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  #1  
Old Mar 11, '07, 4:11 pm
paramedicgirl paramedicgirl is offline
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Default Are They Being Duped?

I have been finding a common theme among some of the Catholic blogs I read.

It seems there are more than a few people who have explored the Catholic faith and fallen in love with it, and all its rich traditions, beauty and mystery, only to be turned off and away by what they actually receive in the way of indoctrination when they enroll at their local parish.

They write about how they decided to become Catholic, and have been mystified at the vastly different experience they encounter from what their expectations were, at the parishes they enrol in. Some of them leave the faith, and others suspend their initiation out of disappointment with the Catholic education they are receiving, while they contemplate the SSPX or the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Here is one story

Here is another who sought the SSPX to avoid the innovations

Here is another who speaks of many such people and his experiences with them


Why is this happening to these new converts? Their disappointment is evident in what they feel they are not receiving at the hands of the Church they came to believe in. The tradition they were seeking and expecting was replaced with innovation. If there were more indult parishes available to the Catholic faithful, this would not be such an issue.
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  #2  
Old Mar 11, '07, 4:19 pm
Genesis315 Genesis315 is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

It's sad, but this is one of the greatest demonic deceptions--it keeps those out of the ark of salvation who at one time might have joined her or who may even have been linked to her by desire. It is incredibly unreasonable to judge a religion by those who do not follow its precepts, instead of its objective truth/doctrine and by those who do adhere to it.

Psalm 79:5 O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy servant? 6 How long wilt thou feed us with the bread of tears: and give us for our drink tears in measure? 7 Thou hast made us to be a contradiction to our neighbours: and our enemies have scoffed at us. 8 O God of hosts, convert us: and shew thy face, and we shall be saved. 9 Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the Gentiles and planted it. 10 Thou wast the guide of its journey in its sight: thou plantedst the roots thereof, and it filled the land. 11 The shadow of it covered the hills: and the branches thereof the cedars of God. 12 It stretched forth its branches unto the sea, and its boughs unto the river. 13 Why hast thou broken down the hedge thereof, so that all they who pass by the way do pluck it? 14 The boar out of the wood hath laid it waste: and a singular wild beast hath devoured it. 15 Turn again, O God of hosts, look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vineyard 16 And perfect the same which thy right hand hath planted.
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Last edited by Genesis315; Mar 11, '07 at 4:32 pm.
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  #3  
Old Mar 11, '07, 4:47 pm
BobP123 BobP123 is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
I have been finding a common theme among some of the Catholic blogs I read.

It seems there are more than a few people who have explored the Catholic faith and fallen in love with it, and all its rich traditions, beauty and mystery, only to be turned off and away by what they actually receive in the way of indoctrination when they enroll at their local parish.

They write about how they decided to become Catholic, and have been mystified at the vastly different experience they encounter from what their expectations were, at the parishes they enrol in. Some of them leave the faith, and others suspend their initiation out of disappointment with the Catholic education they are receiving, while they contemplate the SSPX or the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Here is one story

Here is another who sought the SSPX to avoid the innovations

Here is another who speaks of many such people and his experiences with them


Why is this happening to these new converts? Their disappointment is evident in what they feel they are not receiving at the hands of the Church they came to believe in. The tradition they were seeking and expecting was replaced with innovation. If there were more indult parishes available to the Catholic faithful, this would not be such an issue.

I see it as a lot of false advertising but there are probably other explanations for this. People see the Pope on TV and how reverent he is and all that, but when they go to the local parish, they don't see any of that grandeur or nobility. When they go, they see people clapping, cheering, laughing, dancing, then receive the Host everyone else receives, and rush to the parking lot even before the Mass is over.

I mean if they really wanted all this, they could have just as easily joined the Seventh Apostolic Church; at least the hearts of the people there seem to be in the right place.
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  #4  
Old Mar 11, '07, 4:58 pm
CatQuilt CatQuilt is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis315 View Post
It's sad, but this is one of the greatest demonic deceptions--it keeps those out of the ark of salvation who at one time might have joined her or who may even have been linked to her by desire. It is incredibly unreasonable to judge a religion by those who do not follow its precepts, instead of its objective truth/doctrine and by those who do adhere to it.
How true!

Anyone who reads The Screwtape Letters will see that!
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  #5  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:11 pm
bear06 bear06 is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
I have been finding a common theme among some of the Catholic blogs I read.

It seems there are more than a few people who have explored the Catholic faith and fallen in love with it, and all its rich traditions, beauty and mystery, only to be turned off and away by what they actually receive in the way of indoctrination when they enroll at their local parish.

