Often it is the converts to Catholicism that make the best Catholic apologists. Most “cradle” Catholics’ religious education consists of elementary instruction and ends at the sacrament of Confirmation. Adult converts have the good fortune to learn the “grownup” version of Catholicism, and have more opportunity to delve into the rich theology and rationale for the many tenets of our faith and our sacred traditions. A convert is much more likely to know the answer to why Catholics do certain things, because they wondered the same thing, and could get answers during the RCIA process.
According to Kevin Orlin Johnson, PhD and author of Why Do Catholics Do That?, “In America today, a lot of people seem to be kept away from the Church on the basis of externals alone; much of the Church’s liturgy – the Church’s public ceremonial acts of worship – her art and her practices must appear uncomfortably foreign to them. But if you talk with them about religion, sometimes you’d think that they wouldn’t disagree on any basic tenet of the Faith at all.”
The fundamentals of Church teaching are summarized in the Nicene Creed, which was produced from the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The Emperor Constantine, a convert, called the Council. He wanted to settle the feuds erupting throughout the empire over the many heresies that were cropping up, most importantly the Arian Heresy, which postulated that while Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he was not eternal and therefore subordinate to God the Father. The Nicene Creed expresses the fundamentals of Christian belief and is recited at every Mass.
For Catholics who were raised in the Church, our traditions and customs seen through adult eyes may require some upgrades to our faith formation. Many parishes offer courses for returning Catholics, and retreats such as Cursillo offer an excellent refresher on the basics of Catholic teaching practice. Catholic apologetics is exploding with books, videos, e-mail subscriptions and podcasts that are easy to understand and theologically sound. Publishers such as Ignatius Press, Sophia Institute Press, Loyola Press and many others offer material on every aspect of Catholic teaching. Finally, radio and cable television have a growing number of stations that focus on Catholic living from a variety of perspectives, including Relevant Radio which is broadcast to the Los Angeles market from studios at Christ Cathedral on AM 930.
It is worth taking the time to take a fresh look at your Church. Especially if you have questions or feel confused or even irritated by some aspect of Church teaching or tradition. As Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, one of the greatest Catholic apologists of our time, said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
The Catholic Church is the only Christian church that is 2,000 years old. It was founded by Jesus to be your support and guide through life until you are reunited with him in heaven. It’s worth taking a deeper look.
Full story at OC Catholic.
The San Diego Diocesan Center at 3888 Paducah Drive offers adult religion classes. The lady in charge of these religion classes is Bernadeanne Carr, very liberal from what I was told. One of the teachers is Mr. John Vignol, who taught us in class that the Old Testament is FICTION! I thought to myself I want my money back. I had the urge to ask him if he was Catholic, but I didn’t want to seem rude, so I kept quiet.
Coincidentally, Mr. Vignol has been teaching religion for over 30 years at Saint Augustine High School, the only all-boys “Catholic” high school in San Diego. I wonder if the parents know what their boys are being taught!
Meg, how are things in Orange County?
So far so good?
I understand that Bishop McElroy has been teaching that the virtue of chastity is not that important.
Does anyone else feel that Catholicism is under attack?
And from inside the Church?
Since its founding. The wheat and the tares, remember?
It is our duty as Catholics to know, teach and live by the faith. ChurchMilitant.com has an excellent audio series called “The One True Faith” – give it a listen ?
I do not know Mr. Vignol, but from your post I can say I have known far too many ‘catholic teachers / leaders’ (Small ‘c’) who fit the profile
They are often deeply bigoted political activists who see the Church as an extension of their warped ideology, and seek to enforce their own narrow and often Anti-Catholic viewpoints BAMN – By Any Means Necessary
It is deeply disturbing to Educate Oneself as to the Teachings of the Church (like the Vatican Website posts), only to find entrenched ‘professional catholics’ who bar the doors to anyone who cites said teachings.
SSADLY – it is most often Radical Gender Feminist / Homosex Activists doing this, determined to overthrow the Magisterium and remake the Church in their debased image