Why do the young walk out?

Bishop Barron: I blame teachers and catechists
Archbishop Gomez and Bishop-elect Barron after announcement Rome had named Barron to L.A.

Archbishop Gomez and Bishop-elect Barron after announcement Rome had named Barron to L.A.

The following comes from an Aug. 31 column by Bishop Robert Barron on the L.A. archdiocese news site, Angelus.

After perusing the latest Pew Study on why young people are leaving the active practice of Christianity, I confess that I just sighed in exasperation. I don’t doubt for a moment the sincerity of those who responded to the survey, but the reasons they offer for abandoning Christianity are just so uncompelling. That is to say, any theologian, apologist, or evangelist worth his salt should be able easily to answer them. And this led me (hence the sigh) to the conclusion that “we have met the enemy and it is us.”

For the past fifty years or so, Christian thinkers have largely abandoned the art of apologetics and have failed (here I offer a j’accuse to many in the Catholic universities) to resource the riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition in order to hold off critics of the faith. I don’t blame the avatars of secularism for actively attempting to debunk Christianity; that’s their job, after all. But I do blame teachers, catechists, evangelists, and academics within the Christian churches for not doing enough to keep our young people engaged. These studies consistently demonstrate that unless we believers seriously pick up our game intellectually, we’re going to keep losing our kids.

Let me look just briefly at some of the chief reasons offered for walking away from Christianity. Many evidently felt that modern science somehow undermines the claims of the faith. One respondent said: “rational thought makes religion go out the window,” and another complained of the “lack of any sort of scientific evidence of a creator.”

Well, I’m sure it would come as an enormous surprise to St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, Blessed John Henry Newman, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Joseph Ratzinger—all among the most brilliant people Western culture has produced—that religion and reason are somehow incompatible….

One of the young people responded to the survey using the formula made famous by Karl Marx: “religion just seems to be the opiate of the people.” Marx’s adage, of course, is an adaptation of Ludwig Feuerbach’s observation that religion amounts to a projection of our idealized self-image. Sigmund Freud, in the early twentieth century, further adapted Feuerbach, arguing that religion is like a waking dream, a wish-fulfilling fantasy. This line of thinking has been massively adopted by the so-called “new atheists” of our time. I find it regularly on my internet forums.

What all of this comes down to, ultimately, is a dismissive and patronizing psychologization of religious belief. But it is altogether vulnerable to a tu quoque (you do the same thing) counter-attack. I think it is eminently credible to say that atheism amounts to a wish-fulfilling fantasy, precisely in the measure that it allows for complete freedom and self-determination: if there is no God, no ultimate moral criterion, I can do and be whatever I want….

A third commonly-cited reason for abandoning the Christian churches is that, as one respondent put it, “Christians seem to behave so badly.” God knows that the clergy sex abuse scandals of the last 25 years have lent considerable support to this argument, already bolstered by the usual suspects of the Inquisition, the Crusades, the persecution of Galileo, witch-hunts, etc., etc. We could, of course, enter into an examination of each of these cases, but for our purposes I am willing to concede the whole argument: yes indeed, over the centuries, lots and lots of Christians have behaved wickedly.

But why, one wonders, should this tell against the integrity and rectitude of Christian belief? Many, many Americans have done horrific things, often in the name of America. One thinks of slave owners, the enforcers of Jim Crow laws, the carpet bombers of Dresden and Tokyo, the perpetrators of the My-Lai Massacre, the guards at Abu Ghraib Prison, etc. Do these outrages ipso facto prove that American ideals are less than praiseworthy, or that the American system as such is corrupt? The question answers itself….



  1. if . as saint john paul II told us , we are in a battle with the culture of death, worldwide. it just seems too facile to blame teachers and catechists for the falling away. it is a sign that the battle is being lost. it was more than a bit ironic that the remade sacrament of confirmation removed the slight slap on the face, a sign of what the warrior was to expect in the fray, just as darkness began to settle in more thickly.

  2. I can only answer with the experience of one, my own. As a child I came to know that God is Trinity, the Supreme Being who made all things. God created, redeemed, and sanctified me. He offers me eternal life forever with Him in heaven by making me like Himself through the sacramental life. I was nurtured into the life of the church through knowledge the scriptures. The liturgies were mystical, raising my mind to God who gave me graces I could not attain by myself. He rescued me from evil, loved me, nurtured me. God was knowable through the Church, not through political and social systems which are preached today.

  3. God gave me power to praise Him in worship and power to serve Him by allowing Him to work through me to serve others in their spiritual and material needs. All of this led me to priesthood so that I could share in the divine mysteries ever more deeply, and help others to do the same.
    Mass was mystical, not a social event. The social integration came in church organizations: scouts, CYO, and other things. These drew and held me to God and to church. If the church were PICO organizations, homosexual affirming places, promoter of moral laxity, liturgical fun zones, I would not be where I am.

  4. As Bishop Barron said, those charged to preach and teach have strayed from the classic truth that built the believer into the church. Without these classic truths, the faith seems empty. If bishops wish lists are solar power in the churches, communion for the divorced and remarried, affirmation of sexual deviancy, socialism, support of candidates who reject life, and support of this type of catechesis in schools and universities, then the faith becomes empty. It never would have attracted me.
    I still know those classic truths and continue to share my faith with others. One need not be a priest to do the same. This faith will spread, while the socialism faith will burn out and souls will continue to be lost to its emptiness.

    • …perhaps now that the truth regarding Vatican II documents is being not only revealed, but slowly admitted by the powers-that-be, there will be a return to clarity.

      Clarity for Charity!!!

      To include dismissing all notion that we may falsely hope that Hell is empty. Or that everyone worships the same god. To think the latter is to declare the first commandment an unnecessary redundancy and God never wastes anything!

    • St. Christopher says

      Father, you give B. Barron far too much credit. He is not a Catholic orthodox priest, believing, as he does, that all men have a reasonable expectation of being saved. The only answer to “attracting” the “young” back into the Church is to teach the True Faith, the Faith of Our Fathers, and to return to Traditional sacraments. Nothing else makes much difference if nothing truly matters to the New Church. The “Young” can find compassion and “good works” everywhere; the Church of simpleton bishops whining about income inequality and immigration injustice is not Catholicism, believing in the Real Presence is.

      • You can do both. The true faith includes compassion for those less fortunate, care of the earth, inequality is not to be supported, migration from poverty to a real life. Saving one’s soul involves more than just praying on our knees in silence. St. Francis said that we should proclaim the Gospel in our daily lives, and use words if needed. We are a Gospel people, all trying to get to heaven. If we don’t believe that Christ died for the remission of sins and to ensure that we get to live with him in paradise, we are not Christians, we are some other faith.

  5. Ray of Light says

    What world do these bishops live in? For the last 50 years or so, religious have abandoned the teaching of the Faith. Gospels are either empty or perverted teachings. The moral teachings of the Church have been disregarded by the clergy—-no priest ever speaks of adultery, contraception or deviant sex like homosex. If young people do not hear anything significant from the pulpit or from the priests/bishops, then the gospel of secularism as taught in both “Catholic” nd public schools prevails.

