Awful RCIA class -- what's my moral obligation?

I just entered the Church this year after having gone through a pretty bad RCIA program. Luckily, I’d read enough at the time and I’ve read enough since to sort out the errors, but with the next class about to start in a month or so, I’m curious about what my moral obligation is to try to correct some of the errors. Here are some examples of things that we were “taught”:

Almost no one ever commits a mortal sin.
The ordination of women was not only possible, but probable in the next 50 or so years.
The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist can be understood to be similar to the way in which God is present everywhere.

In fact, I had a conversation with a friend that I met in the program and we realized that many of the other people in the program probably wouldn’t be able to give an answer to a question like, “is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday?”

I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to my priest, but I’m not sure if that’s the right approach. I’ve already challenged the RCIA leader on a couple of smaller points and I can already guess how she’d respond if I confronted her: she’d suggest that we have different needs and that she’s trying to meet people where they are, etc.

What should I do? What am I obliged to do? I don’t want to start a fight or anything, and sister who teaches it is a very nice lady (as you might imagine from someone who’s afraid to teach the truth about sin). Any advice would be helpful.

Hi aq5335

I’m very sorry to hear that you had a bad, and what sounds like, a very un-orthodox RCIA experience.

As to moral obligation, I think it would be important for you to contact your priest. Cite him the same examples. Ask him how he is going to approach the matter. If it sounds like you are getting brushed off, then you may even consider contacting the Bishop.

We have so many errors being taught by well meaning Catholic lay people, it is important that when they speak for the Church, they speak with the united tongue of the Church’s teaching.

I am a RCIA team member of large parish in Kansas. Please pray for us that we may not error in our teaching and are able to help lead our catechumen to a fuller knowledge of Christ Jesus and the Holy Catholic Church.

Take the CCC and the Bible along to every class, also- take a recorder. Ask the questions in a charitable way, and record the answers. Know that you may be helping others in the class.

Speak with your Priest and speak with your DRE (Director of Religious Ed) at the Parish level. After that, your Diocise should have a website with contact information - find the Director of Religious Education at that level.

remember these initials, WWJD?

This is exactly what came to mind when I read your post. What do you think Jesus would do?
How would HE handle this?

This is obviously something God wants YOU to deal with.
Be careful, cause you may be the next RCIA teacher! :smiley:

I would say, contact your priest and volunteer to help out with RCIA.

Several years ago I had a similar experience with the Sister running the RCIA program. I felt humiliated when I asked certain questions…child-like questions…The CCC helped me greatly and the Sister told me I could not become a Catholic and to find another Church. I talked to our Monsignier about this and he said that he had the authority to have me recite the Creed and I could indeed become Catholic BUT he had to share his Church with this Sister and the politics would not permit him to do so. I joined another parish and in God’s everlasting mercy, found the Family and faith I had been so desperately seeking. I have only returned to that (other) Church once or twice and I could only pray for the Sister who teaches. Hang in there, I did…Blessings always

I’m terribly sorry to hear about your ordeal. The class i took part in was very good, the group we had was very very good, and i think all present became very interested in the faith and went out on their own anyways. I was received just yesterday and i’m ecstatic!

Despite this, there were some times I remember leaving thinking “if i hadn’t read up on this, i wouldn’t have known what they were talking about”.

I personally feel obligated to take part in the classes, and in a way i think that’s one of the reasons God might have called me back. I feel very strongly about it, and i care so much for the tender new hearts that are vulnerable to misplaced charity. My friend, if you feel very strongly about being involved, get involved.

Now you have super power backing you up, trust in the healing power of the eucharist to guide you, and you cannot go wrong.

God bless,

Forget about the whip of cords and cleansing the Temple. :eek:

ah… you too?
we got a Priest telling us how it was inevitable that we would have women priests, and married priests… oddly it was those of us who were raised as Protestant Ministers Kids (PKs) who were most strenuously against the idea.

and we got the whole “its very very hard to commit a Mortal sin” lecture, but at least the Sister did point out that it was possible, and that all sin was very serious even if its not “mortal”

What really worries me is the teaching you got about the Eucharist, because on THAT teaching hinges the entire difference between Catholicism and , say Lutherans or Episcopalians. i would say, go and get some official church writings on the Eucharist… including the ones by the Popes… and present that to your RCIA teacher with some discussion that people are depending on her to teach Catholicism, not … Episcopalianism.
it might help if some of the other RCIA students from last year can also come along…
and seriously? talk to the priest or the bishop. or better yet, email your concerns to the Diocese… there is usually a person whose JOB is to oversee RCIA classes.

ah? are you aware of the “Kansas Rosary Conspiracy”? there are a lot of Rosary Army members in Kansas… maybe they could help you!

IOW: I agree with Sister but I’m going to phrase it so you don’t report me to the bishop.

Real church “politics” allow, even REQUIRE, a Pastor to fire a dissident staff member.

I’m glad you found a good parish. I hope you’re helping in RCIA in the new place.

