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Debate: Why do Catholics lapse?

Is it primarily the fault of the Church or of the Catholics who have left it?

By on Thursday, 17 November 2011

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

This week Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York spoke to his fellow bishops about the “chilling” rates of lapsation among US Catholics. He said:

Fewer and fewer of our beloved people – to say nothing about those outside the household of the faith – are convinced that Jesus and His Church are one.

So they drift from her, get mad at the Church, grow lax, join another or just give it all up. If this does not cause us pastors to shudder, I do not know what will.

The topic is on our own bishops’ radar, too. Last weekend they launched a national campaign to reach out to Catholics who have lapsed.

One bishop has suggested that people are lapsing because they are simply too busy to go to Mass.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton was indirectly quoted by the Guardian as saying the cause was

… more likely to do with laziness and children’s extra-curricular commitments than controversies surrounding the pope or clerical sexual abuse scandals.

But is the Church itself, or at least its members, not to blame? Abuse scandals, poor communication of the Church’s teaching, bad preaching, the failure to defend the Church in the media – surely these are all big factors in pushing people away?

On the other hand, as Archbishop Dolan said, the sinfulness of Church members is never a “reason to dismiss the Church or her eternal truths”.

And in many situations lapsing from the faith may just be the easy option.

So, why do Catholics lapse? And is it the fault of the Church or the Catholics who have left it?

  • Anonymous

    Jack Hughes,

    Sorry to have come over as condescending, which was not the intention. The intention is to ask God to condescend to hear your prayers. You could try the prayer to St. Joseph that has never been known to fail. I don’t have it at hand, but here’s a web link to it: http://catholicism.about.com/od/tosaintjoseph/qt/Ancient_Prayer.htm

    Alternatively, you could just recite three times a day “Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” I find that quite a powerful invocation.

  • Anonymous

    wrong-wrong-wrong – diabolically wrong – wrong- wrong-very wrong – wrong – completely wrong – wrong -wrong-absolutely wrong….

    Lefty when Jesus said ‘Let the Children come unto me’ – he didn’t mean mechanically-abort 1.63 billion in fifty years…

    Take your pro-Choice obscenity, along with your appeals for the Church to do more [when no other body in the World has more schools, hospitals, hospices,colleges, refuges,shelters and clinics - especially in developing countries - in the entire world!!!] – and reflect on what Christ TRULY meant – it has bugger all to do with your petty narcissistic secular posturing.

  • Torkay

    Well James, perhaps we could agree that their “intellectual doubts” were cultivated by the descralizing malaise of VII (or should I type Vii…). But we will probably never agree on the so-called “lack of empirical dimension”:to the Church’s “sexual theology.” Since the Church’s teachings emanate from Divine Revelation, what you are in effect are expecting is empirical proof that God exists. Are you an atheist? If so, can you provide empirical proof that God does not exist? Are you also going to claim that sexuality and the passions and sentiments that accompany it are the real measure of human existence? I hope not.

    Neither will we ever agree on this alleged “autocratic hierarchy” which “demands” servile obedience. While it is true that the hierarchy, since Vii, has adopted autocratic means with which to enforce its anti-Catholic revolution, the hierarchy of the Church, when the Church was healthy, is a reflection of the hierarchy of Creation and the desires of Our Lord. Further, obedience is not “demanded” to men, but to the teachings of the Church. Neither is it “demanded,” since man has free will, but offered, for the sake of our salvation. The Church, is, after all, the mother of the human race, and is therefore supremely solicitous for our spiritual welfare.

    Finally, you are apparently unfamiliar with the mass exodus that took place, not only among laity (in the millions), but among the clergy (in the thousands), in direct response to the “reforms” of Vii. Your post also smacks of certain cliches which betray a lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith, and which also betray someone who has been seduced by anti-Catholic propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    James,

    What you describe, re lapsed Catholics, is precisely what traditional Catholics have been saying all along. Liberal Catholicism encouraged rebellion in theological, liturgical and sexual matters (faith and morals) leading to a mass apostasy.

    Why shouldn’t Catholics today accept the same teaching as Catholics accepted without question for almost two thousand years? Is man more perfect now than he was before? Sin hasn’t been redefined by God. The Commandments haven’t been eradicated. Heresy hasn’t ceased to be heresy. So what is the reason for the apostasy? It’s nothing more or less than a casting off of the law of God and the placing of man and his wants in God’s place. Liberal Catholics have merely caught up with the XVI century Protestant revolutionaries, which explains why the liberals at parish and diocesan level have mirrored the liturgical changes made by those so-called “Reformers.” There were no Catholics leaving the Church before the Council, so that kind of blows your argument clean out of the water.

