I may bring a unique perspective to this discussion as one who was a Catholic High Schooler involved with Young Life.
If anything, Young Life made me a more devout Catholic. I went to camp and came back fired up for my Church. I volunteered to make CYO/CCD more exciting for my High School peers by helping the teacher set up events and even playing worship songs on my guitar with them.
I was about as involved in Young Life as a High Schooler and can say that the leaders in my area definitely respected our churches. They all encouraged us to go to our own church, and only if we didn’t have one would they recommend one. My YL Campaigner (Bible Study) leader actually met with my priest to ask permission to have me in the Bible Study and to explain what we were going to cover. My priest consented as long as my leader didn’t attack Catholicism. I can tell you honestly that not once did any attack on Catholic beliefs come up.
I went to college and became a Young Life leader, and also a staunch Catholic.
But it was my studying of the Bible that led me to part ways with Rome. Young Life, if anything, made me a more zealous Catholic.
LaChiara, if you are pursuing lawsuits against Young Life you’re going to come off like a lunatic. Use your time elsewhere, Young Life isn’t the enemy. It’s the youth groups in your church. I applaud you for thoroughly researching the groups your children are involved in…more parents need to take a lesson from you. But Young Life can do way more good than harm.
Oh, and there were a few of my friends who were forbidden from Young Life because their parents called it a “cult” or something…they were instead forced to attend the youth group at their parent’s church that didn’t really care about catechesis or reaching the kids… These guys aren’t walking with the Lord today. The ones who came to Young Life–we still meet together regularly and nearly all of us are members of solid churches.
So your are telling me that Young Life made you a better Catholic but studying the Bible convinced you to leave the Catholic Church? Hmmm, why do I feel like you still work for Young Life and have an axe to grind.
But in any case, if I were worried about looking like a lunatic, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing. But I don’t care about looking like a lunatic. What I care about is what is right for me, my family, my community, and the Catholic Church. Young Life is not Catholic, it is Protestant. If there were facts, they would confirm that while Young Life may make some stronger in their Catholic faith, many more Catholic youth who were involved in Young Life LEFT the Catholic Church.
I very much disagree with you that the Catholic youth group is the enemy. You are a former Catholic who was (and still is?) involved in Young Life and you suggest that I should leave Young Life alone and view my parish’s Catholic youth group as the enemy. You are kidding, right?
Yes, “Young Life can do more good than harm” but it will do more good for Protestant beliefs, and do harm to our Catholic youth by luring them away.