What Catholic Bishops in the USA don't know


#1

**The entire Gospel can only be learned through catechesis. When we learn the teachings in the Catechism, we learn the Gospel that the apostles taught and preached. **

[size=3][size=2]The CCC teaches:[/size][/size]
[size=3][size=2]5. "Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way.[/size][/size]

The Church teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a “sure norm for teaching the faith”. It is organized under the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and prayer.

[size=2]This education in the faith is organized by teaching the fundamentals of the Creed, Sacraments, the Commandments and Prayer. In other words, the apostles could not preach and teach the Gospel in an unorganized way, they way we hear it in homilies today, otherwise no one could learn it. (which is why most Catholics are ignorant of basic truths) Thus, they and the early Church fathers organized the Gospel into the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and Prayer. The whole Gospel is contained under these basic truths, when they are explained and taught. [/size]
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]Thus the Church teaches in the Directory for Catechesis (approved and promulgated by the Pope)
105 Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways.

Didn’t we all think that by learning the Catechisms we were ONLY learning the Catholic faith, Catholic doctrine, Christian doctrine, etc? Yes, that is true, but the Catholic faith, Catholic doctrine, Christian doctrine, truths of the faith, etc. have all come from the apostles in Tradition and Scripture. But apostolic Tradition is simply the Gospel the apostles taught and preached and lived. So, the Catholic faith is simply the living Gospel that has come down from the apostles.
In other words, when we are taught the basic teachings of the catechism, we are being taught the Gospel the apostles taught and preached. This only makes sense. Since the apostles taught and preached the Gospel and they appointed bishops to carry on this teaching to successive generations, and the apostles and bishops handed this Gospel on by explaining the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and Prayer, then when we learn Catholic doctrine, using the Catechism as a “sure norm for teaching the faith”, we are learning the Gospel that Jesus and the Holy Spirit taught the apostles.
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Thus, to learn the very basics of the Gospel, we should be taught the basic teachings in local catechisms, such as the Baltimore Catechism.

The Church teaches in the Directory for Catechesis (approved and promulgated by the Pope)
131 In local catechisms, the Church communicates the Gospel in a manner accessible to the human person so that it may be really perceived as the “Good News” of salvation.

Remember when Catholic priests used to teach converts by teaching the basic Baltimore Catechism? They were simply teaching the Gospel the apostles handed down in Tradition. That is why local Catechisms make so much sense. They teach the basic Gospel as the Church lives and believes it today.

The four Gospels of the bible contain only a part of the Full Gospel the apostles taught and preached. Because Jesus taught these apostles for 3 years, yet only a little was written in the bible. Then He taught them “about the kingdom” (the church) after His resurrection but before His ascension, and none of that is written down. Then He sent them the Holy Spirit to “teach them all things”, but none of these teachings were written down. But, the apostles had to teach this full Gospel to the laity and to their successors and this entire Gospel is the Catholic faith today. The teachings of this full Gospel is contained in the catechisms today.

Does anyone disagree. Has any Catholic ever heard these ideas from anyone in the Chuch in this country.

I have never heard that the Catholic faith is the Gospel the apostles handed down. I have never heard that to evangelize and teach the Gospel we simply evangelize and teach the Catholic faith, as summarized in the Creed, sacraments, commandments and prayer, and as taught by the Popes today, since it is a LIVING Gospel.

I learned them from lots of prayer before the Eucharist and by ONLY studying official Catholic Church documents, especially the “Directory for Catechesis”.
That is why I believe even the Catholic bishops in this country don’t recognize these basic truths as being the content of the Gospel today. If they did, then certainly we would have been taught these truths.

Anyone disagree?


#2

Someone sent a reply asking about what I meant. I think it was a good question so I will post my reply:

By unorganized, I mean that during the homily, usually the priests simply repeat back the readings we have already read and give their explanation of them as a whole instead of taking a particular point and giving a thorough exposition of that point using the catechism.
So even if these explanations of the readings are in perfect accord with Church teachings, we are not learning anything. We are not being fed, not being taught, not being Catechized.
For several reasons.
First, we are not being taught the Gospel in a organic (which means fundamental) and systematic way, (such as the Gospel is arranged in catechisms). In other words, the Gospel as it is found in scripture does not clearly present fundamental truths,
If it did, then even Protestants could agree on basic truths such as the Eucharist, and how to get to heaven.
The teachings are not arranged stematically.
In other words, there is a part of a teaching in one book, another part of the same teaching somewhere else, and another part of the same teaching somewhere else. For example. The teachings on baptism are all over the place in the New Testament. They are not all clear, they are not all present, and they are not organized. No one could learn the teachings on baptism by simply reading the NT from the beginning to the end.
Third, the scriptures explicitly contain only some of the teachings of the Gospel that the apostles taught.