  • American Guest

    Respectfully, I understand how you feel. For years, decades really, I zealously rejected the existence of God.  Why would God-who supposedly can do anything-allow such gut-wrenching cruelty in the world? After the birth of my son, I endured 4 years of agonizing depression that medication could not mediate. At one point, I was so low I began praying again-for my life to end.

    During that time, I found it difficult, if not downright humiliating to share my predicament with anyone. Eventually, my frazzled husband forced me to contact a therapist and my healing began.  I specifically sought a therapist who would give me practical help (take this step and then do that) and not just let me bawl out my troubles for 50 expensive minutes.

    Since then, I’ve found that I don’t always get the answers I want from God, but I do get the ones I need-often in strange and surprising ways.

    Perhaps sharing your doubts on this blog is a way to begin obtaining practical, as well as spiritual help for your intentions. For my part, I will pray for you to get the answers you want and need.

  • Sinuscosinus

    We lapse because we are and get blamed for things that have nothing to do with Jesus’s teachings (e.g. family planning, contraception choices, marriage of clergy, variations of liturgy and church music and so on, gay rights, tolerance towards others, secularism in the public school system, line drawn between state and religion, evolution, sexual education, psychology, shall I continue or is this enough?). And we lapse because we do not find things that we are catholics for, like the liturgy, the church music of our own, the orders’ and monasteries’ heritage of _leadership_ in science, education, culture and caring for people, the healing touch of the whole tradition of confessions and repentance, instead of blame. Catholic religion is a treasure box that catholic people  have no longer access to. What to stay for? Would our church leaders please wake up and hear the voice of their sheep?

  • K. Smith

    The Church ‘taught’ that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Wise men questioned this. God gave us minds to use, not thick lumps of gristle between our ears. Well, we should use our God-given brains to question and debate. This is one of the ways we can really grow closer to God.
    Tradition is a living process, too many see it as a kind of sacred fossil. The only place for fossils is in the ground or in a museum; and I certainly don’t want my church turned into a fossil.

  • K. Smith

    Too often the Church itself separated itself from Jesus. Through the abuses of popes, the abuses of priests, lack of tolerance, the disconnection between clergy and laity. We are the Church. It is not the pope and his hierarchy. The law of God is not about Latin or the convoluted and sometimes silly language of the new translation, it is not about absurd rules and finely defined regulations and statutes…It is about the primacy of Love, not about the Primate in Rome.

  • K. Smith

    That is just plain barmy. God is not some vengeful ‘Demon Headmaster’ in the sky. Jesus did not speak Latin, he spoke the language of the people.
    Yes, atheism and secularism are threats. But, you don’t combat them by a waving the latin flag and proclaiming the ‘End of Times’.

  • K. Smith

    But, Jesus spoke the language of the ‘ordinary working man’, he didn’t turn his back on his disciples and mutter away in a dead language [possibly Babylonian in his day!].

  • K. Smith

    Yes. It really does seem, sadly, that it is many of the self-proclaimed and self-satisfied ‘traditionalists’ who have really lost their way. They are so very keen to condemn and point the finger.
    Where, then, is the transforming love of Jesus?

  • K. Smith

    Yes, your analysis is spot-on.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    So you don’t believe Christ kept His promise to be with His Church until the end of time? And He wasn’t speaking to you and me, when He promised that, He was speaking to His first hierarchy. Live with it.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Answer to your first sentence:  for heaven’s sake get yourself a sense of humour. Pronto.

  • WSquared

    And what about the laziness of the laity, Iainw9? 

  • WSquared

    K. Smith, we are the Church *along with* the Pope and his hierarchy. No either/or on that one, certainly given Christ’s promise to his Church. …and that comprises the Church Militant.  The Church also includes the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant– those in Purgatory and those Saints in Heaven.

    God is also about right worship and therefore sound theology.  What you call “silly language” in in the new translation is richer theologically.

  • WSquared

    “Where, then, is the transforming love of Jesus?”

    In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Sacraments.

  • WSquared

    Hear, hear.  I’m another revert.  And one of the reasons why we take it all for granted is that we see it merely as a culture and a cultural identity without even understanding that that culture is rooted and built up in not just something, but Someone– Jesus Christ, and what he DID (not what he “would do”), and who he *is*.