  6. Why does anybody need to practice faith if we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved!

  7. Steve Phoenix says

    So, Fr. Barron’s point takes a [predictable?] turn that will gain him much secular-world praise: “…Many Americans have done horrific things.” The litany: Slavery, “Jim Crow laws, the carpet bombers of Dresden and Tokyo, My-Lai Massacre, Abu Gharaib Prison.” No context at all. Americans do horrific things, and we suppose it the norm.

    Just for one thing, My Lai: Lt. William Calley, Jr, and his associate, Capt. Ernest Medina, were the rogue officers who ordered My Lai. In fact, a Huey [helicopter] pilot landed, WO Hugh Thompson, Jr., ordered his crew that if any civilians were seen being executed, they were to open fire—on the US military men doing so—at which point, Thompson marched up to Calley with his service…

    • Steve Phoenix says

      …revolver in hand and safety off, pointed it at Calley, and ordered him to immediately to stop the killings, or he “would shoot him then and there.” Calley, according to the witnesses in the military trial, only then ordered his soldiers to stop.

      I didn’t see any context regarding Barron’s litany of American horrors, and this is just to mention My Lai, alone—just one example— that if some “Americans have done horrific things”, many more have risked all to stop them. But Barron didn’t mention this, since for one thing he was only 9 years old at the time of My Lai, and only likely knows hearsay about it, and it doesn’t fit with his general narrative.

      I am sick to death of this hatred-of-America narrative that…

      • Steve Phoenix says

        …that has seeped into even the uncritical discourse of our episcopal leaders, and effects a hatred of America.

        No wonder our young people, and everyone else with a brain, are leaving in droves.

        • “…I am sick to death of this hatred-of-America narrative that has seeped into even the uncritical discourse of our episcopal leaders, and effects a hatred of America.”

          Thank you, also, Steve Phoenix for your posts and for highlighting that very telling low-point, statement. It is NOT a good sign when shepherds fall into the same communion-speak as radicalized Islamists who hate America. Saul Alinsky, George Soros and Colin Kaepernick would also praise Bishop Barron for being useful in attacking terrible America and for assisting the strategic political arena that ONLY seeks to dismantle and destroy America.

      • “…I am sick to death of this hatred-of-America narrative that has seeped into even the uncritical discourse of our episcopal leaders, and effects a hatred of America.”

        Hooyah!!! Me, too. Steve Phoenix. Context means everything.

        Thank YOU for your stellar example of AMERICAN fortitude and righteousness brought to bear in the thick of war and bloodshed. Sadly, all and sundry are steeped in the modernist clap trap that of revisionist history and rampant riding the guilt train without any understanding of what horrors their forefathers faced down – warts and ALL.

        God bless and thank you again! I say that as a Catholic for TRUTH, an American, a Military wife, Military daughter, and homeschooling mom who has her her fill of nonsense.

        • Also, “Do these outrages ipso facto prove that American ideals are less than praiseworthy, or that the American system as such is corrupt?”

          WAKE UP CALL to +Barron. Today’s youth do not believe that American ideals are praiseworthy and are convinced that the entire system IS CORRUPT. (Is “feel the BERN” that outdated?)

          So, indeed, blame teachers, of which you are in the lead. Bishops are supposed to teach. But the statement at the end of the article is better than a signed testimony that this individual has been too long away from reality and is not to be trusted with teaching those whom he doesn’t understand.

  8. Ray of Light says

    So sad, we are in Quebec and the church buildings are empty. No young people marry and the church leaders are like the bishops in the usa. they don,t want to get it. When was the last time a bishop corrected a politician or excommunicated a person who says they are catholic but support abortion or marry gays like joe biden. All is lost until there are real leaders. Follow the money in California–democrat politicians send money to so called catholic agencies and bishops tape there mouths shut. No end to gay-gay-gay guilt sermons except to parents trying to protect their children. Preists who openly live in gay relationships are honored by other preists and bishops. Protect your children.

  9. Your Fellow Catholic says

    Only after the Church puts the priest sexual abuse crisis well and good behind it can it hope to regain its moral authority and its in-the-pew following that it once enjoyed. It was for the Church like the Fall of Adam. Even if 9 out of 10 priests are good holy and faithful men, mothers will always be asking themselves whether they want their children around such horrible men. Just that simple. Then there is the intentional disenfranchisement of women from ministry in the Church, and very problematic treatment of people who are less than perfect in the eyes of the Church. Maybe if Bishop Barron wants to understand why there are so many out of the Church, he should spend more time with the sheep and less time in his scholastic library.

    • “…Then there is the intentional disenfranchisement of women from ministry in the Church, and very problematic treatment of people who are less than perfect in the eyes of the Church.”

      Well educated and faithful Catholics understand what would otherwise make some “feel” disenfranchised.”

      Spending time with the sheep is great, but one must speak the truth to the sheep. All of it.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says

        Ann Malley that is PRECISELY the attitude that has driven so many away from the Church. Smug self-righteousness, even among those who themselves pretend that their sins and dissent are acceptable.People see right through it Ann.

        • What is smug, YFC, is pretending that covering up the truth will dupe those poor sheep hungry for the truth. Yours is exactly the pandering attitude that has those who should guide us to green pastures choosing the astro turf that always looks green, but kills when it clogs up the innards.

          People see right through your attempted lying about the truth, YFC. Why? Because it’s a lie you’re selling. It’s rank without even getting within a mile.

          That said Vatican II documents are not all binding. Thank God that there were some willing to forego your tyranny of pretend obedience to stand for the Truth. Obedience in all but sin, YFC. To play otherwise is to play false.

          • All the doctrines in Vatican II are binding because the doctrines therein have been articulated and defined in the past. Plus, Cardinal Muller on this past May said at an interview that if one “wants to be fully Catholic, one must recognize the Pope and the Second Vatican Council.” And this of course includes your beloved SSPX.

          • …you obviously are unfamiliar with the documents of Vatican II, jon.

            Recognizing Vatican II is to accept what it actually is, not pretend that it is binding in those areas where it deviates from that which has always been taught, jon. So, yes, the Society recognizes Vatican II, but unlike those who would foment change via ignorance, they take the council for what it was. A “pastoral” council that sought to bind nothing new.


            So, absolutely, recognize Vatican II, not strawman Council used to foment obedience for obedience sake. AKA: False obedience, jon.

          • As I had asked in a post below AMalley: Show us. Prove where Vatican II “deviates from that which has always been taught.” You’re making this claim, so prove it. I’ll expect specific quotes from Vatican II proving your point.

          • …to state that Muslims worship the one true God is to deviate, jon.

            Why not prove your zeal by doing some reading about Vatican II instead of doubling down on old arguments that have been blown away.

          • Ladies and gentlemen: just for the record AMalley has not proven her point. Nowhere in Vatican II does it say as AMalley falsely claims that “Muslims worship the one true God.” NOWHERE! If anything, Vatican II such as Nostra Aetate is drawing from the insights of the Apostolic and Church Fathers.