They write about how they decided to become Catholic, and have been mystified at the vastly different experience they encounter from what their expectations were, at the parishes they enrol in. Some of them leave the faith, and others suspend their initiation out of disappointment with the Catholic education they are receiving, while they contemplate the SSPX or the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Here is one story

Here is another who sought the SSPX to avoid the innovations

Here is another who speaks of many such people and his experiences with them


Why is this happening to these new converts? Their disappointment is evident in what they feel they are not receiving at the hands of the Church they came to believe in. The tradition they were seeking and expecting was replaced with innovation. If there were more indult parishes available to the Catholic faithful, this would not be such an issue.
I find that it really doesn't matter what parish they attend. Ours is a very traditional parish with a Latin Novus Ordo and a TLM and people still go off in search of what is perfect to them. I've found that is seems some experience a couple of things. #1 Some people suffer from a pendulem effect. They were so far away from anything remotely Christian that they swing right past the Church and off to something super, ultra, radical, whatever. #2 They still really haven't let go of their protestantism and want something that they consider the true Church and not what really is.
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  #6  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:13 pm
Malcolm McLean Malcolm McLean is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
They write about how they decided to become Catholic, and have been mystified at the vastly different experience they encounter from what their expectations were, at the parishes they enrol in. Some of them leave the faith, and others suspend their initiation out of disappointment with the Catholic education they are receiving, while they contemplate the SSPX or the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
People sometimes have unrealistic expectations. Often all we can offer is a few old ladies, a guy with a beard who can just about play the guitar, a crumbling church hall, and an elderly priest who has got rather intolerant and set in his way.

By going for ultra-orthodoxy you can create a tiny church with a very committed, resourceful membership. However the energy is largely an illusion, and it is parasitic upon the Orthodox church. If it gets big, it develops exactly the same problems.
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  #7  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:13 pm
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

It seems as though they had what one of my candidates calls "a head conversion, but not a heart conversion."

I think the problem may be that they were not enculturated - somehow, they managed to get to the Easter Vigil without ever becoming connected to their parishes, and finding out why things are as they are (or even noticing that they were that way).

For this reason, I am strongly in favour of requiring all would-be converts to attend Mass every Sunday for at least one full year (illness excused) before being received at the Easter Vigil, just so that they can get a sense of how the written word plays out in real life, in their particular corner of the world.

This would give them the chance to: a) accept the fact that nothing ever happens in the Catholic Church according to the written directives (probably a feature of our Roman ancestry) and also that each parish has its own unique personality, for good or for ill, or b) find a parish that most closely resembles their preconceptions and hope it doesn't get a new pastor or a new director of liturgy before the end of RCIA, or c) realize that whatever they are looking for can't be found in the Catholic Church, and save themselves a few steps to look for it elsewhere.

Something else to be aware of, too, is that although the 'bad" parish depicted in the first one seems spartan compared to our North American standards, there are Catholics in other parts of the world who would consider it a luxury to be allowed to celebrate Mass indoors at all, regardless of the decorations.

Some of us act like spoiled brats, complaining about things that many people would like to have, if only they could.
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  #8  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:20 pm
paramedicgirl paramedicgirl is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

I was thinking that it may have more to do with the quality of the RCIA program and the people who are instructing it. How many RCIA programs are led by the parish priest? There are so many stories about the instructors teaching false doctrine, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Why aren't the priests more involved in teaching adult catechism? And what about the quality of the program itself? Surely that has much to do with the dissatisfaction of these people.
__________________
When you are before the altar believe that there are troops of angels and archangels trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.

- Saint John Chrysostom

Salve Regina Blog
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  #9  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:20 pm
Brennan Doherty Brennan Doherty is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Good thread paramedicgirl.

Here is a perspective offered by Fr. George William Rutler (I believe he appears at times on EWTN) in his book, "A Crisis of Saints" (Ignatius Press). He is also a Priest who is old enough to have experienced the liturgy both before and after the changes. The emphases in bold are mine:

A Liturgical Parable

The Hard Truth

....We seem to slip out of that golden sense of ultimate truth in two ways. The first is by losing any real awareness of the holy. The second is by denying that it has been lost. Without lapsing into cricitism that would be out of place, suffice it to say that the worship of holiness is weak in our culture, and the beauty of holiness has been smudged in transmission through the revised liturgy. For without impugning its objective authenticity in any degree, its bouleversement [Complete overthrow; a reversal; a turning upside down] of the traditional Roman rite marks the first time in history that the Church has been an agent, however unintentionally, in the deprivation of culture, from the uprooting of classical language and sensibility to wanton depreciation of the arts.