  • WSquared

    “an autocratic hierarchy which demands absolute and unquestioning
    obedience from the laity and does its best to stifle theological debate.”

    …oh, you can say anything you want.  The Magisterium of the Church has just as much right to reply and to call bullsh*t.

  • K. Smith

    Do’t assume you know what I believe. ‘Live with it’. Sound advice. Do we have a choice? A good parent is always with his / her child, even though that child may stray occasionally.

  • K. Smith

    Nonsense is nonsense. Some of this ‘sound theology’ is absurd, convoluted and occasionally almost unsayable… Right worship was defined by Jesus as ‘…worship in spirit and in truth.’ He never used the sort of language that we are now obliged to give voice to.

  • WSquared

    Er, we wouldn’t know how to worship in spirit and truth if we first didn’t know what we’re worshiping.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    I’m not assuming anything.  You TOLD us that you believe “we are the Church – not the Pope etc.”  That’s pretty clear stuff and it’s entirely UNCatholic. Somewhere else you show further confusion by stating that the Church “taught” (inverted commas yours) that the earth was the centre of the universe whereas the Church “taught” no such thing.  The Church then as now merely followed the scientific consensus of the day, which turned out to be wrong or so the consensus today tells us. 

    You have some serious reading to do to educate yourself in matters such as the nature of the Church and the extent and limits of papal fallibility.  So, what are you waiting for????

  • American Guest

    You may be disappointed to learn that a major factor in my reversion was attending my first-ever Latin mass!  I loved the Catholic culture even when I lost my faith. 

  • theroadmaster

    All the statistics regarding religious practice, vocations and numbers of adherents across the Western world since the era of Vatican 11 would suggest an pronounced downward trajectory, regarding the influence and effectiveness of the Church in the rendering of Her teachings and doctrines.  An interplay of different factors have contributed to this demoralizing picture and should be a wake up call to the proponents of the New Evangelisation which will be launched next year.  The widespread rejection of prophetic encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by religious and lay people in the late sixties, can be viewed as the first real eruption of vocal opposition to Catholic teaching and it aped much of what was happening in the surrounding secular world.  Because people were emboldened to express vehemently their disagreement to the Church at this stage, was a veritable sign that   appeals to revelation, tradition and apostolic authority were not enough on their own to win approval.  In otherwords, the experiential aspect of people’s lives was driving their attitude to Catholic ideals.

     The subjective nature of modern trends were soon evident in Catholic liturgy, catechetical materials, seminary formation and education and this in turn fed into the religious indifference that effected huge swathes of the laity from the seventies onwards.    The last two popes realized the destructive nature of these developments and sought to reverse the inroads that they had made by reiterating the fundamentals of the Catholic Faiths in their sermons, talks, books and encyclicals.  Religious movements firmly grounded in those same ideals have sprung up and a new generation of young fervent Catholics have grown up without experiencing such tumultuous times as those that immediately followed Vatican 11.  Of course not all is rosy in the garden, but the positive re-engagement of the Church with the necessity of proclaiming that evangelical initiatives can only succeed if they are based on a personal encounter with Christ within His Church can reap spiritual dividends in the future.

  • theroadmaster

    The Law of God in not about subjective, liberal values that are based on the sands of whimsical fads but are rather perennial truths based on the solid rock upon which the Church is built as instituted by Christ.  The “We” in the Church encompasses both clergy and laity and does not disassociate one from the other.  When someone uses the “We” to reflect the partisan views of one particular section of the Church rather than obedience to the successors of the first generation of apostles that Christ appointed, we are on the road to relativism and schism.  The new translation of the Roman Missal which you treat with such sneering contempt, is a terrific improvement on the banal, flat versions that we have to endure for the last 40 years or more.  It recaptures in a much profound and transcendent way the inherent truths of the bible through rich allusions, metaphors and poetical references.  As Christ appointed St Peter to be his first head of the Church during His absence, the Church is very much about the primacy of the bishop of Rome as well as the primacy of love. 

  • Anonymous

    K. Smith,

    There is a huge difference between matters relating to the shape, size and/or position of the earth and the infallibility of defined dogmas, unless of course you reject infallibility which would mean that you’re now Catholic in name only, having lost the faith. You may have the brain of Einstein between your ears, it still does not permit you to question divinely revealed truths pertaining to faith and morals. That kind of questioning is called rebellion against God and the authority He has established in the Apostolic See.
     
