While I was there, I ran across this article, which was on the front page at the time. I hope I am not opening too big of a can of worms by posting this, but I was a little alarmed at the numbers I saw. Here's the link to the article, so you can read it: Are Catholics Losing Their Identity?
I guess one of the most surprising things I read was this: "And 40% say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism."
Now, I don't see in there how they chose their selection of people that they polled, which, as anyone knows, impacts the answers. I would assume that if you interviewed people from our little town, we would get higher percentages than, say, New York City (although I guess I can't be sure!).
Have we really stopped believing in the basic tenets of our faith??? I have to wonder if it's a stopped, or never knew. I have said that many people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are kind of a lost generation of our faith -- our religious education classes were not always enlightening, to say the least. And my wonder always goes to how those folks who got "lost" between the Baltimore Catechism and the Second Vatican Council are teaching their children. I have to admit that for all my parents taught me about my faith, I still taught myself a whole lot in my 30s and my 40s. I guess sometimes that's where I see this blog, as sort of a crutch, so those who feel they didn't learn the teachings can latch on through what we're doing in class now.
I still see abuse cases as excuses for not attending church. First and foremost, I am not dismissing this issue because I know that it happened -- and know a few people that it happened to. However, the church has moved forward -- there were not enough checks and balances in place (even though, in my opinion, there shouldn't need to be with priests and the like, but that's a topic for another day). The priests that I have seen of late have been awesome witnesses to the faith! They inspire me to be a better person.
I'm curious about what you think about all of this. Do you think that we can have our faith without believing in the consecration? Are there other parts of our faith/church that have changed to discourage people from attending, or is an excuse? Or a "habit" that people have fallen out of?
I read an interesting article in the Catholic Telegraph this week (although I"m thinking it may be an older edition) -- someone was upset with the way that their family was treated at a funeral and said they would never come back to church again. They would still believe in the Catholic faith, but wouldn't be attending mass. The answer they received? I'm sorry for the way you were treated (because it really was wrong) -- but I'm also sorry that you are going to deny yourself of the body and blood of Jesus. Because truly, that's what she was doing.
I realize that this could be an explosive discussion, but I really am curious of people's thoughts. I want your discussion. Just please know that I do have editorial rights on comments -- viewpoints are fine, but I will not stand for bashing of the faith. Just my little warning in my little corner of the world!
(If you have any specific questions about the Eucharist, I found this informative page from EWTN: The Eucharist).
1 Corinthians 11:24
Do this in remembrance of me