Friday, 9 July 2010

The Tablet: something has gone awry with faith formation...

I guess the Catholic Education Service (CES) won't  be welcoming this week's editorial from The Tablet

"For something has gone awry with the other crucial purpose of Catholic schools: faith formation. Each year, parents and parish priests watch as substantial numbers of young Catholics abandon Mass attendance once they are free to do so. Indeed, so common is the trend that some see the rite of Confirmation not as a rite of emerging adult faith, but as a rite of exit...

Cynics might suggest that young people, armed with the tools of enquiry acquired through liberal education curricula, have used them to dismantle their own faith. What is apparent is that many young people leave the practice of religion behind when they leave the parental nest. A combination of poor liturgies, uninspiring religious formation and the lure of new experiences, especially sexual ones, don’t encourage Mass attendance...

Bishops have been able to comfort themselves that a significant number of lapsed Catholics will return, particularly when they become parents themselves and reconsider their values. But as people marry and have children later in life, lapsing lasts longer. And then there are those who never return. The disaffection of young educated Catholics is a problem that needs considering by Bishop Devine’s fellow hierarchs on both sides of the border. It is a challenge for others too, not least parents, priests and those responsible for catechetical formation in schools and parishes. It is also a challenge to university chaplains to help young people make sense of Catholicism at a time when they are faced with competing rival views of what makes for human fulfilment and happiness."

Given the culture of dissent which is  apparent  in the Tablet publication as it is in many parts of Catholic Education,  the CES could of course point out that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Thanks to Valle Adurni


  1. Ooooh! I sniff fear. Ma Pepinster isn't worried about faith formation per se, she's worried that there's no trendy Catholics being 'formed' who will buy The Tablet. And isn't it cute to lob all the blame on the bishops?

    She's beginning to see that the game's up - it's not just 'poor' faith formation it's NON EXISTANT faith formation. And that means few Catholics under twenty will ever buy The Tablet much less understand the crucial vocabulary in her snotty editorials. It's only a matter of time for Ma Pep and her cronies.

  2. Quite- Ma Pep, Ma Stannard and all the others stuck in a 70's timewarp!
    Any yes, blaming the Bishops is a bit rich considering just how they have been 'leaned on', criticised and bullied by the professional laity with a we are church agenda. Not that I would believe that sort of pressure excuses the weaknesses within our Episcopacy; I don't, but I do think our Bishops should pick their friends more carefully!

  3. Sorry, that should be 'And yes..'