Lay institute

As I take the Lay institute program for my diocese I notice a common theme in the presentations.

Each particular “lecture” is presented with the “historical” aspect of the each topic first and then as the lecture moves on the topic is presented in the “current” way the church views the “topic”. One thing I can count on is each topic (cetechesis, scripture, sacraments, etc. etc. ) hisotorically is presented from what the vatican taught. As the topic of lecture moves out of the past (pre vatican II) the focuss is on what the U.S. bishops teach. If I were a protestant attending these classes I would get the very strong impression that Vatican II was a schsim. THe lectures I am taking imply that the USCCB is the authority. Its almost like the historical understanding of the Faith was defined by the Vatican and the contemporary understanding is defined by the USCCB and others (Mcbrien comes to mind). The older study materials for my class are almost always presented as the obsolete rules of the vatican and the more contemporary study materials are produced by the USCCB. The animosity towards Rome is almost palpable.

One other thing that I notice is that Vatican II is the ONLY historical reference point used for the presentaion of ALL of the materials in this TWO year program. It is presented as before Vatican II (the really bad old days) and post Vatican II the right way.

Its almost like the historical understanding of the Faith was defined by the Vatican and the contemporary understanding is defined by the USCCB and others. The animosity towards Rome is almost palpable.

One other thing that I notice is that Vatican II is the ONLY historical reference point used for the presentaion of ALL of the materials in this TWO year program. It is presented as before Vatican II (the really bad old days) and post Vatican II the right way.

Not being able to read the presentation materials, it is very difficult to comment. My inclination is to believe that you have a preconceived attraction toward traditionism [since you post in the T.C. forum], and that you might be a little subjective in your bias toward it.

Have you read the Vatican II document Christus Dominus?
The role of the Bishops in the church is spelled out rather definitively. It may help put a perspective on the text you are presently reading in your program.

Remember ALL of the bishops are to teach their flock, this is not the sole responsibility of the Vatican or the Pope. The Pope is “first among equals”, his brethren of bishops. So I would see nothing wrong with material coming from any bishop unless I thought it was an incorrect teaching of the Church.

Keep in mind also that theology develops, the Catholic Church, especially the Vatican and specifically Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict both now and as Cardinal Ratzinger, support discussion and research on the Bible as long as it does not change Church teaching. What we can learn through understanding the culture, customers, languages, archaeological finds, textual styles, and more helps us understand what the authors of sacred scripture intended to convey - which is in errant. The Vatican established the Pontifical Biblical Council to help foster this effort, as most biblical scholarship came from Protestant circles up to about 50 years ago. The Pontifical Council is now an independent group, to ensure no perceived influence by the Vatican.

As a great example, Pope Benedict is coming out with a new book about Jesus in March. It’s subject is basically to ensure that this analysis does not take us away from Jesus’ true message. So it shows he is both supportive of scholarship to move ahead, yet keep it grounded in the theology of the early church fathers (which was the ocmplete premise of Vatican II). The important part of this book, is that the introduction ASKS for critique, criticism, and discussion of his ideas - he specifically says it is to be considered scholarship material and not a magisterial teaching from the Pope - very innovative.

So we must move ahead in our continuing search for truth, yet grounded in the theology of Christ. Going to either extreme is not correct nor supported by the Church.

You are correct in your inclinations. I am of the first generation of Catholics who were catechized after VII. I was born in 1967. I was essentially taught secular humanism twice on wednesdays. Once during the day at PUBLIC school and then again at CCD class.

Joysong I am working on my bias and I pray everyday quell animosity I have towards those who were in charge of my faith formation and Those who hijacked Vatican II leading to multitudes of theological idiots who come from my generation.

The following link is almost exactly the same story as mine…in fact I would only have to change the names and places to make it my story.aquietcatholic.blogspot.com/2006/09/i-was-robbed.html

The thing that makes my story and others like it so alarming is the fact that we are now in charge of Catechism class now. I am a teacher and every wednesday I get to watch the blind leading the blind.

So, just what did I learn on my own that I never learned in religious ed.? Almost everything.

Dear Decn2B,

From your link, and it almost restates my comment this morning on another thread:

True catholics in mind and spirit do not fail to learn and study the truths of the faith, for they are an important guide for daily living and following their “informed” consciences. --skip-- Jesus did say that those who are of the truth, hear His voice.

I think it is sad to put all the blame on religious ed, for never in one hour per week will a person learn all of his prayers and the entire teachings of the catechism. I thought it was interesting that your unnamed blogger did not mention at all that her parents taught her. Neither did mine teach me. It was presumed everything would come via the Church.

And yes, I agree with you that there needs to be solid catechesis that, hopefully, does not quit with confirmation. Are you aware that some parishes cannot get their children to come after 8th grade? Or even as teens? Or as ongoing study in mid-life through adult education.

As a person born in 1963 I join the ranks of those catechised by the same group. However, my dad at least prayed with us and taught us too. unfortunately, in my preteen and early teen years I was a typical kid…thinking my teachers knew more and even I knew more than my dad. I don’t blame dad for bad catechesis, I can however blame some of the bad decisions on my parish, allowing a husband/wife team to teach us at 13 yo that had been previously married, divorced, and lived together before they married in a Protestant church because they didn’t get an annulment. Normally I would say that this circumstance was not an indication of their ability to teach but they flaunted it to 13 yo’s. Their teaching influenced me alot at that age. Of all the years of CCD, I remember that class better than any other year. But as I got older I recognized that it was my responsibility to educate myself. I actually attended PSR with my kids to make sure they were taught properly. I never want my kids to get as much misinformation as I got. Today, I am happy with how much I am able to teach my kids (11,15,17,19) and how much they already know. It gives me hope that they are so much more conservative and orthodox than I was at their ages. The 15 yo will be confirmed in 1 week… and she understands it much more than I did back in the day. She is the 3rd of 4 to be confirmed and none of them have stopped learning yet… It really warms my heart.

