Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Survey Suggests Catechesis Not Going So Well

According to The Telegraph

'Almost half of Catholics surveyed did not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion actually become the body and blood of Christ.' 

This was a US study into the knowledge of religion comparing that of atheists, agnostics and religious believers. No 'only in America' comments, please, because, let's face it, it is highly likely that there is a similar ignorance of Church Teaching in the UK as well.

The Holy Father very much desires an 'educated laity'. This study gives us more evidence as to why.


Patricius said...

I am not sure that the people conducting such surveys appreciate irony or sarcasm. In my own experience the temptation to give stupid answers to basic knowledge questions can be overwhelming. In some instances too it is possible that those questioned might feel intimidated by the questioner.

pattif said...

Don't count on it, Patricius. I don't believe that anyone who genuinely understood what it means for the body, blood, soul and divinity to be entirely present in the Blessed Sacrament could joke about it.

georgem said...

That's a fair point Patricius. And I'd be inclined to agree with you had I not heard the priest commentator for the Beatification Mass say something like: "leading us to the bread and wine of salvation" in reference to the Consecration.

St Malachy said...

Given that the only exposure most Catholics have to Catholic theology is the hymns they sing at Mass and given that we perenially sing post-communion "hymns" talking of "bread and wine" and such tripe, this should come as no surprise.

Until we reinstitute proper catechesis on every level ie hymns, preaching, schools - the list goes on - this level of ignorance will continue to be the norm

not anonymous but pseudonymous said...

I think Pattif is right; dismissing these results as "irony or sarcasm" may be less disturbing than considering the possibility of catechetical failure, but the latter seems more probable. I have never heard a homily explaining - let alone defending - Catholic doctrine with respect to the Eucharist. If Catholics have understood their Church's teaching, it is only because even the ICEL translations have not succeeded in obscuring the message of the liturgy.

One dreads to think what a similar survey might turn up in terms of use of the confessional, and/or reception of communion in a state of grace. Many Catholics continue to receive despite ignoring the Church's teaching with respect to grave sins.

If ever we needed reminding, here is notice: we must make reparation, and pray for bold pastors.

The Stage is Set

There is, I don't doubt, a thin line between suspicion, a healthy cynicism informed by observation of recent times and boggle-eyed par...