Wed 27th Aug 2014 | Last updated: Wed 27th Aug 2014 at 11:15am

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

People are walking away from Catholicism because they do not understand it

If anything, New Atheists only help a faith in decline across Europe

By on Friday, 22 June 2012

Statio Orbis

I had lunch the other day with an influential member of the Anglican communion, who I really ought to see more of. He told me who is going to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury, and more importantly, who is not. Then the conversation moved to matters of general concern, chief of which is why are so few people going to church these days, whether that church be Catholic or Anglican. Was it true, for example, that Catholic practice in Ireland was falling sharply?

The truth of the matter is that religious practice is everywhere in retreat, even in Ireland, even in Malta, even in Poland. And why is this? Well, it is nothing to do with anti-Christian campaigners like Richard Dawkins. If anything they help the cause of Christianity by keeping it on the agenda. So, thanks to Professor Dawkins, rather than otherwise, but he cannot really take credit for the decline in Catholic practice, or Anglican practice either.

Are the scandals to do with child abuse, or the other scandals, the ones to do with P2, the Vatican Bank, Roberto Calvi, the Pope’s butler, the supposed murder of John Paul I, are these to blame? Again, I think not. Both of us agreed that the real reason for the falling off was not rejection of the faith but rather ignorance of the faith. People are walking away from Catholicism and Anglicanism not because they reject it, but because they do not understand it.

The ignorance is gross. And this seems to be a widespread phenomenon. Have a look at this posting by an American priest, here. These sentiments are not uncommon, nor are these examples that are cited of gross ignorance of the faith and the practice of the faith isolated ones.

Once upon a time people did know about the faith, and as I have said before, people were able to understand some quite sophisticated concepts, like transubstantiation, purgatory and the communion of saints. But then two things happened: the collapse in educational standards, and the change in approach in catechesis; that these two things happened more or less at the same time spelled disaster for the transmission of the faith.

In some parts of the world the picture is different: Africa, for example, where, as far as I could tell, great care was taken with catechetical materials, and there was good teaching, and, much more importantly, good learning. When I was in Nairobi I quite often used to be asked to do weekends and days of recollection for young people, and frequently they would ask me to speak on things like the resurrection of the body, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and so on – the sort of interests that you associate with the less frequented paths of theology, or with a great interest in knowing all that there is to know about the faith. But I fully accept that people in Nairobi are different to people in the West. They have fewer distractions, are less materialistic and are more interested in metaphysical subjects.

What then must we do? The first thing is surely to look again at the matter of catechesis, and to encourage the catechesis of adults and children alike. In this regard the recent Eucharistic Congress in Dublin and the World Youth Days point the way forward. And we need a national edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Kenya has one. Isn’t it time other countries followed suit?

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    IS IT A QUESTION OF:

    1 UNDERSTANDING?

    2.OR  IS IT A QUESTION OF PEOPLE NOT FINDING IT WORTH OR OTHERWISE?

    AS FOR MYSELF IT IS THE CHURCH JESUS ENTRUSTED TO ST.PETER. THAT HAS BEEN  SO FAR THE WHOLE THING ABOUT IT.

    SOME WORLDLY AND GODLY ADVANTAGES IN TERMS OF DOING THE LORD’S WORK AND BELONGING TO THE BIGGEST CHURCH TOO WERE THERE; LATER I HAPPENED TO FIND OUT IT AS THE MOST POWERFUL CHURCH TOO IN TERMS OF INFLUENCE AND NUMBERS ON EVERY LEVEL: PEOPLE, PRIESTS AND NUNS; AND BANK BALANCE  TOO – OF COURSE  SOME OF IT BROUGHT A BAD TASTE IN ONE’S MOUTH.

    GOING FURTHER CAME THE INTELLECTUAL REVELATION THAT IT IS FULL OF CLEVER MEN WHO LEAD IT….BISHOPS THAT TOO WITHOUT THEMSELVES BEING APOSTLES IN PRACTICE.

