Ok. What does "poorly catechized" mean?

And yet they don’t. Because since the council, and largely due to the ‘spirit of the council’, a lot of people are reluctant to actually teach Catholic truth anymore.

I imagine a lot of those kids took from that not to teach their children and leave it to schools.

Sexual revolution, the pills and the TV, IOW technology marvels. Our world changed like we never known before and never really recovered from them.

Ah, so to be properly catechized means that one must unquestioningly follow what the church teaches? No dissent is allowed. Of course, when the teaching changes, you are required to exercise doublethink, like “Oceania is at war with Eurasia, therefore Oceania has always been an war with Eurasia”.

Yep, I suspected as much. Thanks for confirming it. :wink:

Well, talking to them is typically sufficient.

That is actually quite true. If a Catholic has a genuine desire to know and learn the faith, they will actually engage in Teaching. And when someone does this for a while, they will actually learn!! It’s a crazy phenomenon, right? Then, when Catholics talk with one another, they will see each other’s beliefs. And through respectful fellowship, will be able to come to more understanding of one another.

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I think people have different meanings when they say someone is poorly catechized. In some ways I think that there are many in the church that are very intellectual. And they intellectualize everything about the Catholic church when you engage in conversation with them, they make you feel that you are not an adequate Catholic when you yourself can not engage in conversation with them. There was one Catholic I met in college who was like this, yes it’s great that he was so studious regarding Saint Thomas Aquinas and Augustinian theology…but in all honesty I have no idea what in the world he is talking about when he wants to discuss Aquinas works and his theoligical five ways.

Now picturing my mother’s reaction if someone from any of my Catholic schools had said that to her. She would have blown two gaskets and had to spend extra years in Purgatory.

In any event, she had already taught me so much before I showed up at the Catholic school age 6 that the damage was already done. I already knew all the basic prayers, the Our Father and Hail Mary parts of the Rosary, had a general idea what was going on at Mass, knew a bunch of OT prophet stories, a bunch of saint stories, and the entire Jesus story along with quite a few of the parables, and who the Poor Souls in Purgatory were and that we should pray for them.


If some parents think they don’t have the privilege and responsibility of teaching and guiding their children in the faith, they are completely ignorant and blind.

They obviously haven’t taken their faith seriously. If anyone told them not to, they should have deflected that silly notion like water off a duck’s back.

So, here’s the question: what does it mean – on a philosophical level, if you will – to say that a person is a member of a faith community but does not believe what that faith community teaches as its core beliefs?

There are different levels of teachings in the Church, with varying degrees and types of assent.

That’s the fun part: doctrine and dogma do not change. No doublethink required. :wink:

Your suspicions are wrong, and your understanding of the Church is way off base. Yep, I suspected as much. Thanks for confirming it. :roll_eyes:


It’s a fact that there are Catholics who are poorly catechized. There are poorly catechized members of every creedal /doctrinal religion, Christian and non-Christian. My sister in law is a not-knowledgeable-of-her-faith Jew. I knew a Muslim in grad school who ran the student Muslim group who talked about meeting Muslims through the group who didn’t really know much about Islam.

These are facts. It’s not an insult, it’s simply an observable fact of the human condition that some people who claim membership in a religious group aren’t very knowledgeable about it. My husband says it about himself— that he was poorly catechized as a child.


My mom was rather docile when it came to church stuff and she sacrificed so i could go to Catholic school even though friends and family warned I would get a substandard education. No idea why they thought that; the school was no less rigorous academically than the public school.

I was reminiscing about being taught prayers and how the book on the saints was one if my favorites to look at before I could read. I didn’t learn about the rosary and I had a scapular as decoration on my desk. It’s almost like I can see how far she got with teaching me and what she thought I would learn in school from the sisters and priests. I know teachers at my childhood alma mater and many are dedicated to passing on the faith to their students, making going to Mass and religion class more than just part of the school day.

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Yes, my mom was in many ways meek and docile. She raised me to be also, and instead of making me holy, it made me vulnerable, and damaged. That she was able to make Catholic school and faith a priority for me is kind if amazing since my family was rather poor and my mom got pushback about Catholic school from friends and family and my dad hated any kind of weirdo religious stuff. And all my mom wanted was for her daughter to grow to be a woman of God.

And thanks for that indirect insult towards my parents. Totally deserved by my dad but my mom did her best even though she had little support and was married to man who abused her emotionally on a daily basis and physically, on occasion.

