Hat tip to Amy Welborn here for this piece from Cardinal Pell from Austrailia:

Catholic Youth in Danger

Pell points out that most young people do not know their faith or are, at the very least, confused by it.

The real irony here is that we have the MOST theologically educated laity at this point in time than ever before–young people included.

Some thoughts: While I pretty much agree with Cardinal Pell about the need for people to really know the essentials of the faith well (and I even agree that many do not know this amongst young people), I find that the problem has less to do with catechesis and more to do with parenting.

Most of the people who I know who know their faith well had it instilled by their PARENTS and reinforced by the classroom catechesis. I had good franciscan and pallotine teachers growing up and had a very faithful CCD program…but most of the students couldn’t care less…even with the solid catechesis. Why? Their parents were sending them there out of traditional obligation (and because the grandparents would have had them drawn and quartered if they didn’t).

The result was a theology of fear and mere obligation…that often had nothing to do in applying the faith to everyday life. Instead the rote answers were simply a chore…and that’s no way to convert ANYONE.

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