    EVER SINCE MY 16TH YEAR WHEN I JOINED FOR PRIESTHOOD (IT WHAT WAS COMMONLY CALLED RELIGIOUS LIFE) THERE HAS BEEN TENDENCY TO HURT AND  RUN AWAY OR TO JUMP OVER THE WALLS, ALL PROMPTED BY SCANDALS AFTER SCANDALS.

    FROM GOD’S WORD CAME THE REMINDER, “SON, WHEN YOU COME TO THE LORD’S SERVICE, BE PREPARED FOR TEMPTATION”. THIS HELPED.

    ANOTHER REASON THAT HELPED WAS THE THOUGHT, “WHAT IS IT TO ME,  LET OTHERS DO OR SAY WHAT THEY WANT, IT IS THEIR BUSINESS; YOU DO WHAT YOU CAME FOR. HERE ALWAYS ONE’S MIND AND HEART WOULD TURN TO JESUS. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS, SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS, BALMS FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED, CONSOLATION AND JOYS CAME FROM HIM.

    ANOTHER THINKING WAS, REMAIN BACK AND BUILD, LET OTHERS RUN AWAY OR DO WHAT THEY WANT, DON’T LOOK AT THEM.

    THE PUREST OF ALL GOAL WAS IMPRINTED ON THE ORDINATION CARD.

    FREQUENT REFLECTION AND SPEAKING TO AND HEARING  FROM JESUS (PRAYER?)
    CAME INTO MY LIFE AND THAT MADE A SERIOUS AND QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE.

    PURE DELIGHT IT WAS TO DISCOVER  AND TO READ THE BIBLE TO FIND OUT  THE ONE WHO REVEALED HIMSELF – GOD THE FATHER, THEN JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

    WHEN ONE IS BY HIMSELF NOT A SEEKER – INTELLECTUALLY AND SPIRITUALLY HE COULD GO BY THE PULL OF THE CROWD. MOST PEOPLE WENT THIS WAY.  IT WAS ONE EASY OPTION.

    WORTH OR NOT WORTH?

    JESUS SPOKE OF THE SALT :  HE SAID TO HIS OWN, “YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. THAT WAS THE STANDARD GIVEN THEM, BE THE SALT.

    THE VERY SAME JESUS, LATER WARNED AND SAID WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF THE SALT LOST IT’S SALTINESS, IF THE SALT LOST IT TRUE WORTH – THAT IT WOULD BE THROWN OUT AND GET TRAMPLED OVER BY MEN.

    WHEN WE FOLLOW LEADERS AND NOT JESUS THE ONE WHO CALLED US, PROBLEMS START.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    WHATEVER IS HAPPENING TO THE CHURCH, THERE IS HOPE, IF WE ALL AND ESPECIALLY THE LEADERSHIP ON ALL LEVELS OF THE PYRAMID START LISTENING TO JESUS’ INVITATION,
    “REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOOD NEWS”. IF IT IS NOT DONE, IF JESUS IS NOT LISTENED AND OBEYED, THEN  WE SHALL CERTAINLY BE FOUND WITH
    THOSE WHO OBSTINATELY REFUSED TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN JESUS’ OWN PHYSICAL DAYS : HIGH PRIESTS, CHIEF PRIESTS,PHARISEES, SCRIBES, ELDERS, HERODIANS AND THE REST WHO WERE ONE WITH THEM TO DECLARE THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS THE LORD.

  • David

    In my view – and experience – many people turn away because of boredom and embarrassment.  So many priests are stuck in the 1970s and believe that ‘young people’ have to be entertained at Mass with guitars and choruses and sheets of paper to draw on.  Looking around, most of the youngsters look totally bored and us oldies are frustrated by having to sing (or endure) trite choruses masquerading as hymns.  The sad thing is that we are not allowed to grow up & mature in our faith as the basic diet never changes – every Mass is aimed at children!  I have commented on this several times and usually been patronised and told that I should simply concentrate on the fact that Jesus comes to the altar ………

