Monday, April 28, 2008

The Young Catholics Know the Bible

A couple weeks ago there was a survey that made some news about Catholic beliefs. I thing that I found most interesting in there concerned one of the major difference between older and younger Catholics. Per

Knowledge about the Catholic faith generally was higher among the older generations than the younger ones, but the survey found that knowledge of the Bible was higher among younger Catholics than their older counterparts.

I found that to be really good news concerning the future of our church. The old Catholics may know the catechism better, the young Catholics know our early Christian roots better. The dreams of Pius XII and the Second Vatican Council are making progress in this respect. There was a strong emphasis with Pius and the Council to get Catholics to start reading the Bible.

I would guess that the success for this in the United States has two primary reasons, a change from catechism-like homilies to scripture-based homilies (add to that religious ed), and the fact that we live in a very evangelical country where if our youth do not know the Bible, they'll be embarrassed by their ignorance to a degree.

My hope in all of this is that a future generation of Catholics who know the Bible will help usher in a reform of the Catholic church sooner rather than later.

Everything Seems Quiet

Everything has seemed rather quiet lately on the universal church level. There has not been any major shake ups from Rome recently. I haven't heard of any new major documents on the horizon insulting gays, women, the laity, etc. I realize that by posting this, something will come up very shortly. Maybe with the pope traveling and thinking about his summer vacation, things will slow down for a bit. Sounds nice to me.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bishops Might Be Partly to Blame in Sexual Abuse Scandal

Benedict commented during his visit when referring to the sexual abuse scandal: "Responding to this situation has not been easy and ... it was sometimes very badly handled."

I am assuming that he is referring to how some bishops in the United States "badly handled" the sexual abuse crisis. This slight acknowledgment that the bishops may have had something to do with the sexual abuse scandal, and not just a rotten group of priests is a step in the right direction.

But I also noticed how this sentence is in the passive mood and does not contain the word bishop.

With Benedict's meeting with victims of sexual abuse and his semi-acknowledgment that some bishops may have handled it badly, Benedict accomplished more good on this trip than I expected. At the same time, this is all a first step and a far cry from remedying the fact that bishops are given too much authority for which they are not held accountable.

Two of the biggest criminals are still at large: Cardinal Law at St. John Lateran in Rome and Cardinal Mahoney in Los Angeles. I believe that these criminals need to be removed from their posts before any real trust can be re-established.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, April 14, 2008

Milwaukee Archdiocesan Staffing Cuts

I decided I should have a real blog entry this week. Per the Catholic Herald, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be cutting 37 positions this July in order to help close the expected $3 million budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. In truth, I don't have much to say about it. It's a tough position to be in, and some sort of decision had to be made to balance their budget. It is a very sad day for the Archdiocese and I'm sure that Dolan did not make take these firings lightly.

The one comment I do have is about the restructuring that will be taking place. Also per the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, a new flow chart outlining this structure has been made public. The one thing that sticks out at me is that the position that was formerly "Vicar for Clergy" is now "Vicar for Ordained and Lay Ecclesial Ministry." I do not see how this bodes well for lay ecclesial ministers in the Archdiocese. My understanding is that the current vicar, Fr. Curt Frederick, is a very nice guy, but vicars change. And unfortunately, as with the Milwaukee police force ala Frank Jude, the interests of the old boys club often trumps those of people outside of the group. If a lay ecclesial minister has a legitimate gripe against a priest, I would assume that the vicar (who is a priest) is the person they are to contact. Will this priest, the vicar, always be willing to put things in proper perspective. It would just make a lot more sense to me to have that position held by a layperson. Expanding the vicar's job for both types of ministers does make a lot of sense on a flow chart, but I think this is a clear indicator that lay ecclesial ministers do not have a voice at the Archdiocese. It looks like this position has been created to give the Archdiocese an official arm with which to reprimand lay ecclesial ministers. I hope I am wrong, but it initially looks that way to me.

A Faithful Catholic

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Washington D.C.'s Papal Metro Commercial

On a lighter note this week, per the Washington Post, this papal bobblehead commercial to get people to ride the Metro for Benedict's Mass in Washington, D.C. was pulled for being offensive to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. According to a spokesperson for the Archdiocese, the offense was the fact that the bobblehead was an unauthorized toy and that it was "misdressed." The bobblehead was given a red skull cap instead of a white skull cap.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Couple Things to Make Benedict's Trip Meaningful

Upon further reflection, Benedict's trip could be truly meaningful if he used it as an opportunity to apologize for the sexual abuse scandal and announce that he was removing Cardinal Law from his prestigious post as rector of St. John Lateran in Rome. That will never happen, although it is at least in the realm of possibility.

The trip could also be meaningful, if he used this opportunity to state that it is up to the individual bishop if he wants to ordain women and married priests, that the laity in a diocese will have a choice in choosing their bishops, that Charles Curran should be given an open welcome to teach at Catholic University of America if he so chooses, etc., etc. These of course are the things that will never happen, but it's good to have dreams.

A Faithful Catholic

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Is Pope's Visit Meaningful?

In a week and a half Benedict will be making his first papal visit to the US. Does it really matter? I have stated in this blog that I believe Benedict to be a much better pope than JPII, but I don't see how this visit will make any difference to Catholic worldwide or in the United States.

I realize that for those who are big on all things pope, that this is a great opportunity to see him, but what's the point otherwise? I think the most meaningful papal trips of the last couple decades have been JPII's trips to Poland, Cuba, and Israel. For all my criticism of JPII, those trips meant something. They have a specific point. Other than it being a nicety, I don't understand Benedict's purpose in coming to the United States. A person checking out Catholic News Service's coverage of the pope's visit would think that the Beatles are coming, not the pope. I suppose I will decipher his reasoning for coming after his trip has occurred.

A Faithful Catholic