            There may be seeds of the truth found in other religions. For instance, the Apostolic Fathers such as St. Paul proclaims to the gentile Athenians in the Areopagus that they worship an unknown God, whom he, Paul, now proclaims and identifies to them. And Justin Martyr in his Second Apology teaches that partial truths can be found in other religions because “the seed of reason (the Logos) implanted in every race of men” makes God’s…

          • revelation accessible to all, HOWEVER the fullness of the Truth is found in the Catholic Church.

            So, AMalley, you’ve been asked to prove your point, and the best proof you can come up with turns out to be a dud: false! Nostra Aetate is solidly grounded in the Apostolic and Church Fathers such as the two I mentioned. Your point is false. VATICAN II prevails!

          • The Truth prevails, jon. Vatican II was a pastoral council, nothing more.

            To pretend otherwise is to lie.

          • jon is wrong again: Nostra Aetate #3 says Muslims worship the same God as us in equivalent language to Ann Malley’s statement. I guess he has never read NA.

            Now we know he will hair-split words and language to obscure the truth. “Strain out the gnat and swallow the camel,” Jesus called them.

            Card. Burke in an interview yesterday that the deity called Allah is nor the same as God, the Father of Jesus Christ. Ann Mallet is right again.

          • You’re the bomb, Campion. Thank you! And thank you for taking the time to read and understand when too many others choose not to. Opting instead for the easy road to hell with the only excuse being, “He told me to go there!”

          • Ladies and gentlemen: notice the prevarication of Campion here. AMalley wrongly claimed that Nostra Aetate taught that “Muslims worship the one true God.” Then Campion now erroneously claims that the document gives the “equivalent language” as AMalley. WRONG! WORDS MATTER people. The document never said that Muslims worship “the one true God.” NOWEHRE! Read it for yourselves folks what Nostra Aetate actually says: “Ecclesia cum aestimatione quoque Muslimos respicit qui unicum Deum adorant…” The word “verum” is NOWHERE THERE! It’s NOT equivalent!

            As usual folks, the tactics of these detractors of the legitimate clergy is astonishingly unethical. They will prevaricate and lie. What is their intent? It…

          • can’t be for the sake of the Truth, because see how they prevaricate. No, one can only guess that the intent is to poach folks into these illegal chapels. Folks, the Church has its own “illegals”. Folks in the Vatican are trying to figure if we should give them amnesty. Funny really.

        • “Card. Burke in an interview yesterday that the deity called Allah is nor the same as God, the Father of Jesus Christ. Ann Malley is right again.”

          Thank you, Ann Malley and Campion, for your posts, that are instructive, true champions, in defending the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

          • That’s just as well. There is no contradiction between Vatican II and what Burke supposedly has said (supposedly because I haven’t read the interview). And just for your information folks, Cardinal Burke supports ALL the documents and doctrines contained in the Second Vatican Council. That’s why he has legal ministry in the Church, unlike your beloved SSPX who do not support all the doctrines of said Council and thereby have no legal ministry in the Church. So folks, the Church has its own “illegals.” And the past several years since Benedict, the Church has been bending over backwards trying to regularize them. At every turn they refuse. I have my theories why. But folks, some of the disobedient comments you read here are…

          • illegal-inspired.

    • St. Christopher says

      Nothing that you write has any bearing on why the “Young” leave the Church. Returning to Catholic Tradition will assure continuity and security for the Church. Your Faith is one of rational Protestantism, not Catholicism. Teach the Real Presence, use Traditional Sacraments, and live our the Catholic Catechism (not easy in the face of an increasingly hostile and violent Democratic Party and their LGBTQ and Planned Parenthood Baby-Killer allies).

      • Your Fellow Catholic says

        Have you bothered asking any of them, St. Christopher? A new book does ask them, and comes to the conclusion that the intrusion of politics into religion has caused the nones phenomenon. Often they say they are no less believers in God, but that religion has been taken over by those with political agendas: the anti-LGBT crowd, the people who tried to intervene in the life and death of Terry Schiavo, etc.

        • In other words, YFC, the young who have chosen to adhere to the doctrines of the world are leaving Church because they are making their choice.

          So if someone walks into a bakery and demands stones is the baker then to toss off bread making and give his patrons stones? All while advertising his store as a bakery.

          Will a “book” that asks those who left the bakery for stones to be listened to for what it takes to make a successful bakery? No.

          As for “they say they are no less believers in God,” but insist on having Him come in the form of a golden calf is another illustration of the absurd. Lest you forget, the Israelites who built the golden calf never said God was dead, only that they would fashion and worship Him how they…

          • … chose. Not how God commands in true mercy.

            In other words, those walking away are desirous of an image of God that will see them welcome in Egypt, among those who take whatever false god is popular at present. (Can’t serve God and Mammon.)

            That’s why we’re not commanded to obey in that which is sinful, YFC. It deforms the flock. It also deforms shepherds.

        • St. Christopher says

          Nonsense. It is the “noners” that insist on the intrusion of politics, on injecting political notions of fairness and equality into the Faith (e.g., women must be priests, and all must be free to love, that kind of garbage). The noners refuse to follow any rule that they do not personally appreciate, a very Protestant notion. They cannot, cannot, cannot, have Faith their way. The Father let the Prodigal Son has his freedom and did not try to come after him to save him. Only recognition of sin, and of the need for redemption will save us.

  10. There can be no doubt that another reason for the young walking out is when they hear/read on blogs like this older adults belittling the faith, complaining about this-and-that teaching (namely, Vatican II), berating this-or-that bishop or priest, denigrating the Mass (the Ordinary Form in particular). When young people hear their elders speaking like this, or writing like this in blogs, what do you expect they are going to think? “Oh, why bother.” Listen folks, your own negativity about the Church contributes to the erosion of the faith. You scandalize. Join what you do here in this blog to the dumbing down of the faith in parish catechesis and uou get young people drifting away.

    • And, pray tell, how is this long, angry diatribe against co-religionists exempted from being the epitome of that very negativity?

      • My co-religionists? My religion reveres all the anointed shepherds of the Church. My religion adheres to ALL the doctrines and dogmas of the Church including those articulated in Vatican II. My religion respects all the sacraments, most especially the two forms of the Mass. My religion is the faith of Peter, James, John, Paul the Apostle, Augustine, Aquinas, Therese, Ratzinger, Wojtyla, Sarto (whose feast is tomorrow), Mother Teresa, Escriva, and Newman.

        • ….Your religion seeks to put the “anointed” shepherds above the truth. Even the truth that Vatican II, to be recognized, requires one to honestly accept that the novelties introduced therein are not binding. Why? Because they intentionally deviate from established doctrine.

          And, for the record, the mass itself is not a sacrament. It is a rite. But considering Our Lord becomes truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, it is critical that that rite surrounding the confecting of the Sacrament is of the highest integrity, and that which conveys the truth of His mysteries. Not a distraction from them.

          • You might want to educate yourself AMalley about the BASIC teachings of the Church. Your opinion is contradicted by Catechism 1332 which says that the Sacrament is called “Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.” SO, the whole liturgy is encompassed in the Sacrament. Again, you’re WRONG! What in fact is your religion to be making these basic mistakes?

