Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Threat From Within?

A few years ago I told my wife that when the kids were old enough to attend CCD classes, that I would teach them myself at home. Being a product of some less-than stellar catechesis myself, I decided to take the Church’s teaching to heart to be the primary educator of my children in this area.

I dread the yearly Sunday Mass when the DRE must announce that they are in desperate need of CCD instructors, and deliver an emphatic plea for help. It seems the plea always includes some comment to the effect, “Don't worry, you know more than you think”, or worse, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to really know anything to be a teacher.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but sympathy for the people in charge of these programs. They are in no position to be choosy; after all it’s a major feat just to fill out the positions.

I found the following disturbing statistics posted over at Simon-Peter Says :

Beliefs of Catholic Elementary School Religion Teachers.
Percentage of lay religion teachers in Catholic elementary schools who identify the Church's position on the following issues with their own.

God's existence..............................................98%
Divinity of Jesus..............................................91%
Resurrection...................................................87%
Afterlife..........................................................74%
Existence of Devil...........................................74%
Real Presence.................................................63%
Indissolubility of marriage................................54%
Establishment of Church hierarchy...................41%
Male Priesthood.............................................33%
Euthanasia......................................................31%
Church moral teaching....................................28%
Infallibility of the Pope....................................27%
Elective Abortion...........................................26%
Human & Divine Authorship of Bible..............19%
Artificial birth control.....................................10%

In a previous post, the concern for people leaving the Church was brought up. I think that it is much more of a problem than most overly optimistic people I hear talking about it seem to think it is. If all the converts I read and hear about were added up, it would still only amount to a fraction of the people I know who have left the Church. I read about a high profile convert here and another there, but in an age where only 1 out of 3 Catholics go to Mass each Sunday I can't help but be tempered in my enthusiasm.

Hear me out, making converts is great and we should be doing more of it. But let's not forget that the ones whose care we have been directly charged with, our children. They are in huge need of formation and conversion with our help. And in order to do this we must be formed and converted ourselves.

If you can run down the list above and answer each point in the affirmative, please consider volunteering to teach CCD this year, those who have a legitimate need to send their children to CCD have the right to expect teachers who are faithful to ALL the Church's teachings. But if you can’t agree to each of the Church's positions ... DON’T TEACH! (The thud you just heard was sound of a DRE hitting the floor) Let me instead suggest that you look into attending Jeff Cavin’s Catholicism 101 this year at the Parish and sign up to teach next year.

1 comment:

Deogratias said...

Well said. Those numbers are very disturbing, but not surprising.

By the way, I think you should ask for permission before you show a felt banner I created in CCD from 1982.