Monday, September 3, 2012

Why We Aren't Effective Evangelists

We will never reach people if we continue to close ranks.

For example, take the violent reaction to criticism you'll find at most Catholic Schools.  Now, I know there are many great and dedicated Catholic Schools and Catholic teachers and principals.  But by and large, the system is broken. 

The worst thing about a typical Catholic School is when a teacher does something wrong and you try to get the principal either to fix it, or simply to acknowledge it, the principal will circle the wagons around the teacher.  The administration and the faculty will throw rocks at you, since you've dared to question one of their own.

And then we're forced to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, in which the teachers and administrators hold Masses and events at which they applaud one another for the great job they're doing. 

Great job?  I'd say that nothing prepares a Catholic to abandon his faith more than twelve years of Catholic education.  We eventually pulled both of our kids from the Catholic parochial system, because they were being taught Paganism instead of Catholicism, had math teachers that could not teach math, and had lady principals who would bully parents and kids that would dare to buck the broken system. 

Go to the priest and ask him to help, and his response will be, "I have full faith in Principal Valkyrie and her staff." 

This happened to us more than once.

And yet we see this not just in Catholic Education, but all over the place in the Church.  Criticize a bishop that shelters a child molester?  Catholics will threaten you with physical violence.  Point out that a Catholic media celebrity is not standing up for Catholic teaching?  Readers will tell you to go to confession.  Question the theology of a popular lay preacher?  Clergy will tell you that they'll ruin your reputation so that you'll never work again. 

Hint: this ain't a social club.  This is the Body of Christ, present on earth.

The whole point of the Christian faith is that we are not beyond criticism, any of us.  On the contrary, we are miserable sinners who are in desperate need of God's grace.  There is nobody in the Church, not the pope, not the bishops, not the priests or deacons, not laymen or their 501(c)-3 lay apostolates that are beyond criticism, because not a one of us is beyond sin.

And once we repent of that sin, God can begin to work on us. 

But step one in any repair, reform or repentance is acknowledging what's wrong.

1 comment:

jvc said...

The poor quality of education really is the last straw with parochial education. If you can't offer an education premium for the high cost of a Catholic school education, there is literally no benefit to attending. Especially given the lack of quality religious instruction these days.