Friday, September 12, 2014

SORRY TO OFFEND

There was a reason why I said "sorry to offend" when I addressed the issue of removing children from their parents and educating them in the faith in isolation from their family. And I expected to get the replies I am getting. However, I do not intend to engage those replies, for it is not a matter of good or not so good teachers, or good or not so good programs, or whether or not some parents use CCD as a cheap babysitting service, it is a matter of what the Church teaches, and has taught and continues to teach. And I copy here its most recent formulation by a pope:

Family catechesis therefore precedes, accompanies and enriches all other forms of catechesis. … "the church of the home"(120) remains the one place where children and young people can receive an authentic catechesis. Thus there cannot be too great an effort on the part of Christian parents to prepare for this ministry of being their own children's catechists and to carry it out with tireless zeal. - St. Pope John Paul II, CATECHESI TRADENDAE
Words like "family catechesis" and the "church of the home" mean exactly that. They do not mean finding new and creative ways to get parents to show more interest in their kids' CCD class or youth group. Parents are to be "THEIR OWN CHILDREN'S CATECHISTS", and it is the PARENTS the Church is to be preparing, NOT their kids. 

The pope goes on:
Encouragement must also be given to the individuals or institutions that, through person-to-person contacts, through meetings, and through all kinds of pedagogical means, help parents to perform their task: The service they are doing to catechesis is beyond price.
As you can see, catechetical programs and teachers are not left out of the process. They are to "help the parents to perform their task". But it is the PARENTS who are TO PERFORM that task and perform it in THE CHURCH OF THE HOME. 

I am very aware of how nearly impossible this is at this point, given, as mentioned, that we are nearly two generations removed from the kind of "church of the home" that was common to previous generations of Catholics. But with God, all things are possible, right?

For a more detailed treatment of this issue and a proposed solution, a solution that is already working in many parishes that have awakened to the necessity of restoring the "church of the home" and "family catechesis", here is a link to a presentation I did in 2006. 

I will do another post in which I will share about the canonical rights of parents to request the sacraments for their children without having to submit to a parish or diocesan program. Other than that, I don't wish to discuss the issue further. Thanks. 



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