          • ….is not receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. And that is patently false.

            Perhaps this is why you’re so confused. You need a sound teacher, jon. Not whoever it is you’re listening or think you’re following.

          • Vatican II did not deviate from any established doctrines. Please tell the truth, Ann Malley.

          • Vatican II ventured into pastoral territory of propositions, Anonymous.

            Perhaps you should do more reading on the subject.

          • Well, AMalley, prove it. Quote to us passages from the Second Vatican Council that “ventured into propositions”, “that deviate from established doctrines.” Go ahead, show us. You’re making a claim here, so you prove it. We’ll expect no less than SPECIFIC QUOTES which we ourselves can look up.

    • Actually, Jon, I doubt that this site has much influence on any young people. They don’t blog or search about Catholic religion, as the survey would lead you to believe. Young people have already left the church and don’t care. As one of my grand-kids asked, what is a Latin mass? Don’t the Priest know how to speak English?

      • The young people don’t need to be visiting a blog to have their faith compromised by negative talk from dissenters and those who disobey Church teachings. It only takes one conversation overheard by a young person to plan seeds of doubt.

    • St. Christopher says

      Where do you guys come from? “jon” you are — again — completely off base, although predictably so. Demanding Catholic orthodoxy is vitally necessary to success of its sole mission of saving souls. The Church, as an institution, has been lost since creation of the wasteland of “Vatican II implementation.” Rejecting this Zombie-Liberalism is the sign of a healthy soul; your attempts to muzzle dissent are wrong. Scandal exists only by following apostates like Bishop McElroy, who insist on adhering to the lament as to why the willfully sinful cannot receive communion.

  11. Michael McDermott says

    Indeed – both Infinity and Eternity are beyond any ‘science’ and point the way to God, yet we are all uneasy with such concepts and tend to avoid their mention – save in the Mass.

    What homily can compete with a TV Sitcom with a laugh track to tell us when things are funny – for those who do not want to grapple with bigger issues?

  12. Well it’s tough to sell a secularized, Frankenstein-like Christo-socialism as Catholicism, why not just drop the pretense and become a Marxist Democrat?

  13. The enemy is also the continuing blindspot that chanceries and superintendents of schools have for years placed a deliberate chokehold on excellent traditional teaching material that would have interiorly transmitted the Faith starting at a very young age. This is what we were given and that gift is priceless because that gift never leaves you and you would never leave that gift. Instead of blaming catechists, teachers, evangelists and academics, why are bishops continuing to ignore the reality that all teaching material is selected right under their authority. That is an embarrassing passing of the buck and it is most of all counter productive.


    • I sincerely do not mean this as a sign of disrespect but you can truly hear the lack of theological brilliance and proper seminary formation in many of our new modern day bishops and priests. Yes, there are exceptions, but our Church more than ever needs an A Team of holy authority coupled with brilliant teaching leadership. It appears that we have been given many bishops who permit or have allowed the strangulation chokehold of our own faith. No wonder the young walk out. If a father fails to teach, and protect his own children, then the children will grow up and leave in search of the foundation that they were denied to begin with.

      • “…No wonder the young walk out. If a father fails to teach, and protect his own children, then the children will grow up and leave in search of the foundation that they were denied to begin with.”

        Children, little children, are far more intelligent than what current modes give them credit for being. But that is what the modern world teaches adults. That, to me, is why when those in authority seek to solve the teaching problem, they seek modern methods instead of those of tradition. They fear being labeled, they fear ruining the children with too serious material.

        So sad.

        • “Children, little children, are far more intelligent than what the current modes give them credit for being.”

          That is, absolutely true, Ann Malley! Here is an example of a good father sweetly teaching and planting the seeds of the faith into the heart and mind of his little son. The second video also shows their capability of learning.

          Getting Your Young Children to Pray the Rosary – YouTube

          Nathan Bond recites entire Constitution from memory – YouTube

          • Thanks for the links, Catherine. Just goes to demonstrate the acute sensibilities required just to “learn” to speak. That receptivity is at its peak when children are small. That window, under the pretext of “they’re too young to understand” is missed regarding language, music, etc(highly complex) and then when the adult child takes to lessons they come FAR harder. Reason being they need to unlearn all those modes wherein they filled in with their own child’s mind that which nobody thought to actually teach them. Or demonstrate for them.

            Mankind can reach a very high bar if it is set for him and he is lovingly encourage to try because it is worth the effort. But one who is coddled by softspeak by a reticent teacher can be ruined…

          • … into wanting pablum forever.

  14. Unfortunately the same problems exist here in Nigeria where I am serving as a missionary. (I am a retired lay canon lawyer from San Diego, CA.) I have heard countless young people reciting the Ten Commandments, which they learned by rote memorization with no explanation “You shall not convert your neighbor’s goods” and “You shall not convert your neighbor’s wife”. When I ask them the meaning of the word “convert” I get that deer in the headlights stare. They are using the wrong word – convert, instead of covet, and cannot explain either. Sadly, many young Catholic women are marrying Protestant men and adopting the religion of their husbands. Their parents think this is okay, not seeing any difference between one Christian…

    • “Teaching to the test,” is an old standby. Catholics aren’t immune.

      I make it a requirement in my catechism classes to require each student to explain exactly what each commandment means before moving on. That lesson is repeated daily. (Examples of good and bad behavior are also drawn from their daily lives to include all the fun farm animals and the naught kitty who always wants to hunt in the woods.)

      There’s also the regular inclusion of words above the average reading level. Used for the express purpose of saying, “What did I just say. What does that mean?”

      Helps embed the habit of asking if you don’t know something and not settling for a rote answer. Gets a person over that shyness of fearing being “that kid”.

  15. Michael McDermott says

    Roman Lawyer Cierro once pleaded guilty to taking bribes – but argued he took bribes form both sides and remains neutral Ahem

    May I recommend:
    The New Ignorance Far Worse than the Old
    “Education,” wrote Malcolm Muggeridge fifty years ago, “the great fraud and mumbo-jumbo of the age,” had not brought to the mass of men the best that has been done and thought and said, but rather spread ignorance and folly across the land
    Muggeridge understood, though he did not feel he needed to say so explicitly, that the modern ignorance is a new kind of thing, not like the ignorance of old. We Catholics who wish to bring the good news of Christ to the world –
    I could now say that the…

  16. My parish priest tried to have a program called Know Your Faith, which was aimed at adults. The program would have a different topic each week, with time for questions. It was well advertised, but we could never get more than five or six people to attend. He finally gave up. In reciting the Angelus in common, one often hears “The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” Once again, memorization without understanding. I cannot begin to count the number of people who ask me in all sincerity if in an emergency and no water is available if you can baptize using sand. I think we need better religion textbooks and better trained teachers. By the way, I teach canon law in a major seminary.

    • …this can strike in traditional communities, too.

      One priest related a story of giving a retreat to some novices. After reading a particular passage in the bible, he was surprised that one young sister raised her hand in the back row. The passage was merely read. No discussion as yet.

      The question, “What is a harlot, Father?”