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    DENOMINATIONAL WORDS ARE ONLY DIVIDING CHRIST. LET US JUST TAKE THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE WORTH. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. IT IS THE WORK OF INTERSESED LEADERS, NOT OF TRUE APOSTLES.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    SO MANY PRIESTS DOING CHILD ABUSE, YOU ARE SO SURE! TOO EXAGGERATED; WIFED AND FORNICATED LIVES, MAY BE.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    “I am 36 and became an RE teacher 3 years ago. The last 3 years has
    convinced me of the harm that Catholic schools are doing to the faith.
    In the first school I was placed in during my training year, a Catholic
    school, my female mentor said of the Pope, “I hate him. I’ve always
    hated him. I was so angry when he became Pope.”

    “You are right that it is (mostly) middle-aged and above women who are casing all this damage.”

    MAY BE SUCH WOMEN FEEL LOST AND TRAPPED IN LESS PAID JOBS, CARING FOR CHILDREN, THE KITCHEN AND OTHER HOUSE HOLD WORKS..AND HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING  AND GETTING INFORMATION  EVEN THROUGH OPEN SOCIAL CONTACTS. THEIR ONLY SOURCES OF INFORMATION COULD BE  GOSSIP AND DREAMS PROBABLY.

    NO WONDER IF THEY ARE ANGRY.

    UNDEVELOPED MINDS ARE USUALLY FOUND TO BE EMOTIVE, COMOTIVE AND EASILY GIVEN TO ANGER AND VENGEANCE.

    HERE IN INDIA, WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING WOMAN  IN THE FILM WORLD ( MAY NOT BE AS BEAUTIFUL AND SMART AS MARIA SHARAPOVA); OF HER IT WAS  ONCE SAID BY A MEDIA MAN,  “SHE NEVER READS”. HOW SAD!

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     

    ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE JESUS IN THEM CAN GIVE HIM  OR HIS TEACHINGS TO OTHERS.

    CLEVER MEN WHO IN FACT WORSHIP THE GOD OF PHILOSOPHERS CAN NEVER DO THAT.

    WHATEVER THEY DO OR SAY IS ONLY A RITUAL TO KEEP THE PEOPLE OCCUPIED AND UNTHINKING.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    THE TRUE RELIGION OF CHRIST THE LORD IS MORE THAN SCIENTIFIC; IT IS EXPERIENCIAL; GO TO THE HOLY GOSPELS AND TO THE MODERN APOSTLES WHO KEEP OBEYING JESUS AND HIS HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF THE LORD.

    BUT THEN OUR LEADERS ARE NOT APOSTLES TO TRANSMIT IT IN AN WHOLESOME WAY. CONSEQUENTLY THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS ARE LOST.

    ONCE OUR LEADERS, THE BISHOPS TO START WITH , BECOME APOSTLES THINGS WILL CHANGE. JESUS WILL START WORKING THROUGH THEM.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    YOURS ARE HALF-TRUTH.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    SCHOLARS ARE NOT THE IDEAL ONES TO PAY ATTENTION TO, BUT TRUE SEEKERS.

    HAVE READ THE CONFESSIONS OF ST.AUGUSTIN?, TELHE LIFE AND CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES?

    APPARENT INCONSISTENCIES ARE RESOLED BY TRUE SEEKERS EASILY. BECAUSE  THINGS ARE ACHIEVED ON SPIRITUAL AND EXPERIENTIAL LEVELS.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     

    “Jesus recognised that people don’t listen to teachers, they listen to witnesses.”

    ACTUALLY MANY LISTEN TO AND OBEY TEACHERS, SO THAT THEY CAN TRANSFER THE BLAME. BUT OF COURSE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE  MORE INTERESTED IN WITNESSES IS INCREASING. THAT IS WHY BIG CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ARE LOSING NUMBERS.

    BESIDES WHY MANY GO AFTER TEACHERS IS BECAUSE IT IS AN EASY WAY OUT. OTHERWISE PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES AND STRUGGLE TOO TO FIND OUT AND LEARN THE TRUTH OF THINGS.

