in keeping those raised in the faith in the pews as adults. The Pew study indicates that the Catholic Church has retained 68 percent of those who grew up Catholic. If one accepts the notion that changing from one Protestant denomination to another is not a real change, the Pew report still indicates that 11 out of 100 adults in the United States were raised in any Protestant denomination and no longer identifies with any Protestant denomination today. If one includes changes between Protestant denominations as real changes, one in four U.S. adults no longer selfidentifies with the Protestant denomination in which they were raised.

The Latino population was underestimated in the survey. The number of Latinos in the Landscape Survey who identify themselves as Catholic (58%) is considerably lower than in a major survey of Latinos the Forum conducted in 2006 with the Pew Hispanic Research Center, where more than two-thirds (68%) identified as Catholic” (p. 41)

This would increase the Catholic numbers by 5% overall. CARA’s survey holds that 2% of adults convert to Catholicism whereas Pew says 2.6%. I’d tend to go with the lower figure.Thirty-eight percent of those who said they were raised Catholic and later left the faith said they stopped considering themselves to be Catholic before reaching the age of 18 and 6.6 percent said they did so before even reaching the age of 7, which is often used as the standard within the Catholic Church for the age of reason/discretion. Only 13.6 percent of former Catholics say they stopped considering themselves to be Catholic after the age of 35.

The point in a childs life where they become independant and determine to get married is when people make the choice to stay or leave the church. The teen years is when we have to get them more involved and better religious education. The latter point IMO mean to teach teens how to apply how to incorporate Christian principles to everyday life. I think secular society is a major factor in the losses. The lure of the material world requires sacrifices for the young and instead of calling our kids to a high standard, we lower expectations and in fact lose more folks.

The most interesting was the fact that protestant members changing to other protestant churches was 44%. That is unreal. People are either looking for the “True Church” or they are looking for a church which fits their values which naturally is what the true church would hold if it existed.

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The center of the child abuse cases in the US was the Boston archdiocese. There are too many links to even attempt to select a few that carry what those Catholics have gone through in that area of the country.

The Boston globe however has an encouraging article on the new generation of Altar boys learning the Latin mass. This is not an easy thing to do, especially in this day an age. The priest in the article however drove home a point I’ve always suspected is true, which is raise the bar and boys will strive to achieve it. I use to be against girl altar servers from a traditionalist view, but now I’m more against them because boys of that age simply don’t want to do things that are perceived as “girl” tasks. Allow girls to serve the N.O. mass and allow the boys to learning Latin and bar the girls from serving will encourage boys to take up the challenge.

Full story  here.

Read Full Post »

I expect that there will be much written about the Pope’s coming visit to the US. I think perhaps the media will focus on social issues or comments the pope may make and how such statements might effect Catholic voters in the coming elections. But for Catholics I think perhaps there will be no greater issue then on APril 17, when the Pope will engage the 200 top Catholic school officials from across the country. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pope received the same type of reception as he did at the former Catholic university in Rome la-sapienza university 2 months ago.

In First Things Fr. Richard John Neuhaus wrote an article entitled “A University of a Particular Kind”. There is in this country two kinds of universities – Secular and Christian. Neither are neutral in their worldview, but since there are so many more secular universities most people receiving that type of education would consider secular to be neutral. It’s not, its existance is hostile to the Christian theos. This does not mean it shouldn’t exist, however the inroads of secular thought into Catholic universities has been significant and clearly harmful to the church. If one believes the Cardinal Newman Society it has recommended 20 of the 235 U.S. Catholic colleges “which most faithfully live their Catholic identity and provide a quality undergraduate education”. In this day and age I amazed its that high.

Catholic universities have been able to give lip service to Catholic parents who believe that their child will receive a “Catholic” higher education. However, whenever the rare bishop is willing to hold the university accountable to that standard, the normal spin or party line if you will goes like this: in seeking truth & academic excellence, placing Catholic teaching or a Catholic environment in higher education would inhibit academic freedom.

If any one would doubt this position, I draw this conclusion from none other then the famous Land O’ Lakes Statement crafted by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh President of Notre Dame University back in 1967. One either hailed this position as a stand for academic freedom or viewed it as a divorce between Catholic education in this country and the Catholic church. IMO the latter is clearly demonstrated.

My biggest issue with Rev. Hesburg and those who support his position is that they disagree with the Catholic church on positions already settle and therefore not open to debate, yet they run their universities directly against those ideals, and they are unwilling to advise the Catholic parents who expect that their young Johnny’s faith will not be undermined, but actually reinforced what was taught in their home.

The Washington Post may prove me wrong about the media not picking up on this one Catholic College Leaders Expect Pope to Deliver Stern Message

Ex-corde-ecclesia written by Pope John Paul II in 1989 will finally be implemented into Catholic universities. Or at least I hope it will.

With every other University it shares that gaudium de veritate, so precious to Saint Augustine, which is that joy of searching for, discovering and communicating truth(2) in every field of knowledge. A Catholic University’s privileged task is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth”(3).

I don’t expect that the Pope will get anything but lip service. My only hope is that the Pope will place them on notice and advise the general Catholic population that these institutions will be striped of any formal association, and prohibited from claiming any Catholic identity.

As the washington post article stated David Gibson, the author of a Benedict biography, said the pope will ask, “If you’re not going to be an authentically Catholic, orthodox institution, why should you exist?”

Amen.

Read Full Post »