  17. Agree with the good Bishop that there are indeed some very bad Americans. At the top of my list are those current American Catholics who hold influential positions in Church and secular society who either only give lip service to the truth but take no action to back it up or who take public positions and support laws totally at odds with the moral teachings– ie those who support abortion and gay marriage. I just recently saw the article “The Tears of a Mother: The tragedy of pro-gay Catholic ministries in the Diocese of LA” — a perfect example exposing the problem.
    Why is it that action is only taken when the public exposure shows the lies and double talk, etc?
    Yes, ‘the enemy is us’ when a ‘fifth column’ in the Church remains…

  18. Within the Aug. 2016 survey data, under the “Religious Landscapes” link, is interesting specific data, including regarding Catholic beliefs on moral values: only 30% of Catholics surveyed “believe in absolute values of right and wrong”. 67% believe “depends on situation.”

    Kind of says it all.

  19. Offer them the Mass of All Times the TLM and just watch! The fake Life Teen Mass is “cute” but by the age of 18 these young Roman Catholics are looking for the REAL DEAL TLM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. david drewelow says

    did any of our readers run across christiane brusselmans or her work in catechetics? a friend of mine ,. totally convinced that vatican ii needed to be applied in very strong doses to cure the church, relished the fact that she frustrated cardinal wright (in meetings in rome?) to such a degree that he could only call her ‘that woman’ in checking her out, i noticed that she believed that jansenisn had distorted everything and fought to postpone and subdue first confession, based on new child psychology ‘insights’.

  21. Mike Gallagher says

    I respect Bishop’s perspective, but I would also like to call out parents like myself as part of the problem. The church says that parents are the first teachers, so where are we? I would hope and expect that the church supports me as I try and pass on the faith to my children. Catholic schools, CCD, youth programs, etc have an uphill climb if I don’t demonstrate a heart for God at home. Studies show that our children for the most part will turn out like us.

    • david drewelow says

      mike, i have been reading through the christiane brusselmans ‘dossier’ and saw that ‘parents are the first teachers’ was one of her doctrines. she was the main influence behind the formation of the RCIA as we know it. when she and her influence group began to move the dates for first confession, cardinal wright’s response was that keeping with the traditional pattern would allow the Holy Spirit to get to work earlier on the effects of sin (original and personal) ..the good cardinal knew that soul was deeper than mind.

  22. Bishop Barron has been posting on Facebook a lot of pictures from Confirmations that he has celebrated in the Santa Barbara pastoral region. Has he questioned any of the confirmandi during his homily, as bishops used to do years ago as a way of testing their knowledge of the faith? Or, as has been the practice more and more, does he joke about asking questions and then politely state that he trusts the confirmandi’s preparation has been adequate so he will skip the traditional questions, knowing full well that most of the teenagers in front of him are ignorant about their faith and will abandon it within ten years?

    As auxiliary bishop for the region, Bishop Barron ought to personally oversee the quality of catechetical programs in his…

    • Excellent question, Sawyer. A firm closing of the loop to ensure accuracy in teaching – to include what is binding and not – is absolutely necessary.

      Clarity for Charity. True Charity!

  23. It’s all about sex!! The young walk out because they start having sex and don’t want anyone to tell them it’s wrong. They decide they can have any kind of sexual encounter and that anyone who “judges” them is mean. Once they can dismiss the Church’s teachings on sexual matters, they find it convenient to ditch other Church teachings as well.

    • True!
      Anne Hendershott reviewing Pew Data, May 2015 CWR:
      “Pew . . .acknowledged that the sharpest growth of those who are unaffiliated [to Church] are those “who are living with a partner, never married.” 26% of those who were living with a partner in 2007 were among the unaffiliated; by 2014, 35% of those who were living with a partner were unaffiliated. Those who are living together with a partner are also more likely to say that religion is not important—supporting Mary Eberstadt’s thesis, in her book ‘How the West Really Lost God’ (Templeton, 2014), on the relationship between marriage delays and declines in religious affiliation.”
      Best way to fill empty Catholic churches? Proclaim authentic teachings related to marriage at…

      • (Repeating last sentence above)
        Best way to fill empty Catholic churches? Proclaim authentic teachings related to marriage at every level.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says

          You seem to be contradicting your own logic. If young people leave the Church because they start having sex and don’t want anyone to tell them it’s wrong, then how is the “best way to fill empty Catholic Churches [to] proclaim authentic teachings related to marriage at every level. How do you reconcile those two statements?

          • Lack of clear Catholic moral teaching and formation from an early age + permissive sex ed + a morally decadent society lead to destructive behaviors/sinful practices on the part of our youth. It is not hard to reconcile from these facts that the data dots show couples living together tend to be unaffiliated with a Church.
            The proclaimed and lived truths of the Catholic faith on chastity and marriage is powerfully attractive.
            From your statement is seems like you’ve been missing both–point made.

          • …the best way to fill churches is to begin and end with authentic Catholic teaching, YFC. Not go soft on the culture until the kids reach an age where they can have sex and then pretend that “now” they’re going to listen.

            That’s why doing the pablum approach into adulthood turns off kids. Because they aren’t reared as growing up, but as merely kids who must be approached with tender platitudes and soft speak instead of the realities of life, marriage, sex, death, judgement, heaven and hell.

            The contradiction is pretending the Church can put a tarp on Christ and still call it the Church.

  24. Another critical issue that has not been addressed is the fact that excellent teachers have been systematically drummed out of the Catholic schools. Are the bishops’s even aware of this fascist type of bullying? Does each bishop take the time to speak with the religion teachers to see if they are being persecuted by priests or fellow teachers who desire to stamp out any remnant of traditional Catholicism? One high school teacher told me that each Friday at school, an elderly priest would take his lunch hour to grill the teacher on what he was teaching. The teacher told the priest that he was only teaching what the CCC taught. This priest was also furious when the teacher gave the students pocket sized examination of conscience cards…

    • …many bishops are responsible for said Fascist bullying, Catherine. So do they know? Absolutely. Hence, too often, the embarrassing passing of the buck as you put it earlier.

      Even the binding nature of Vatican II has been obscured, leaving even the basics of Outside the Church there is NO Salvation up for grabs. That’s a pretty serious one to be obscured.

      But with that kind of rampant – whatever you “feel” is right – what are we to expect? No unity, no order, clarity deigned as bad, confusing “ecumenism” promoted as a Social Justice must.

      It’s too often the Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along,” that is promoted in lieu of the division created by actually teaching the Catholic Faith. Whole and entire. Kids won’t…

    • Yes, Catherine, I can attest from personal experience that a faithful Catholic teacher in a Catholic school may be popular with students but will likely be resented by the administration and other teachers for teaching Catholic faith accurately and for challenging lapses and errors in the school’s curriculum, in the way the school celebrates Mass, in the content of general assemblies, or in the content of faculty formation workshops. Much pressure will be applied to that teacher to bring him in line or silence him, and if all else fails a paper trail will begin to be fabricated to justify terminating him. Clever teachers will see the writing on the wall and take appropriate action.