....It is immensely saddening to see so many elements of the Church, in her capacity as Mother of Western Culture, compliant in the promotion of ugliness. There may be no deterrent more formidable to countless potential converts than the low estate of the Church's liturgical life, for the liturgy is the Church's prime means of evangelism. Gone as into a primeval mist are the days not long ago when apologists regularly had to warn against being distracted by, or superficially attracted to, the beauty of the Church's rites. And the plodding and static nature of the revised rites could not have been more ill-timed for a media culture so attuned to color and form and action.

(pp. 107-108)
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  #10  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:22 pm
paramedicgirl paramedicgirl is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bear06 View Post
I find that it really doesn't matter what parish they attend. Ours is a very traditional parish with a Latin Novus Ordo and a TLM and people still go off in search of what is perfect to them. I've found that is seems some experience a couple of things. #1 Some people suffer from a pendulem effect. They were so far away from anything remotely Christian that they swing right past the Church and off to something super, ultra, radical, whatever. #2 They still really haven't let go of their protestantism and want something that they consider the true Church and not what really is.
I think if people found a parish such as yours, they would love it, rather than leave it. It sounds like what they were expecting to find when they enter the Church.
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When you are before the altar believe that there are troops of angels and archangels trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.

- Saint John Chrysostom

Salve Regina Blog
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  #11  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:26 pm
paramedicgirl paramedicgirl is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brennan Doherty View Post

....It is immensely saddening to see so many elements of the Church, in her capacity as Mother of Western Culture, compliant in the promotion of ugliness. There may be no deterrent more formidable to countless potential converts than the low estate of the Church's liturgical life, for the liturgy is the Church's prime means of evangelism. Gone as into a primeval mist are the days not long ago when apologists regularly had to warn against being distracted by, or superficially attracted to, the beauty of the Church's rites. And the plodding and static nature of the revised rites could not have been more ill-timed for a media culture so attuned to color and form and action.

(pp. 107-108)
This is exactly what I think is happening. The beauty is gone, along with the attraction and appeal it holds for these people.
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When you are before the altar believe that there are troops of angels and archangels trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.

- Saint John Chrysostom

Salve Regina Blog
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  #12  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:27 pm
CatQuilt CatQuilt is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
I was thinking that it may have more to do with the quality of the RCIA program and the people who are instructing it. How many RCIA programs are led by the parish priest? There are so many stories about the instructors teaching false doctrine, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Why aren't the priests more involved in teaching adult catechism? And what about the quality of the program itself? Surely that has much to do with the dissatisfaction of these people.
I think in most parishes, the priest is not able to spend the time teaching the RCIA program. It's a year-long commitment and they just don't have the man power.

They should, however, be looking for someone for that position who believes in the Magesterium of the Church, not someone who has Kung, Groome, etc on their bookshelf.

It would help, too, if they used a good book/manual. Now there are some good RCIA programs out there, i.e. they're not all junk...
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  #13  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
I was thinking that it may have more to do with the quality of the RCIA program and the people who are instructing it. How many RCIA programs are led by the parish priest? There are so many stories about the instructors teaching false doctrine, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
I'm not sure this is the case in these three examples, since all three of them seem to be reasonably well-catechized - they just somehow didn't make the connection from the RCIA class to the larger parish community.

Quote:
Why aren't the priests more involved in teaching adult catechism? And what about the quality of the program itself? Surely that has much to do with the dissatisfaction of these people.
The most common reason cited is lack of time. A lot of priests also don't understand the RCIA process and aren't really very interested in new converts.

We are very lucky this year that our associate pastor makes time to come to the RCIA meetings on a regular basis, and also give talks from time to time.
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  #14  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:31 pm
Brennan Doherty Brennan Doherty is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

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Originally Posted by paramedicgirl View Post
This is exactly what I think is happening. The beauty is gone, along with the attraction and appeal it holds for these people.
Yes, I agree. To me it is as if one took a woman, stripped her of her feminine beauty, and then wondered why she did not have as many men courting her as before.
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  #15  
Old Mar 11, '07, 5:33 pm
paramedicgirl paramedicgirl is offline
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Default Re: Are They Being Duped?

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Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
I'm not sure this is the case in these three examples, since all three of them seem to be reasonably well-catechized - they just somehow didn't make the connection from the RCIA class to the larger parish community.
It's exactly the case in one of them, and there are others that I did not link to who are experiencing the same thing.

When people are well catechized, and they get the whitewashed version of the Catholic faith at RCIA, and they know more than the instructor who is teaching the class, it must come as a real shock and disappointment to them.
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