    I note that you use the old Modernist chestnut “Tradition is a living process.” St. Pius X condemned this notion of “living tradition,” which emanates from the error of “vital imminence.” Whoever heard of a living tradition which severs all links with the past? That’s what the Conciliar revolution did.
     
    True growth in Tradition is “organic,” in much the same way that a baby slowly develops into an adult. As the years pass the changes are almost imperceptible so that here is no radical alteration seen at any time in the person between childhood and adulthood. There is development in maturity, certainly, but there is no DNA change!! The Conciliar revolution was a DNA change in that there is little, if anything, recognisable of the old faith in it. It is, in effect, a new entity.
     
    Take the Mass, for example. From Apostolic times right up to 1969 not one single prayer had ever been removed from the Mass. Prayers were added, but nothing was ever removed. Then came the New Mass stripped not of one or two of the ancient prayers, but of almost all of them. It was so radical, in fact, that it mirrored almost exactly the Protestant supper created by the apostate Archbishop Cranmer in the XVI century. They even went so far as to insert the Protestant “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory” at the end of the Our Father, words not taught by Our Lord but added by the reformers. You may call that a “living process.” I call it a process of auto destruction of the Catholic religion.

    One does not cut down the great tree of two thousand years’ tradition for a return to the mustard seed and call the process a living one.

  • Anonymous

    “Too often the Church itself separated itself from Jesus”

    Impossible! There’s a better chance of Ian Paisley being elected Pope after BXVI than the Church being separated from Christ. Although Ian Paisley would agree with you. But what does he know :)

  • Jason Theobald13

    The priest, in fact, must not intend that transubstantiation take place. Simply put, the priest must simply will that mass is said in union with the Church. The idea of ex opere operato is that the Sacrament does not depend on the minister; his personal holiness or belief are not in question, but rather it is “by the work which is done,” meaning that the priest must perform the work in union with the Church, and by the work that is done, not by the merits of the minister, transubstantiation occurs.

    And of course, those who are in a state of mortal sin, therefore without sanctifying grace, do not receive those graces immediately. This is what is known as a bound sacrament; the sacrament of reconciliation is necessary to receive those graces, but the graces or fruits will still be received once the person has returned to the state of grace.

    As far as the language; what was the common language of the working man? Jesus spoke the language of the ordinary working man, and when Latin was used as the common language of the Church, in the 5th Century, those who were members of the Roman empire would in fact have spoken Latin. Other languages, such as Italian and the other romance languages, did not develop until centuries later. Now, the Church has returned to its roots of a language which all can understand, making it more Catholic because the members of the Church worldwide are able to enter into the mass and participate more fully. The Latin is BEAUTIFUL, but when Vatican II began the Novus Ordo in the vernacular they did so because it was the need of the Church in today’s world, following the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 

  • Anonymous

    I came close to losing my faith in the late 60′s because there was no preaching from the priests who were confused about what to teach. After training in an RC teacher training College,  I left with absolutely no information on how to taech RI to my pupils as they had thrown out the Catechisms. There was no RE syllabus in school and the only help was from a nun who couldnt really tell me what to teach and who left her order while I was at the school.
    There has never been a Syllabus or a handbook written for teachers to teach the Faith of Our Fathers since 1962
    and when you ask if Maryville will provide one there is no response.
    On the other hand the SSPX have kept all the original Catechisms,
     they teach the Faith how I learnt it using question and answer, (not by osmosis)
    by inspiring us with good sermons,
    by giving good example through always saying the Mass with devoutmess,
    dressing as priests,
    being available for confession,
    saying the rosary and benediction after Mass,
    need I go on!
    There was only the SVP and the devotions to the Sacred heart, and Our Lady of perpetual Succour every week and the Legion of Mary-supported by priests,in our parishes when I was young
    Now there are more prayer groups, societies for justice and peace, charismatics, art groups, etc etc which are usually supported by a handful and run by laity because there arnt any priests. They are too busy at meetings and playing golf.
    How can we expect people to keep the faith if they have never learnt it?

    Our Lady of perpetual Succour, Pray for us!

  • Anonymous

    I’ll second that, Brigetta. Well said!

