Same here, IRAMOE. And even then, our, ahem…“pastor”, as he was called, was always trying to downgrade religion, saying just live by like the Jesus of the gospels is enough. Well, there is a lot more to Jesus than the Gospel texts.
Later, we had a Buddhist, and you know “under UCMJ” he would tell me, I “am supposed to call him chaplain”. But I just called him Captain or Sir, and not “chaplain” except when he brought it up. But he was always talking about what hypocrites we are as Christians. Nevermind that he used to be a “Christian” pastor, who one day “found Buddha”. Lol.
Overall, the military has a VERY difficult time keeping religion. My commanders have not historically been keen on religion or faith, and there are SO few Catholic priests working as Chaplains to the military. There is a DIRECT correlation to the number of chaplains and how much religion is respected in the military.
But maybe starting bible study groups for Catholics and having the ministry to pass out free bibles, or bibles for $1, is a good place to start to help fill in where priests are not available.
As for me, I’m a bible-banging-Catholic. I grew up in the buckle of the belt, the whip, Texas. Where historical Catholicism meets heavy handed Protestantism. And so, I found that The bible has an answer for almost every question. I find them all the time. And those matters of Tradition, which are often difficult to explain, like Predestination, Divinization, and matters relating to Mary, well, most answers can trace their roots back to the Bible. Dr. Scott Hahn dies an excellent exposition on the Mary of the Bible. He comes from a Bible-culture, one whose eyes, like the Pharisees, did not allow him to “understand what he was reading”, like the Ethiopian eunich. Then, when they are converted, like Saint Paul, everything they know about Scripture is seen in new light as it was meant to be seen. And they become powerful evangelists!
If we can use the bible to bring in well versed protestants, then we will have powerful new leaders in the Church, leaders who can help draw other Catholics closer to our own faith. That’s my premise behind all this. I’m not excluding that we can’t find Catholics who know their Scripture well, but I am saying that it takes years and years and years to learn it well enough.
But a two-pronged effort to both seek out bible-knowing Catholics and open-minded Prots to direct an effort for people to learn their bibles sounds like a good ministry. And that’s what’s good about being Catholic, there is something for everyone! Some folks don’t want to read bibles, we have Tradition they say. Well, I say “bible, well, that’s Tradition too.”