    OF SUCH EASY-GOERS MAKE UP THE CROWD AND ORGANISED RELIGIONS.

    ORGANISED RELIGIONS ARE RUSTING AWAY, BECAUSE THE NUMBER OF TRUTH SEEKERS ARE INCREASING. CHRISTIANITY (NOT NECESSARILY THE TRUE RELIGION OF CHRIST THE LORD) COULD BE SEEN AS A POLITICISED RELIGION BECAUSE OF MERE HUMAN LEADERSHIP WHICH HIJACKED IT AND IN THE PROCESS PUT AN END TO APOSTLESHIP.

    JESUS WARNED ABOUT THE “LEAVEN” OF THE PHARISEES, THEIR TEACHINGS.

    ONLY TRUTH SEEKERS OBEY JESUS IN THIS MATTER. SEEKING THE TRUTH IN AND THROUGH JESUS IS WHAT WE NEED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN, IF WE NEED TO TEACH ANYTHING AT ALL.  WITNESSING IS THE BEST AND ONLY APOSTLES CAN DO IT MOST EFFECTIVELY.

    THE APOSTLES WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS OF SEEKING THE TRUTH IN THE COMPANY OF JESUS AND FOUND OUT THE TRUTH FOR THEMSELVES AND PAID FOR IT BECAUSE THEY FOUND IT THE ONLY THING MORE THAN WORTH THEIR LIFE.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    YOU NEVER HEARD OR READ ABOUT THE POPE WORKING AT RENEWAL?
    SAD – ONE WAY TUNNELED VISION!

    A GOOD NUMBER THE PROBLEMS YOU ARE RAISING ARE VALID. BUT BE OBJECTIVE AND DON’T BE PREJUDICED AGAINST THE POPE.

    IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A FAMILY, BEHAVE LIKE ONE AND RESPECT THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     “You see it now: we want the  ritual without  the understanding.  Parents
    want the  ritual of their  children making first  communion without the
     hassle of actually  going to Mass.Perhaps (putting on my Darwinist
    hat)  this is the   value of  ritual: the ritual survives, the ideas
    that underpinned the  ritual have  been  forgotten, hollowed out, but at
    least  the  half understood awareness of the thing, hardwired into
    communities,  keeps  it alive and  brings the eucharist to as many as
    possible.”

    MERE RITUAL, DOGMA AND DRAMA CANNOT TAKE US BEYOND A POINT.

    THESE HAVE TO BE FRAGRANCED BY THE WORD OF GOD AND THE SPIRIT OF JESUS.
    ONLY THEN THE ABOVE WILL HELP US TO GROW IN AND EXPERIENCE THE TRUTHS OF OUR HOLY FAITH.

    WHAT MAKES THE HOLY EUCHARIST WHAT IT IS : THE BODY OF CHRIST IS THE WORD OF GOD. HERE THE WORD OF GOD IS FOUNDATIONAL.

    WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD OF GOD AND FAITH IN THE SAME, THE EUCHARIST BECOMES AN EMPTY RITUAL.

    WHAT MAKES THE EUCHARIST THE BODY OF CHRIST IS THE WORD OF CHRIST. THE MORE WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO ENJOY THE WORD OF GOD, THE BETTER THEY WILL APPRECIATE THE THE HOLY EUCHARIST.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    ONLY INSIDERS CAN CRITICIZE OR PROPHECY. SHOW YOU ARE ONE. AN ENEMY WITHIN IS NOT WELCOME.

    LET YOUR GOOD WILL GROW. THANKS. GOD BLESS YOU.

  • londoner

    Mary hardly gets a mention in the Bible and Jesus is quite rude and off-hand towards her. She seems astonished at everything he does! Do you not think that a young woman visited by an angel and told she was to bear the Son of God would remember such an unusual event? But she clearly does not! The whole cult of Mary has grown up centuries after Jesus died. She is a very minor character in the bible myths.

