Posted by Abdul Alim
Washignton Post: Bishop Fulton Sheen, the earliest and perhaps best known Catholic televangelist, once famously said, “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” In the public debates that now daily rile the American republic, this declaration rings true more and more often. But Bishop Sheen’s exhortation to teach the substance of the Catholic faith to a largely Protestant, and often hostile, public is outdated. Today, his observation stands at the center of the true issue in the church –the failure in Catechesis of an entire generation.
It is easy to see that the Millennial generation is religiously “uneducated.” To begin with, the number of students in Catholic schools has reportedly plummeted from a peak of 5.2 million students in the 1960s to roughly 2 million. The fall in vocations has left education outside of the Catholic school system in the hands of just a few active parents. Sunday school competes with weekend soccer or baseball tournaments. Even at Catholic universities, religious studies have become sidelined, with traditional Scripture classes now termed “Biblical Literature.”
I believe this mass failure in religious education has left young Catholics woefully unprepared for the spread of moral relativism and a “whatever makes me happy” attitude. Simultaneously, political and social issues have been allowed to take the place of the real substance of the Catholic faith found in the rich liturgy and the Sacraments. How can we expect a young Catholic to fully grasp Church teaching on contraception, abortion, and poverty if they do not understand……