"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Friday, May 11, 2012

'Troubling' survey shows catechesis need for New Jersey Catholics

By Hillary Senour

Bishop Joseph A. Galante.

The Diocese of Camden, N.J. says a recent study which found that most local Catholics believe Jesus sinned while he was on earth points to the need for improved catechesis.

“We have to do more teaching on the basic doctrinal teachings of the Church,” diocesan communications director Peter Feuerherd told EWTN News May 9.

The study, which polled 612 adults in the counties that make up the Diocese of Camden, showed that along with being confused on Church teaching, Catholics in the area are also less likely to attend Sunday worship services and believe in the accuracy of the Bible than other Christians in the area.

“We found out things that we kind of already knew,” Feuerherd said, “but sometimes it's better to have an empirical foundation rather than just an assumption.”

Bishop Joseph A. Galante of Camden, N.J. called the findings of the diocese's $25,000 study “troubling” at a May 3 press conference, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The bishop said that while most Catholics in the diocese understand the Church's moral teachings on issues such as “gay marriage” and abortion, their concept of doctrinal matters – such as Christ's divinity – are “woefully deficient.”

“The framework to understand the Church's moral teaching is to understand its doctrinal teaching,” Feuerherd said, “and we have to do a better job of teaching that.”

Although there are no concrete plans to address these issues at the moment, Feuerherd said that the diocese is going to make evangelization a top priority, especially for young adults, of whom only 12 percent identify as Catholic.

“We're really trying to light a fire on the whole evangelization concern,” he said.

Among all residents in the Diocese of Camden, 43 percent said they were raised Catholic, which is significantly lower than the 34 percent who still identify as Catholic today.

“The pastoral concern of the Church,” Fuererherd said, “is for all baptized Catholics in a particular region.”

However, Fuererherd noted, Bishop Galante, “is always big on the concept of parishes having an obligation not just to the people who show up at the door every Sunday.”

Of those residents who identify as Catholic, only 23 percent attend weekly Mass regularly.
“I would like to make observing the Lord's day a priority throughout the diocese,” Bishop Galante said during the press conference.

In order to do so, Bishop Galante asked that diocese sports programs refrain from scheduling games or practices before 1 p.m. to allow time for Sunday Mass.

Overall, Feuerherd noted that residents of the Diocese of Camden, “whether they're Catholic or non-Catholic” they held a “very positive view” about the Catholic Church in general.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=5421#ixzz1uYFZxr1D

No comments:

Post a Comment