Now, to tie it all back in… I notice the same thing with the pre VII teaching and the Post VII. However, I think it is important to understand that it wasn’t really post VII that we are battling, it is the medias incorrect interpretation of VII that we battle. I wonder what led people to trust the media over their priests and church? Was this all a fallout from our global media coverage explosion of the times?

If you read all of the blog writers chapter you will notice in the last chapter of the “autobiograhy” the author mentions with emphasis personal culpability in the matter. Perhaps the author’s cynism comes out of defining characteristic of my particular generation. I have read that my generation is the most negative of the Generations. It is also characterized as fiercly independent. I attribute this to the fact that we were the first latch key kids. My generation was the first bunch to come home from school to an empty house because mom was at work. It was true with me. Perhaps the spiritual mileu that reverberated with social change in events like Roe vs. Wade had an effect supernaturally on my Generation. I cannot imagine how different my generation would be if not so many of my peers didn’t end up in garbage cans behind abortion clinics.

Personally I did seek out my faith. At age 23 I decided to search for the truth. In the begining I was nearly seduced by evangelical protestantism a faith that seemingly cashed in on attracting unwitting, uncatechised Catholics. The appeal was real and like the author I nearly made the jump. Unfortunately my slightly older brother did make the jump and is now firmly entrenched in Evangelical Protestantism which is better than where he was.

So yes Joysong you are correct that I am biased. Hopefully I have demonstrated the etiology of my bias. Somthing that I continue to work on day by day. For I know that this bias is a ghost from the past that continues to cloud things for me.

Joysong I am working on my bias and I pray everyday quell animosity I have towards those who were in charge of my faith formation and Those who hijacked Vatican II leading to multitudes of theological idiots who come from my generation.

Error is always going to grieve any of us who encounter it. I go crazy in spirit whenever it crosses my path, as I’m sure you do, because it is evident in your posts. So many of our saints of old fought the same battle, yet it is God’s grace that sustains us and enables us to love those who cause us so much pain.

Fight the good fight, brother in Christ!

I must strongly and respectfully disagree with this statement as being Idealized and not essentially the case in most situations. I was very fortunate and was taught very well when I entered the Church, my priest only had me and told me outright that there was some bad teaching going on and since I was the only one he would do the Classes. so I had no excuse when I left, I was just being dumb as I knew better.

However, if one has bad teaching or next to no teaching then they will have no way to learn the faith, even on their own unless they are very studious thry just won’t be able to. Your comment assumes a lot without any thought to what it’s really saying.

I did, of course I was a different case too. I had devoured everything about the faith I could get my hands on, as it turns out my College Library had old books and I was very surprised when I attended my first Mass that the Church seemed to have lost the universality it had before V2 that I read about and that God used to propel me into the Church.

Thanks for the encouragement, I really need it for some reason today. Oh and I guess I should thank dear Therese for the rose in your sig.

[quote=HistoryB]However, if one has bad teaching or next to no teaching then they will have no way to learn the faith, even on their own unless they are very studious thry just won’t be able to. Your comment assumes a lot without any thought to what it’s really saying.

I had devoured everything about the faith I could get my hands on, as it turns out my College Library had old books and I was very surprised when I attended my first Mass that the Church seemed to have lost the universality it had before
[/quote]

I’m sorry you disagree with my comments, History. It seems we have the same interior unsatiable quest for truth, though, and I commend you for searching. When I lived in Detroit, I used to drive about 25 miles to the Chancery Office where they had a lending library full of all the old books on the Saints and the Church. I would not read anything else, for I wanted absolute truth. You could say that I read till my eyes wore out! :smiley:

When the Shepherd leaves the 99 and calls us back to Himself, He implants through grace this powerful impetus and hunger, not only for Himself, but also for the Truth. When that interior touch is present, do you think for a moment that He does not inspire us how to find it? We both managed to locate it, but in different ways, huh?

Maybe I am wrong in judging by my own circumstance, but I believe it is also scriptural … seek and you WILL find! If not this year, then the next, or the one after that. The only requisite that I believe is necessary would be a pure heart. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God! (Also scripture) And I could cite many other verses, but I’m sure you know them.

My faith is also in the Holy Spirit whom Jesus said will come with conviction [in one’s conscience] to disclose error. I still believe He is active, and many who are now in error, are not doomed forever to remain that way, unless their pride is an obstacle keeping them in blindness. God has His own time table. Too many saints remind us that “yesterday a sinner, today a saint!” … Mary Magdalene, St. Paul, and a host of others.

Tomorrow’s Responsorial Psalm (N.O. rite):
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

Unfortunately, the spiritual leadership in many parishes leaves a lot to be desired. The bad news is we’re left to our own devices. The good news is there’s tons of resources if you know where to look.

Here’s a list of books compiled by a priest in Virginia, I believe…

Enjoy!

:thumbsup:

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