  25. continued….This same high school teacher, was teaching the faith so well that young men were going home and asking their parents to start going to Mass again. The teacher received many thank you cards from the parents for stirring up the good desire to get the family back on track of returning to the sacraments. One student was not even Catholic and he was so inspired by this teacher that his parents allowed him to become Catholic. Still, the teacher was eventually drummed out because wolves are repulsed by the fruitful results of the fullness of truth. On this teachers last day of employment, the school secretary approached him and told him how much they admired him and that he wasn’t the first that they had done this to.

  26. Bad catechesis aside, the problem ultimately isn’t that Catholics know too little, it’s that they know TOO MUCH—about fraud, sexcapades and cover-ups in the hierarchy and seminaries—and they see a Church that just isn’t holy. Who in their right mind would to support that sort of hypocrisy? Catholics see abusing priests whose “punishment” is to play golf and live off the diocesean dole for the rest of their lives, rather than be called to account for their sins. Cdl. Mahony is a parade example of someone who has never had to give an accounting to the Archdiocese for his wrongdoing; what are you doing about this, Bp. Barron?

  27. In so many cases, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If being a Catholic, knowing, following, teaching the ten laws of God, sharing bible & catechism books as they grow, happily attending mass with reverence is important to the parents, it is passed down to their children naturally just like breathing. Habits of daily prayers, rosary devotions don’t just happen from thin air. Watching EWTN & not junk on TV together. You get the picture….it is hard work to live the faith so you can pass it down to your kids. Is this lifestyle even a priority outside of the TLM folks? This is the 1st failure (of many) affecting kids today & we are seeing the results. Pray for families.

  28. But wait. Here are some facts. The seminaries of the TLM orders are full. The traditional religious orders are healthy & growing too. AND for those of you familiar with the TLM, the young don’t seem to be missing from the TLM masses. They even return AFTER college. Why is that? While all this time the NO is diminishing in most if not all areas — church attendance, seminarians, religious orders, etc. So if a good tree is measured by it’s fruit, the TLM tree is fruitful & the NO tree is not technically growing by the same measures. Will it eventually wither (few in the pews already) & die out? Rest my case. Pray for the universal return of the TLM option everywhere. Praise be to God.

    • From The Pew, I agree! Those who take the time and trouble to find a traditional Tridentine Latin Mass to regularly attend, usually love their Mass and their Catholic Faith very much, and are deeply committed Catholics! Their families usually thrive, with deep commitment to the daily teaching and practice of their Catholic Faith! The rest of the Church is quite disoriented, fooling around with worldly novelties, so-called “freedom,” moral and religious relativism– and mostly, chaos!! Not very committed to Christ! Personally, I will always love the Latin Tridentine Mass, and pre-Vatican II Sacraments, and the Baltimore Catechism! But each Catholic must make their own decision on this.

      • There you go again, judging everyone else around you. When will you learn to look inward instead of blaming people you don’t even know and have no actual knowledge of what they believe or how they practice your faith?

      • Linda Maria, And I agree with you too but do not have a Baltimore Catechism. But a ‘legit’ Catechism (I have the 1994 Ratzinger-Benedict/John Paul II edition) should be mandatory reading for all Catholics (including all priests) & candidates for the sacraments, which sadly doesn’t happen today. Here is a good illustration of mass ‘styles’: Why is it, at TLM, everyone is aware of the True Presence? And the sermons discuss the ‘right stuff’ with no pandering? Are people hungry but are not being fed at many of the NO masses? Pray for the shepherds.

        • FromthePew, I think the modern world just barely gets by, trying to deal with serious subjects in life (such as religion and morality in a tragically superficial way– as if it had no importance, at all! In the modern Church, there is a tragic lack of focus, disorientation, and poor religious and moral training– all due to poor leadership in the Church, for decades! Anything worth doing– is worth doing well, as my mom used to say! Before the modern era, and before TV– people would spend hours, to learn something, and do it well! That includes the subject of morals, good character, and religion! God is waiting for us, in church!

          • Linda Maria says

            It is very important, for each of us to learn, from an early age, the eternal truths of God, morality, and religion. Jesus told us correctly, that in order to get to Heaven, we must “enter by the narrow gate.” Those who are rebellious, who insist that those who tell the truth, are “judgmental”— do themselves no favors!! At Death’s door, you will get an awful shock! Best to learn maturity and responsibility, to lead a morally good life, to honor God— from an early age! I and many others believe, the ancient, pre-Conciliar Church, with the Tridentine Mass, Sacraments, and devotions– has much to offer!

          • Linda Maria says

            The modern Church is very worldly, secular, unfocused, disoriented, and constantly fools around with foolish, false, worldly, humanistic concepts and novelties, and false “freedoms,” which lead many away from Christ, and to a life of selfishness and sin! Tragic! What will we give, for Christ’s Kingdom of Heaven, for which He died?? Heaven must be so incomparably beautiful! The Tridentine Latin Mass expresses the sublime beauty, holiness, and dignity of Christ’s holy Sacrifice, and the glory of Heaven!! Perfect for religious vocations! Fabulous, for serious Catholics!

          • LM, All excellent points….well said. I am thrilled to attend mass too as we say in our home, Let’s go…Jesus is waiting. Thanks!

          • FromthePew–Thanks! I appreciate all of your posts, too! Bless you! Sometimes, it is hard to put down all of one’s ideas, in just one or two posts, especially in the short time and space we are given, on this website! Our Church is a big worry– but Our Lady of Fatima told the three shepherd children, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” So, I try to remember that, and take comfort!

  29. Linda Maria says

    I recall, right after Vatican II, a young priest of a prominent religious order, who was going to deliver the homily for all five of the Sunday Masses, at a church on a prominent university campus. We asked what his topic would be He told us that he was going to preach on the subject of Catholic sexual morality, and that many young couples may walk out on him, at each Mass– and to expect that, as American society was becoming quite rebellious, with ignorant, immoral, “hippie liberals!” However, he said– even though some young Catholics might walk out on him– he wanted to tell them the exact truth– and someday, they might come back to the Faith, when they realized he was right! We all admired this!

  30. Linda Maria says

    Our Church and society of today, desperately needs maturity!! That is the heart of what is missing! Maturity, respect for God, a good moral conscience, a strong sense of responsibility, and a strong work ethic! A girl and boy need to grow up to be mature, capable, responsible, well-prepared young men and women, fully ready, after high school– for responsibilities of either the priesthood/religious life, or marriage/family life! Real men, and real women— serving God and society!

  31. Why do the young walk out? No talk of faith, of Jesus’ redemptive suffering, of His presence in the Eucharist, of His empowering love, of His sacrifice to show us the way, the truth, and the life, no guidance away from moral relativism to virtuous lives which satisfy our souls.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says

      I don’t know what Church you go to and you don’t hear these things. I hear them most places I attend Mass. Once again, I doubt you have ever asked more than a handful of people who no longer attend mass why they don’t.

      • Steve Phoenix says

        So, Fellow One, is everyone mis-informed and misguided regarding what Fr. P accurately describes as typical at many a Mass, except you?