  • londoner

    I am not an insider – I am an observer and staggered at the continuing superstition and gullibility of human beings. Long before modern religions, people lived no differently than after religions were invented. Some were good, some were bad. In many cases those without religion, even in recent times have behaved with more humanity than those who claimed to be most devout. Early expeditions to America reported that the native inhabitants behaved far better than European Christians.
    Everybody should be critical and questioning of any organisation with power and influence that abuses that power. Are you saying criticism of the Church is a sin?!

  • londoner

    So when confronted with a question you cannot answer, suddenly you hide between Jesus. If you were honest, you would admit that I have made a valid point.

  • londoner

    Sorry, but very unconvincing answer. I do not for a minute believe in miracles. Modern stage ‘magicians’ can perform far more astonishing feats than those described in the Bible but do not claim (usually) that they are actually performing magic. The Bible is full of inconsistencies, inaccuracies and conflicting accounts of the same events. Biblical scolars say this is because it was written by many authors over hundreds of years. We know that tales told many years after the events they describe tend to be inaccurate and prone to exaggeration. This is true of all myths, such as the famous Greek myths which may have been based on true events but then became exaggerated for dramatic effect. Whatever experience you claim to have had, this is anecdotal and not scientific or empirical evidence. Many people claim to have seen flying saucers and little green men. We do not take them seriously because there is no proof, just as there is no proof of the claims of supernatural sightings and events.

  • londoner

    Tell me one lovable thing about your particular God? You are talking about the God who ordered people to sacrifice their children to show loyalty, ordered Moses to wipe out the Midianites down to the last, man, woman and child, who sent down plagues and said badly-behaved children and adulterous wives should be stoned to death! The same God, according to the Bible, wants constant adoration, praise, and prayer and inflicts suffering randomly, while threatening eternal suffering on those who do not perform the aforementioned! If you could give me proof that such a monstrous being existed, I would still see know reason to bow down before ‘him’, let alone describe him as ‘loving’.

  • londoner

    There are plenty of people of no faith who work for charities – I know of several personally who have worked in Bangladesh in difficult circumstances, not to pave their way to heaven or shorten their time in purgatory or even because their religion commands them to. They do it out of their innate humanity and compassion.

  • londoner

    I had an interesting conversation with a young Irish woman from a large Catholic family a couple of days ago, who ‘lost her faith’ and described the guilt and stress she felt as a result of the reaction of her family and friends. She said how easy it is to go along with an ideology when all around you share it and you are fed edited highlights (with the less comfortable passages of the Bible never mentioned). It was only when she moved away from this environment and spoke to non-Catholic people, read and started to ask questions, that she realised the gaping illogicalities and inconsistencies of the religion. No doubt there have been a few scientists who have clung to their faith despite their intelligence and knowledge but the majority of scientists are not religious. The religious tend to dismiss anything, despite proof, that goes against what they have been taught from an early age.

  • londoner

    A religion involves rituals, rules, ‘holy books’ bowing down to an imaginary being that is worshipped and faith in the supernatural. None of these applies to atheism. Atheism simply means absence of belief in deities. I also do not believe that there is a teapot revolving around the moon as it is extremely unlikely. That does not mean that because others also don’t believe it, we belong to a religion. A weak and tedious argument that unthinking believers dust off without thinking, over and over again. It is up to believers to prove that gods or space-teapots exist not for those who think it extremely unlikely to prove themselves!

  • londoner

    Are you therefore also bound together with people who worship Prince Philip (yes! There is an island where they believe he is a god). Your description of this common view of God as powerful, benevolent, omniscient etc is vague and obvious wishful thinking. As I have pointed out elsewhere there is very little that is benevolent about this imaginary God! He has invented creatures to be weak and unable to always resist temptation so that he can punish them. He has put them on a planet prone to frequent natural disasters. Many die of terrible diseases and accidents, apparently randomly and regardless of whether they lead good or bad lives! Omniscient? If Jesus is one third of this God, why did he not realise he was going to die? To some religious people God is terrible and to be feared, to others he is benevolent so you are not correct in your assumption.