Lets put it this way. Say the four Gospels were already written and Peter was in Rome and some pagan said to him, “tell me about this Jesus”.

Do you think Peter would start by reading the geneology of Matthew? Or do you think Peter would start reading some other part of scripture?
Of course not. Scripture is useless as a norm for teaching. The pagan could never learn about Jesus that way. Peter would have to tell him about God, about Adam and Even, about original sin, and how God sent His Son to reconcile us back to Him, etc. Peter would have to teach the teachings of the Catechism. The catechism is simply a summary of what Peter and the apostles preached and taught.
Scripture on the other hand is a historical account of salvation, salvation history. Now, once we learn the teachings of the Gospel, then scripture is great for showing how these teachings are lived in salvation history. Scripture is great as a witness to the teachings and to illuminate the teachings.
Unfortunately, I have always had the impression from Catholic experts that the New Testament teaches the the Gospel, thus to teach the faith, we teach scripture.
False. The whole Gospel is handed down in only in Tradition, and can only be learned by teaching it as organized in the Catechisms. Scripture has explicit only parts of that Gospel and in scripture this Gospel is arranged as salvation history, and not primarily as the teachings and preachings of the apostles.


#3

Very interesting.

Some time ago, a friend of mine pointed out that if tonight every copy of the Bible in the world vanished, we’d be fine. It’s an unpleasant thought, to be sure, but a right one. All of the teaching found in the Holy Scriptures is found within Church teaching, and then some.

We often make the point that Holy Scripture came from the Church, and not the other way around; I think that’s partially what you’re getting at, no? The Church came first and the Church is paramount.

That said, I shouldn’t like for us to be carried away and say that the Catechism is the only teaching/learning tool we can and should use. The Holy Scriptures are very useful in this regard.
I should hardly think that the CCC is exhaustive, in the same way that the Holy Gospels are not. One book or compendium cannot envelope the truths of God.

Good post.

God bless.

+Joel


#4

I agree on this. There is one problem with it all though. If we were to start chatechising people with the Chatechism, this would give a lot of weight to the Protestant accussations that the Church doesn’t believe the Bible, and that sort of thing.

Everybody grows up knowing the Bible is supposed to be the Word of God; even atheists and people of other religions know this. If we only used the Catechism, this would make it easy for Protestants to steal people away.

I know we have to teach the truth without regard for what people think, but we also have to make sure people aren’t led astray by lies.

I think, therefore, that a good way to do things would be to teach using the Catechism, but as we teach always bring out the Bible and show where each and every teaching comes from. Use the Catechism to teach every truth, then use the Bible to explain and/or back up the truths. This will not only help people understand the full truth, but will also serve to almost turn every Catholic into an apologist right off the bat, making it much more likely we not lose Catholics to Protestantism, and also make it more likely we will draw in Protestants because every Catholic will be ready to explain things to objecting Protestants and convert some.


#5

[quote=Lazerlike42]I agree on this. There is one problem with it all though. If we were to start catechising people with the Catechism, this would give a lot of weight to the Protestant accussations that the Church doesn’t believe the Bible, and that sort of thing.

I think, therefore, that a good way to do things would be to teach using the Catechism, but as we teach always bring out the Bible and show where each and every teaching comes from. Use the Catechism to teach every truth, then use the Bible to explain and/or back up the truths. This will not only help people understand the full truth, but will also serve to almost turn every Catholic into an apologist right off the bat, making it much more likely we not lose Catholics to Protestantism, and also make it more likely we will draw in Protestants because every Catholic will be ready to explain things to objecting Protestants and convert some.
[/quote]

The way it should be done, from my reading of the GIRM, Vatican II, the Directory for Catechesis, the Roman Catechism is the following.