        Fr. P’s experience, certainly shared by many of the rest of us, you declare “invalidated”, and yet you validate your own contrary experience in the next breath? How does that work?

  32. I have 6 children, 4 teenagers. I have a simple answer that will make some people mad. There are too many lay people involved in the Mass and therefore the Mass is TOO LONG. 60 to 75 min Mass is a lot longer than the 45 min Mass of my teen years. Announcements, singing, deacon sermons, precious blood to all,

    • I will distinguish your remarks, Steve.

      Yes, there are too many lay people functioning at Mass unnecessarily, such as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

      No, a 60-75 (or even 90) minute Mass is not too long, presuming it is celebrated reverently, the music facilitates prayer and transcendence, the celebrant’s every movement and word is in the service of prayerful liturgy, and the homily is substantial, orthodox, and calls the faithful to lives of deepened holiness in practical and meaningful ways.

      Do your teenagers complain much about movies that last 120 to 180 minutes? Ball games that last four hours?

      Length of time is not the problem; time poorly spent is the problem.

      • Terrific job, Sawyer!

        If any faithful bishops are reading this website, please contact the poster named Sawyer for help. This is the precise type of instructional teaching that is SO desperately needed in seminaries, parishes, universities and grade schools. The Traditional Orders are teaming with vocations filled with holiness and masculinity, while Diocesan seminaries have fewer vocations but teaming with feminizing classes and teachings that not only strip the masculinity from men, they strip away solid Church teachings and the clearly masculine, yet, still fatherly way, that God intended for his beloved priests to lead His flock.

        • Catherine: your opinions are OUTDATED! You’re at least 15 years out-of-date. How so? Have you actually been in a seminary lately (I presume you shouldn’t be as you’re female)? But if you had, seminaries are greatly improved, DIOCESAN SEMINARIES! And yes, holy and devout priests are being formed in these seminaries! As for “teeming” with vocations, we’ll see. I tend to hope that as years go on, there will be more and more vocations to the diocesan priesthood. Your “traditional” vocations are PITIFULLY inadequate in terms of who they want to minister to. Only ministering to Catholics who attend the TLM??? What is THAT?? How about the majority of Catholics who go to the Ordinary Form? Are they not “worthy” enough to…

          • be ministered to by these “traditional” priests?? That’s smugness in my book. Are they not also Catholics? No Catherine, the future is in the DIOCESAN and religious priests who can offer both the OF and the EF, not in these “traditional” communities!

          • Only ministering to those who want to attend the TLM? Hardly, jon. Rather it is that using the TLM in one’s ministry is to truly minister in the fullness, engaging that which has proved most beneficial.

            Your rancor, Sir, is outdated as you ignore the reality of poor fruits associated with the novelty of the NO rite. That and the demonstrable dearth of proper Catholic formation in those attending Diocesan seminaries.

            What is smug, in your book, is of no account as you refuse to acknowledge the smugness that keeps you from learning, discerning, and growing in understanding. Merely defending “your” position does little but keep you in the dark to which you’ve grown accustom.

          • So AMalley, you say: “the demonstrable dearth of proper Catholic formation in those attending Diocesan seminaries.” You go ahead and prove that one too please. Prove to us, demonstrate to us the dearth in seminary formation today. Show us their curriculum, if you’re really serious about it.

            As for my point about priests who belong to anyone of your priestly societies like your beloved FSSP, that’s easy to prove. Just ask if they will offer the Ordinary Form. They’ll say “NO”. Is that ministering to the majority of Catholics? NO! My point is proven.

          • Jon, it is a ministry to offer what is best.

            You act as if people do not have free will. That said, when Bishop Barron states that we can hope that Hell is empty, that is proof enough. But there is more if you care to look and actually understand what is being presented to you.

          • Just for the record folks, again, AMalley again has failed to prove her point. Whether or not most people are damned in hell has been a theological back-and-forth for most of Christian history and debated by theologians! The fact that Bishop Barron is paying attention to this issue speaks to engagement in this theological issue, a freedom of theological inquiry (which you don’t allow yourself, speaking of freedom). Bishop Barron’s engagement DISPROVES Malley’s point of a dearth in seminary formation in fact. So AMalley, why don’t you actually read with Barron says.

          • Just for the record, folks, the new moniker George R. has taken up the cause of jon. Or rather what “jon” represents. I am not positing that most people are damned in Hell. I take issue with the supposition from a Catholic Bishop that Hell could be empty.

            Malley’s point, which isn’t just Malley’s, is to demonstrate that pretending that “Hell could be empty” is really just the theological back-and-forth of “most people are damned” is to engage in dangerous subtlety.

            Malley’s point, again, not just mine, but the actual point at hand is that Barron’s supposition that we can hope for that which negates reason with regard to Our Lord’s raising the issue of Hell and speaking about the reality of going there (not to mention the…

          • …parable of Lazarus and the Rich man) is dangerous subtlety. The promotion of confusion for the sake of beginning a discussion. False advertisement.

            But, George R., jon, if that’s what you’re into then that’s what you’re into. It’s not Catholic Faith, however, but speculation. I can get that in a hot Sci Fi novel.

            I do, however, feel highly complimented that you were so threatened jon as to establish yet another moniker. Guess the YFC collective isn’t all that ;^)

          • Thank you George. We cannot deny the fact that Ann Malley’s point that seminary formation today is in a dearth has NOT BEEN PROVEN BY HER! Just look what AM has done: In order to support her POV, she quotes Barron! How does that support her point? Plus, George correctly shows that AM isn’t even correct in discrediting Barron!

          • Talking to yourself, even if you call yourself George isn’t healthy, jon. Neither is double speak.

            I don’t have to prove anything. A tree is known by its fruits. And the fruit that would posit that we can all hope that hell is empty is not entirely honest, but rather engaging subtlety to mislead. To cajole. To appease.

            Whether or not the vast majority of souls go to Hell may be in question. Whether or not anybody goes to Hell is not.

            I understand your relying upon the ignorance of the masses, but that too is disingenuous. The Truth shall set us all free, jon-George. Not the perpetuation of ignorance masked as obedience or sophistication.

      • We all have our thoughts on why people leave the church. Perhaps we should stick to the reasons they give us for why they leave. Another thought is that we might pay attention to what criteria people use when looking for a church to attend. In the latter case, it is the quality of the preaching and the quality of the music. Other reasons follow as well. How many good preachers do you know in Catholic churches? Even those who profess the true faith can’t deliver. Go to a Pentecostal or Evangelical church some Sunday and you will see the difference and know why they are pulling in the people. Their theology may be different, but they are trained as preachers. Maybe we should send our seminarians to Baptist Bible colleges for a year…

        • ” Maybe we should send our seminarians to Baptist Bible colleges for a year…” = Bob One showcases how easy it can become to mind-numbingly sit through 40 + years of irreverent Masses, heterodoxy and goofy theology. Now he wants to send seminarians to Baptist Bible colleges for a year. Next, Bob will suggest sending seminarians to Mosques in order to teach them that bullhorn prayer calls and prayer rugs are better than pulpit microphones kneelers, and communion rails. Liberals can’t ever bring themselves to admit the utter failure of their, butterfly banners with Kumbaya theology. ….continued

          • continued…Liberals HAVE been in power and they are only panicking about “puling them in” because future retirements aka funding is at risk. They NOW see the handwriting on the wall. The Traditional Orders ARE thriving and the young people are drawn to the structure and rituals along with the holy faithful priests, that the so-called “spirit,” of Vatican II, wants to eradicate. Leftists don’t want to get it and liberals do not get it because they are still wandering in the desert turning to Protestant Alpha Programs instead of turning to the Traditions that completely shaped our greatest saints.