  • londoner

    We could argue forever about whether the good done by the Catholic Church cancels out the bad but that is a separate argument to the most important one – ‘But are its teachings right?’ My answer would be obviously not and it does not matter how many people support it because a depressingly high percentage of people are both gullible, unthinking and superstitious. 
    As to what I have done lately for the good of my neighbour – although it is none of your business, I support Humanist schools in Uganda, which educate children for purely altruistic reasons and do not indoctrinate them in one belief system so that they can make up their own minds! I give to many charities, not because I want to buy my way out of  Purgatory or Hell but because I want to do good. Can you say the same?

  • londoner

    Let me add to my previous comment that your attempt to imply that some of the abuse allegations were bogus is utterly despicable. The Catholic Church right up to the Vatican did its best to cover up and to protect the foul perpetrators. It would take too long to list all the shameful abuses of power in the Church’s history from burning ‘heretics’ at the stake to funding wars, supporting dictators and protecting Nazis. 

    As I’ve said before on this blog, it is simply not good enough to point to other abusers and say ‘they did it too’, as if that mitigates the Catholic Church’s latest scandals. What point is there to a religion that does not make people better but in fact seems to have the opposite effect?

  • londoner

    I can’t say I agree with many of the quotes you give of your Swami. He seems to believe in the existence of other Gods, as did the early writers of the Bible and I do not believe in any. You only believe in one, I presume, out of the thousands that humans have invented and I do not believe in any (only 1 less than you!)

  • londoner

    Your comment seems to be denying the extent of child abuse – or rather child rape by priests. This is disgustingly similar to holocaust-denial by neo Nazis!

  • Henrick_Maundey-666

    Why don’t you Catholics go around with ‘I fathered a Changeling’ written on your foreheads, because that’s what you call the little boys you molest, just so no one believes their horror stories.

  • gabriel_syme

     all touchy feely but lacking depth or substance
    ————

    Bingo.

  • Godzacon

    Thinking people understand Catholicism perfectly- filthy rich, run by debauched old men who thru enforced celibacy are only allowed access to little boys, headed by a corrupt old Nazi sympathiser and cover-up merchant. That’s why it is dying and why Africa with its uneducated tribal populations is its last refuge. 

  • Bob Hayes

    A splendid outpouring of bigotry and lies presented by someone with a juvenile screen name.

  • Godzacon

    STOP SHOUTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    What a windbag!

  • Guest

    Not to mention such ‘loving’ papal orders as banning condoms to perpetuate AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. Miracles, angels, saints, cherubim, seraphim, the trinity, transubstantiation, virgin birth, Mary (apparently) more important than Jesus. Pope JP2 invoking the guiding hand of Our Lady of Fatima to explain why the bullet didn’t kill him- hilarious; if so why didn’t the Lady make it miss him altogether? Seems she was not paying full attention. Or as Mother Theresa said about her orphans- “suffering is good for them” 
    You Catholics are so delusional!

  • Jim

    Finally- I believe religions depend on two principles- fear and low self esteem. Original sin is a revolting concept born of disgust with your own existence. Faith is so cowardly- face up to death and live for this life, not the (non-existent next)

  • Guest

    Ex atheist is a non- sequitur; such a person could not have been truly atheistic. 

  • Guest

    Serpents- wise?? Only in the bible- I never managed to get any response from snakes.

  • Guest

     “People are walking away from Catholicism and Anglicanism not because they reject it, but because they do not understand it.
    The ignorance is gross.”
    Is it me or does this statement typify the arrogant presumption of the religious?

  • Jean-Pierre Sammut, Malta

    We do not need the Catholic Church anymore.

    Anyone who would like to learn the Bible can get in touch with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bible Baptists, the Mormons, or many other genuine organizations.

    The Catholic Church can call it a day!

  • Jean-Pierre Sammut, Malta

    What?! You converted to Catholicism?

    There are so many types of Christian Churches, ranging from 90% genuine and 10% corrupt to 10% genuine and 90% corrupt … why did you opt to dump yourself in a church that is 0% genuine and 100% corrupt ?

    What is your Intelligence Quotient ?