This is not uncommon

. … I’m curious about what my moral obligation is to try to correct some of the errors.

no moral obligation specific to the RCIA Class, however you should consider assisting in future class

I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to my priest, but I’m not sure if that’s the right approach. I’ve already challenged the RCIA leader on a couple of smaller points and I can already guess how she’d respond if I confronted her: she’d suggest that we have different needs and that she’s trying to meet people where they are, etc.

What should I do?

save the paper and the confrontation, add value to the teaching

What am I obliged to do? I don’t want to start a fight or anything, and sister who teaches it is a very nice lady (as you might imagine from someone who’s afraid to teach the truth about sin). Any advice would be helpful.

Teach you’re better educated than many so use your talent!

Oh wow… see on thisSumma.

I honestly do not know from where laypeople teaching RCIA comes. It is the blind leading the blind…

given the lack of priests and nuns and etc it is inevitable that some “lay people” will have to teach… that said…
lay people doesnt mean untrained people, just people who are not priests, nuns, monks, etc. if the local church is permitting the teaching of false doctrine, then there is a PROBLEM!
always talk to the local people first (priest, etc) then go up the chain of command. Bishop, if need be Cardinal…

it is critical for the well being of the church that people know the truth of their faith.
(now , this doesn’t mean trying to put a PhD thesis in front of kindergarteners… teach at an appropriate level, of course)

I also had a poor RCIA experience (2007) taught mostly by lay people. But in our area, there simply aren’t enough priests to do all of the catechesis. I am volunteering this year to help teach RCIA, and I don’t at all think it’s something a layperson can’t do well. All I have to do is state up front that anything I say is subject to the magisterial teaching of the Church, rely on the CCC to construct my talks, and point people to the clergy or to the Catechism if there are questions I can’t answer well.

The difficulty arises because so many of our catechetical materials are flawed, so many of our priests are poorly formed, and so many of our lay catechists are blatantly disobedient to the Church. It’s not rocket science, it’s just a matter of obedience and a little homework.

may i suggest “the Rosary: a little Summa” as a good foundation?
its a bit dated, and may be over the head of a compleat newbie… but it would be good for you at least.

also, if you need rosaries to hand to the class, let me (or any of the Rosary Army folks) know. we hand knot them and give them away
kirsten at fabricdragon dot com and my computer eats emails sometimes…

We know what Jesus would say, we all heard it at Mass on Sunday. It would be better for this person to be cast into the sea wearing a millstone necklace :slight_smile:

=aq5335-I just entered the Church this year after having gone through a pretty bad RCIA program. Luckily, I’d read enough at the time and I’ve read enough since to sort out the errors, but with the next class about to start in a month or so, I’m curious about what my moral obligation is to try to correct some of the errors. Here are some examples of things that we were “taught”:

Almost no one ever commits a mortal sin.
The ordination of women was not only possible, but probable in the next 50 or so years.
The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist can be understood to be similar to the way in which God is present everywhere.

In fact, I had a conversation with a friend that I met in the program and we realized that many of the other people in the program probably wouldn’t be able to give an answer to a question like, “is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday?”

I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to my priest, but I’m not sure if that’s the right approach. I’ve already challenged the RCIA leader on a couple of smaller points and I can already guess how she’d respond if I confronted her: she’d suggest that we have different needs and that she’s trying to meet people where they are, etc.

What should I do? What am I obliged to do? I don’t want to start a fight or anything, and sister who teaches it is a very nice lady (as you might imagine from someone who’s afraid to teach the truth about sin). Any advice would be helpful.

WOW! :eek:

Are you already a member of the Church? If so, don’t participate. It’s unlikely you can make inroads with an establised team. If you’re not yet a member, set up a meeting with your priest and have a frank [but chairatble] conversation with him, and make a request for private instruction.

Perhaps he is unaware of what is taking place? Is there a DRE you can speak to? But i do suggest you not go back. I see alot of down sides and no “ups?”

Love and prayers,

Pat

This post upsets me greatly! I am a lay RCIA catechist. This is a job that I care very much about, and I am sorry for those of you who have had poor RCIA experiences!

The first thing to mention is that RCIA is relativley new. Well… it is old… but it has just come back to us. If you are in an “old” parish, where most of the congregation are Pre-Vatican II, than RCIA might not have a very big emphasis.

You should get the book “Catholicism for Dummies.” This is a good “starter” text for RCIA. Another good book is “This is our Faith” by Michael Pennock.

If you are interested in supplamenting your RCIA experience, consider taking an online class through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF). These courses run around $90. I take them to enhance my teaching abilities in RCIA. A good starter course is “Survey of Catholic Doctrine”. I often refer to this as RCIA on Steroids!

Good luck and blessings!

i don’t entirely agree… i think just about everything that has been mentioned as a course of action on this thread should be done… go to the priest, if you don’t get anywhere, go to the bishop… AND join the class…

our Church is being destroyed slowly but surely… There will always be at least a small remnant of good and true Cahtolics… but it is SO wrong to let the teaching of ERROR continue…

if that is not a serious sin of ommission i don’t know what is.

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