Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. "Little Or No Encouragement From Catholic Clergy"

Asked whether spreading the faith was a high priority of their parishes,75 percent of conservative Protestant congregations and 57 percent of African American congregations responded affirmatively, whereas only 6 percent of Catholic parishes did the same. Asked whether they sponsored local evangelistic activities, 39 percent of conservative Protestant congregations and 16 percent of African American congregations responded positively as compared with only 3 percent of Catholic parishes. Converts to Catholicism often report that on their spiritual journey they received little or no encouragement from Catholic clergy whom they consulted.
Link (here) to Ralph Martin's disturbing look at Catholic de-Sacramentalization. In this essay you will find Cardinal Dulles' quote.


Ray said...

The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in America is completely at fault. An example of my premise would be in New York, the governor passes laws for abortion and same sex marriage and the Archbishop in charge does little to nothing to publicly denounce the man. This same type thing goes on nationwide and leads to in the pew Catholics doubting the sincerity of its leaders. This lukewarm action toward at the very least heretics is viewed as an acquiescence to the righteousness of our cultures doctrine trumping the Church's true teachings.

Qualis Rex said...

I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Our clergy are definitely spread thin, and I don't think there is anyone who can doubt this. I think it is the duty of every Catholic (lay and clergy) to evangelize through living the gospel (i.e. good works). I honestly can't think of anyone who has ever converted to ANY religion by hearing someone on a megaphone shouting from a street-corner.

TonyD said...

I've noticed that too many Jesuits revere intellectuals. And when I attended Santa Clara I remember too often hearing quotes from people like Thomas Aquinas -- quotes that were often well reasoned, but seldom inspired. Mostly just interpretations with a piousness.

Unfortunately, this same inclination is often reflected in the Church. Too many intellectuals are made into Saints, and too many interpretations are made into Church truths and sacraments. And this is a problem. A big problem. There is no Prophet who should appear to contradict such positions -- those positions reflect choices made by a group, and those choices reflect the values of the group. People who then join the Church define themselves before God. We shouldn't be surprised that many people find the particular interpretations distasteful. And anyone who has studied any serious Church history knows that Church interpretations come and go. I have fond memories of the Jesuit who answered "I don't know if that's what God wants" -- even when the Church had staked a strong position on that topic.

I will add one personal note: I was once told that I should consider priests to be no different than anyone else because, in general, they have no more insight than anyone else. I was sad to hear this, but of course it has turned out to be true.

Qualis Rex said...

Hello Ray, I think those are two separate issues. The topic seemed to be priests evangelizing, not their pastoral treatment of those already in the church. However, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment on the latter; I live part of the year in California in the archdiocese of San Francisco and know all too well the lackluster, shady and corrupt dealings of the former archbishop with regard to politicians and certain "segments" of the population.

God Bless His Emminence, Archbishop Cordileone. He, like our Pope Emeritus Benedict, inherited an enormous mess that they didn't create, but took responsibility to clean up responsibly.

johannes said...

all you folk who commented must feel silly after boosman Francis spoke in America...... sems Sal will have to focus on real work like immigration reform.