  • Jean-Pierre Sammut, Malta

     What is your Intelligence Quotient, Jae?

  • Jean-Pierre Sammut, Malta

     Is it only the atheists who mock the RC Church?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses mock it too. Yet they are Christians.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

     

    WHAT WE NEED IS THE CHURCH CHRIST THE LORD UNDER ST. PETER AND HIS LINE OF SUCCESSORS.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

     

    ALL PRINCIPLED AND TRUTH BASED SEEKERS COME TO JOIN THE CHURCH OF ST.PETER.

    WHAT HAPPENS BY WAY OF RUST FALLING AWAY IS GOOD FOR THE HEALTH OF  THE CHURCH.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    DID JESUS MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE  OR SIMPLE FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND HIM?

    LOOK AT HIS PARABLES: GOOD SAMARITAN, MARRIAGE FEAST OF HEAVEN, THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A MUSTARD SEED,

    WHEN HE SAYS TO US, “SAY, YES FOR YES, NO FOR NO.”

    OTHER INSTANCES, “I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE”, “HE WHO SEES ME SEES THE FATHER”,  

    “I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.”,

    ” I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE”,
     
    “NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY”.

    IF JESUS HAS NOT MADE THINGS COMPLICATED FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHY SHOULD THE CHURCH?

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    WHEN A LANGUAGE GROWS TOO SPECIAL  LIKE GREEK, LATIN SANSKRIT ETC.MEANT ONLY FOR SOME SELECT GROUP IT GET OUTDATED AND BECOMES USELESS FOR COMMON PEOPLE.

    HAS SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH OR IS IT HAPPENING?

  • Chris Agius

    The Church itself sometimes pushed away Catholics from the fold. You seem to be quite informed about Maltese politics (probably learnt at St. Edward”s). In 1961, Maltese Labour Party supporters were interdicted by the Church. I was baptised because I was lucky enough to have been born and baptised in England, where politics and religion, are wisely kept apart.
    Yet, your recent venomous article about the demise of Dom Mintoff, clearly shows that you are stll influenced by your personal prejudices. Maybe you should know that Arch Bishop Cremona himself stated during Dom Mintoff’s state funeral, that Mintoff put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ. How do you expect us Catholics to trust people like you?

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

      Collapse “The Church itself sometimes pushed away Catholics from the fold.”TRUE, IT LOOKS, VEY MUCH.INSTITUTIONALISED CHRISTIANITY IS A POLITICAL REALITY. FOR THIS VERY REASON WE NEED TO PRAY TO THE LORD OF HISTORY, LORD OF LIFE AND DEATH, WHO SAID, “WILL THERE BE FAITH LEFT ON EARTH WHEN THE SUN OF MAN COMES BACK!”

  • St Donatus

    Honestly, when I cam back to the Catholic Church after 30 years, I found the teaching materials just as bad as when I left. I finally had to get a copy of the Baltimore Catechism on ebay and I learned more in a week than I learned in my 20 years as a Catholic in the CCD program here in the US. The CCD material was all touchy feely stuff that got my emotions going for about a month as a teenager. Once I read the Baltimore Catechism #2 (for ages 8 to 13) I learned how important the Grace of God is. How we need to pray for it, access the sacraments of Confession and Communion, and attend mass in order to access it more fully. Once I tasted the Grace, there was no turning back. 
    I think the best thing a person can do for young people is buy old copies or reprints of the Baltimore Catechism and teach them what Catholicism is all about. It is really well written with increasingly difficult excercises at the end of each section to keep the young people (or adults) interested and taking the information to heart. As far as I am concerned, replacing the Baltimore Catechism was like trying to replace the Bible with something better. It just doesn’t work. The Baltimore Catechism was written with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and seems to surpass anything being written today. I have a library of newer material that just doesn’t hold a candle to this old jewel of spirituality. The illustrations are way out of date (1950s), the material is excellent. The reprints may have updated the illustrations. 

    Please, if anyone has anything better, let me know so I can pass it on to the folks I am working with.