After the readings the priest should take ANY point of the readings or of any prayers of the mass. (this comes from the GIRM). The reason for this is simply to make a connection to the liturgy with the homily, because that is the way the Church fathers did it. The homily is not supposed to be separate from the liturgy. But the exposition should NOT be limited to any teaching of the readings. All the Church wants is a connection. Any connection, otherwise the GIRM would not include all the prayers of the mass as a launching point. The only time there should be a connection on a subject of the readings is to explain important parts of the liturgical year, such as Easter, the feast of the Assumption, etc.

Next he should give an exposition of this point. (from the GIRM)
It is not clear what “exposition” this means by itself. But if one goes back to the origin of this directive from the Roman Catechism on the homily (where it does give an example) it is clear that to give an exposition means to go into depth on that point using the teachings of the catechism. Today that can be either the Roman Catechism, or the CCC or both.

This is the ONLY explanation in agreement with the directives given over and over and over that the homily is the primary place for catechesis (teaching doctrine).

This is the ONLY explanation in agreement with the directives given over and over and over that catechesis is constantly necessary for adult catholics and everyone else.

This is the ONLY explanation in agreement with the directives given over and over and over BY JOHN PAUL II and Pope Paul VI that Catechesis is the solution and that there is a URGENT NEED FOR EVANGELIZATION (even of present day Catholics) of which Catechesis is essential to evangelization.

Who can say they are wrong? Catholics seldom hear the teachings on morality, esp mortal sin, on divorce and remarriage, on the absolute necessity of grace from the sacraments for overcoming sin. They sin because they aren’t catechized that they cannot overcome their sins without the sacraments, especially the daily Eucharist. So, they fall into sin, get discourged and get divorced, or have abortions, etc, and feel further alienated, and then join protestant religions where they think they will hear teachings on how to get out of the mess caused by their sins.
All because they are not being catechized during the homily.


#6

Now I agree about giving the teachings first, then use the bible. Vatican II seems to encourage this also. Because teachings just by themselves are dry and sterile without scripture.
For example. If we were given the basic teachings on baptism, then the bible can be used as a witness to the teaching.
For example, I live in a fundamentalist area, where baptism is denied as the occasion for santifying grace. Baptism is taught as only an “ordinance” that does nothing. The correct way to present the teaching in this area is to first give the teaching that has been handed down in the Gospel through apostolic tradition, then quote the scriptures that are a witness to the teachings. Thus, we can quote the place in Acts where ST. Paul was not saved from his sins the first moment he believed (as fundamentalists teach) but it was not until he arose and was baptized that his sins were washed away.

Thus I agree totally when you wrote:

Use the Catechism to teach every truth, then use the Bible to explain and/or back up the truths. This will not only help people understand the full truth, but will also serve to almost turn every Catholic into an apologist right off the bat, making it much more likely we not lose Catholics to Protestantism, and also make it more likely we will draw in Protestants because every Catholic will be ready to explain things to objecting Protestants and convert some…

I agree. If we used scripture as a “witness” to the teaching. (That is the word the Church uses), then no Catholic will fall for Protestant arguments.

The only part you got wrong was the previous sentence. “but as we teach always bring out the Bible and show where each and every teaching comes from.”

The basic teachings don’t come from the bible. They come from the apostles and are handed down in Tradition. We quote the bible as a “witness to the teachings”, or to “nourish” the faith, or to “illuminate” the teaching. These are the words I got from other Church documents.

If you start trying to quote the bible to show where they come from you have many problems.
First. It is wrong. The Catholic faith comes from the apostles, not from the bible. The Church (the apostles) were teaching years before a single word of the NT was written.
Second. There is no teaching that is clear and explicit in the bible. So, if you try to quote the bible as a source of the teaching, the bible quote will never be clear, or there will be another verse that seems to say the opposite and the protestant will quote that verse or have a different interpretation in mind. Either way, he will think “that is his interpretation, I have a different one”

That is why it is best to say, Church teachings, the Gospel in other words, has been handed down from the apostles and this is the teaching that they have handed down. This is what Christianity has always taught. We can say the bible inclines toward that teaching. And we can show how the Church teaching is in perfect accord with the bible by quoting scripture verses.

Then we can show how the early Christian writers all said this same teaching came from the apostles, and refer them to the early Christian writers who believed the same teachings back then…

And we can point out again how the teachings in the Catholic Catechism are a summary of the Gospel the apostles taught and preached. Thus, our Gospel comes from the apostles.

It does not come from man’s interpretation of bible verses like in the Protestant religions.


#7

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