Poor catechesis? Yeah, it’s a problem. But I wonder, if sometimes we tend to use this as an excuse for those who do things or have beliefs contrary to what the Church teaches. It is my belief that many Catholics know full well what the Church teaches, yet make a conscious, deliberate decision to defy her.

The other day, there was a thread about Catholics receiving communion at non-Catholic services. And no matter how hard one participant, who happens to be a Catholic Priest, tried to convey that this was absolutely and unequivocally forbidden, giving precise answers as to why the RCC teaches this way, some responders steadfastly refused to accept his excellent advice. I didn’t see them as “poorly catechized.” They just flat out didn’t want to accept the word of one who holds a position of authority, who was clearly speaking the truth. This appeared to me to be a position of defiance. Every bit the problem, and maybe even a bigger problem than poor catechesis. Just my 2 cents.


I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the good nuns in full habit who taught me from the Baltimore Catechism. They seem to get tarnished retrospectively through no fault of their own. They were not theological geniuses but they knew how to teach the basics of the Catholic Faith. And nobody ever got smacked with a ruler. Not once in eight years of Catholic elementary school. And yes, they did teach us to be kind to others, to be compassionate, to pray regularly, to make short visits to the church to say hi to Jesus. I have nothing but fond memories of them.

There were several nuns, also in full habit, who taught in high school. One was the chemistry teacher. She was quite strict and demanded we work at the subject, but she wasn’t mean. One school day we were all complaining about the hot weather (no A/C!), and weren’t paying much attention. She paused and admonished us to quit complaining. Motioning to her habit she said, “Do you think it’s any cooler inside this habit?”


A Catholic is defined as those who hold a certain set of beliefs, those espoused by the Roman Catholic Church.
Allowing varying beliefs in one church is like allowing people who don’t like Sherlock Holmes into a Sherlock Holmes fan club.

Mine was kinda the polar opposite of docile. Her own mother had a history of being firmly un-docile and actually pulled my mom out of Catholic grade school after a teacher was mean to her. In the 1930s you didn’t just pull your Catholic kid out of the school but Grandma did. All the women in Mom’s family were assertive Irish-American Catholics.

When I was a kid, we memorized the Baltimore Catechism. There are early editions for grade school children and more comprehensive editions for high school kids. We memorized and in high school we had paperback editions of the Bible, which we partly memorized.

I can still recite parts of the Catechism.

Recently I took some Catholic adult education and the deacon/instructor at one point got exasperated and asked “Why did God make us?” and I was the only one who knew the answer … “… to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him in the next life.” Everyone else just had black looks. That was chapter One in the Baltimore Catechism, WHICH you can buy from Amazon.

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Good point. Likewise, we also mostly memorized the Baltimore Catechism.

When reading the CCC, I will often mentally recall the Baltimore Catechism for comparison. Maybe I’ll pick up a Baltimore Catechism for side by side comparison.

Thanks for planting the idea.


We did have a couple of nuns who hit with rulers or lost their cool. They weren’t bad people though. One of them was a music teacher and she was sort of like Madame Sousatzka or a tough sports coach. I took piano from her for 8 years and played in her band. Another would get mad at us fifth graders and start yelling and tell us we would end up like people who committed horrible murders that she would describe in detail, thus riveting the attention of every kid in the class. The following year she got a transfer to the primary grades. She was really sweet with the little kids. I also had some nuns in high school who were calmer.
All of the older nuns, calm or not, were knowledgeable about their subjects and were good teachers. We also had in high school a goodly percentage of older women who were former nuns who had left the convent, and they were also very good at their work.

Many of the younger nuns were not as good teachers and some of them were to put it bluntly jerks. Unfortunately, they tended to be the ones teaching my religion classes.

It means that this person partially agrees and partially disagrees with some of what you call “core beliefs”. They may consider some other beliefs as “core” beliefs.

I see. Now where is a complete authoritative list of those doctrines and dogmas? Because for quite a long time the literal interpretation of Genesis was required. The cosmological “teaching” that the Earth is the middle of the Universe was unquestionable. The concept of limbo was taken as mandatory to believe. There is today a “fight” about the ordination of women. Another one is the about the celibacy of priests. Dogma? And quite a few others. Now, of course there is the tried and tested approach; as soon as a very fundamental teaching is changed, it ceases to be a “core belief”, it is no a “dogma or doctrine” any more. What did the Church Lady say: “How conveeenient”. :slight_smile:

Maybe you confuse “understanding” with “acceptance”. One can fully understand a subject and still disagree with it.

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