  • J. Pickett

    We grow up now and live in a much more secular world.  I’m 64, when I grew up we lived in a Catholic world, Went to Church schools, Our family went to church and did religious things together.  Vatican II came along just as I was in college, The rebellious years.  When I went to go back to the Church after I settled down and married,  It was so different.  The few schools left were unaffordable, I didn’t recognize the liturgy, That and pure laziness allowed me to drift away.  I sent my children to CCD.  They identify as Catholics.  But I never engrained them with regular attention.  I am to blame for that.  I now belong to a great parish, we have a wonderful pastor, great deacons, and involved people.  But even though I still feel good when I go, I struggle to make myself attend. I seem to do it in spurts.  I admit, the music makes me cringe.  I miss the Latin. By the way people said it would bring more people to church if services were in vernacular.  It doesn’t seem to have worked.  I have had non-Catholics ask me why we gave up the mystery and solemnity of it.  As for understanding, All the missals I was brought up with had Latin on one side and English on the other.  How hard was that to follow?  Pay attention.  Another thing lost was that any Catholic service in the world was the same.  You truly felt part of one body.  Now it varies so much from parish to parish, you may walk into a Lutheran service and never notice.
     

  • Jamie Tring

    Correction: “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory”  is not Protestant. This ending to the Lord’s Prayer is found in some manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel, but not in the most ancient and now is no longer considered as belonging to the original text. This ending was adopted by the protestant churches. A slightly different ending is used in orthodox churches. In the 1969 mass the doxology is not attached to the Lord’s Prayer but comes after the ‘Deliver us ….’ I remember a meeting in 1968 addressed by the distinguished liturgist Louis Bouyer. That the doxology is protestant was raised by some in the audience; they were quickly shown the error of their opinion.

  • J Kang

    Oh and I might just add, we, the young Catholics, saw NO role models or received any sound catechism from generations above. They partied away blindly and left us with their hangovers. Do not fool yourselves by telling us it was the Church’s fault; in fact it was also your fault for not doing the job properly by handing down the Faith to us in all its beauty, grandeur and most importantly, mystery.

  • guest

    Very true, indeed.

  • J Kang

    Whilst I join you in your anger and frustration, there are (needless to mention) so many good priests out there who still kept their thumbs and indexes joined for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, started up and maintained adoration circles for the faithful to come and pray once every blue moon and most importantly, although they failed massively on pastoral level, still offered the eternal sacrifice in the name of the Church everyday. That alone, I think, is enough for us faithful to be grateful to these negligent priests but nonetheless THE OTHER CHRISTs of the 70s 80s and 90s and join them in cleaning up this mess.

    After all, it is very easy to blame it all on the clergy but I also believe it was the failure of the faithful of not properly assisting our parish priests in every way possible and instead turned into these busy-body extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (of course not all of us, but you see the point).

  • J Kang

    Interesting how you mentioned ‘End of times’. The early Christians seemed to have been too eager about it whereas contemporary Christians seem to be completely oblivious about it.

  • Anonymous

    Jason Theobald13

    The priest MUST intend to do what the Church teaches.  He might be a monumental
    sinner and still bring about Transubstantiation but if he does not believe in
    Transubstantiation/does not intend to confect the Eucharist, there is no consecration.

    The Holy Spirit only assists the Pope to ensure infallibility in proclaiming doctrine and morals that bind the whole Church.   Calling a Council is a decision of the Pope made for prudential reasons – until Vatican II the only reason for calling a Council was to correct error. The Second Vatican Council was not called to correct error, but to instigate change – and the fruits of the changes that were foisted upon the faithful are plain to see.

    It is wishful thinking to say that the Holy Ghost inspired the vernacular when in fact the
    Council did not mandate the vernacular anyway. The Mass of Pope Paul VI was
    supposed to retain major chunks of Latin and have the priest facing the tabernacle, but this was ignored – was THAT due to the inspiration of the Holy
    Spirit?

  • James

    Well, it doesn’t matter what the Catholic Church teaches because paulpriest is the expert on everything and anything Catholic.  Why don’t you analyse your own arrogance and self righteousness?  Read about the Pharisees.

  • American Guest

    “you may walk into a Lutheran service and never notice”

    You’re right about that. Years before my reversion, I went to church and found myself mouthing the words, “Is this Catholic”?  I had been away for awhile and was seriously alarmed.

    I reverted due to two significant events, one being a chance attendance at a Latin Mass.  Here was the spiritual food my soul was longing for!  Even the late great Jerry Garcia said the Catholic church lost something when they gave up the mystery of the Latin.

  • Anonymous

    Lapsation- James – lapsation…
    Call me whatever you desire – but don’t deny the existence or the causes of the systemic dismantlement of the Church in this country.

  • Brendan Wall

    Has the parable of the wheat and the cockle been entirely forgotten?  There will always be good and bad in the Church: Christ told us that ahead of time!  So why all the surprise when we find that a Catholic whether lay person or religious or priest or bishop or pope has sinned grievously?  Isn’t there that other bit also about he who is without sin casting the first stone?

  • http://www.jnorthrop.com Fr. Jim Northrop

    I firmly believe we need the grace of a “New Pentecost” in our Church. When people get baptized in the Holy Spirit they commit themselves to evangelization and they show through the fruits of the Holy Spirit the truth that “those whom the Son sets free are free indeed” (cf. John 8:36).

    The witness of Spirit-filled and joyful Catholics is greatly lacking in our Church. The great success of the early Church was the witness of a changed life. Blessed John Paul II was pointed out that many Catholics are “sacramentalized” but not “evangelized”. 

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    This is something I was never taught at school prior to or during Vatican II.  We were taught that our Baptism and Confirmation both obliged and equipped us to evangelise and to live out faithful Catholic lives.

    Still, since we’ve got a new Mass, new Rosary, new  Catechism, new evangelisation, I suppose it is inevitable that we’ll have a new Pentecost as well. 

    What’s bothering me, though, is this; how will we know when all this new stuff becomes the old stuff?

  • Bob Hayes

    Indeed! 

    We Catholics need to take responsibility for our own behaviour - including sinning and lapsation – rather than passing the buck and blaming everyone from the local parish priest to the Magisterium, but never ourselves. I can almost imagine the confessional thought patterns of some of those so eager to place responsibility at others’ doors: ‘Bless me Father for I have sinned … I was tempted away from a life of Christ, and the teachings of the Church, by some poor liturgy, a few boring homilies and above all Vatican II … does that remove my culpability?’

    A significant reason why people lapse is – quite simply – because they are too proud and conceited to admit that they are sinners. They will not admit that, instead they arrogantly claim the Church is ‘out of touch with the modern world’ – i.e. she will not conform to their selfish individualism. No amount of Latin Masses and barnstorming homilies will bring these people back. They will return only if they open their minds to the Holy Spirit. It is up to those of us within the Church – laity, priests and religious – to live out our lives as witness to Christ – to lead by example.

  • Kevin

    I am a post-Vatican II convert (received in 1985).  I was initially ‘instructed’ – woefully inadequately – and I did remain in the Church, but was largely clueless on doctrinal and moral issues and had no real foundation to build on.  I think that I would have eventually drifted away.  I met a holy Jesuit priest – now gone to his eternal reward – who immediately realised that I was a victim of post-conciliar ‘catechesis’ via the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, and he set about remedying that.  I will always be eternally grateful.
    He instructed me thoroughly over a period of years and I haven’t lapsed.  I now have the privilege of occasionally instructing other adult converts on a one-to-one basis (sometimes themselves victims of parish-based ‘adult catechesis’) and I’ve noticed that they haven’t lapsed either.  I’m sure that a minority of people will reject the truth after hearing it.  My belief is that they’re not hearing the truth in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    @K Smith Jesus would have participated in Jewish worship – we know he went to the synagogue (remember when he read out: “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me”). He would have prayed the psalms – I guess he knew them off by heart (remember his words on the Cross: ‘My God, my God… – a quotation from a psalm). My point: he would have used ‘religious language’ for worship.

    Sorry: Diqus is not putting my comment in the right place

  • Anonymous

    @ K Smith
    Jesus would have taken part in Jewish worship. We know that he went to the synagogue “as was his custom” (Lk 4:16). He would have said the psalms and I guess he knew them by heart (his words on the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’ are a quote from a psalm.) My point: he would have used “religious language”.

  • Inquisator

    Very true Lefty.  The Church preaches the Church and not the Gospel. 

  • Inquisator

    “The Church then as now merely followed the scientific consensus of the day, which turned out to be wrong or so the consensus today tells us.”

    Please enlighten me as to the aberration of insight experienced by the Church when her magisterium tried to silence Gallileo, whose scientific knowledge was to be considered anaethema by that same magisterium consisting as it did at the time, of ignorant, foolish and self-interested clergy.