          • Catherine, you know that I was a bit tongue in cheek with the idea of sending folks to Baptist schools. We have to admit, I think, that most of our Catholic Priest, frankly, are not very good preachers. At best they may get one or two semesters of homiletics taught by Priests who are not themselves very good preachers. (I know that is an over-generalization). Baptist and Evangelicals are taught to preach. That is their calling. Not a lot of theology and philosophy, but a lot of training in how to preach effectively.

          • …Bob One, you put too much emphasis, in my view, about having to be “taught” to preach. As if it is an audition for a role in a play.

            While there will be variations on ability, the spiritual drive to complete seminary IF combined with the fullness of the Faith, and a genuine prayer life, can render even the most seemingly untalented able to convey the truths of our Faith effectively in a sermon.

            Often trying too hard to be effective renders one ineffective. Just speak the Truth – from the heart – and don’t apologize.

  33. Linda Maria says

    I am watching St. Mother Teresa’s Canonization Mass, at the Vatican, on television. Wonderful! I always thought it was terrific, that St. Mother Teresa’s mother was a devout Catholic, and she nurtured her daughter’s religious vocation, from childhood– and inspired her daughter to love the poor, for Jesus! I bet her mother is thrilled, in Heaven!!

    • Linda Maria says

      St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata grew up in a devout Catholic home, and got a good head-start, from an early age, on her Sainthood, for the glory of God! She left to become a Sister of Loreto, at age eighteen! And her mother faithfully encouraged and supported her religious vocation! Very inspiring! With a better Church, someday, guiding more devout, faithful Catholic homes and families, we should be richly blessed by God, with more religious vocations— and more Saints, too!

  34. Bishop Barron’s reasons why young people are leaving I find unconvincing. This great article talks about this:

    “People Are Leaving the Church Because of YOU, Bishop Barron”

  35. I witnessed St. Mother Teresa speaking at Veteran’s Stadium, in Long Beach, Ca. These were her exact words, “America, has gained technology but has lost God. The downfall, of America, will come through the sin of abortion.” The second after she finished that statement, the tall steel flagpole that was waving a huge American flag, came crashing down, across the stage, right in front of St. Mother Teresa. The entire audience was struck with awe and trepidation for what was to come for our nation. I was later, informed by a priest, who knew Mother Teresa, that when the flag fell, it even terrified her as to the prophetic warning to America, that she also witnessed.

    “God’s Gift to you is the Gift of Life. What you do with your Life…

    • david drewelow says

      terrific story,catherine. i have a question…. did mother teresa ever say, directly or indirectly, that abortion leads to nuclear war? i noticed that a few years ago someone speaking for her order made a point to deny atribution of those words to her.. to me, the connection has a strong logic (disregard for human life at its beginning bleeds into a devaluing of human life in all other areas, including decisions about the threshold of war). it seems so very possible that such a statement could have occured ad lib, prophetically, just once, and missed by her entourage.

      • david drewelow, I am not aware if Mother Teresa ever said anything directly or indirectly, that abortion leads to nuclear war. And yes, it is possible that such a statement could have been missed by her entourage. There was no missing the message, “The downfall of America will come through the sin of abortion,” especially when that tall steel flagpole came crashing down, American Flag and all. The connection that you mention regarding nuclear war does have a strong logic because directly, or indirectly, wouldn’t the downfall of America perhaps be a foretelling of a threshold of war?

  36. continued…

    “God’s Gift to you is the Gift of Life. What you do with your Life is your Gift to God.” — Mother Teresa.

    • Steve Phoenix says

      This is an amazing story, Catherine, about Mother Angelica, her prophetic words, and this striking phenomenon of the falling flagpole. Do you recall the date it happened? I want to make note of it for others.

      • Steve Phoenix, It was an amazing thing to witness. It was Mother Teresa who spoke those prophetic words. I do not recall the exact date and my sister and I both think it was at least 25 years ago. I just called another friend who is going to try and see if there is something written in the Long Beach, Press Telegram archives. This same friend just told me that her grandmother and great-grandmother were there too and they came home talking about it. The parish involved was St. Cyprian’s and the son of the family who owns the local mortuary business is the one who picked up Mother Teresa at the airport. There were also Catholic school children in their uniforms who were there.

  37. How to Pray Mother Teresa’s Famous “Flying Novena” to Our Lady


    How to Pray St. Mother Teresa’s Famous “Flying Novena” to Our Lady

    What of those times when you are in need of an answer but time doesn’t permit for prayers in petition for a day or more? Mother Teresa of Calcutta knew what to do. She turned to our Mother, and prayed her “Flying Novena.”

    • Linda Maria says

      LOVE all your wonderful posts, Catherine! LOVE your post, above, all about the time you went to hear St. Mother Teresa speak– oh, that’s a GREAT story! I wonder if it was recorded by someone with a TV or video camera? If so, it would be wonderful, if it could be available, for others to watch! Also, I have been intrigued by her “Flying Novena,” and wondered if others had tried it, and had any luck? Or was it just that St. Mother Teresa was blessed with quick answers to prayers– because she was a Saint, so close to God??

      • Thank you, Linda Maria! Maybe someone did video record this event. We should ask the readers of Catholic blogs to see if anyone did record it. The day that we drove to see Mother Teresa speak, my sister called and asked me if I wanted to go and hear her talk. We were told just a few hours before that St. Mother Teresa would be so close to our town so we called as many friends as we could and we drove there never expecting to witness such an occurrence. I did not bring a video but their were numerous witnesses because the grandstands were filled. Maybe someone did recorded it.


        • I do believe that St. Mother Teresa was blessed with quick answers because she quickly answered God’s calling to her. I remember reading an article where St. Mother Teresa was riding on a bus and she could interiorly hear Jesus calling to her saying. “I Thirst!” Mother Teresa did not want anyone to suffer or die alone and yet she always had a keen understanding and awareness of the value in suffering. I think this is why she drew such notoriety and interest in a world that often rejects or doesn’t understand the value of the Cross. Her generous response to, “I Thirst!,” was seen by all nations while she simultaneously comforted the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  38. Bishop Barron, Please, use the same valor, and the same time, that you took to write the publicly insulting comments about Mother Angelica, to publicly write something that teaches Senator Tim Kaine that he should not be receiving Holy Communion. This will help teach the young to see consistency and not walk out.

    “Mother Angelica wasn’t perfect—and she would be the first to admit it. Due to her lack of polish and advanced theological education, she sometimes said things that were insufficiently nuanced and balanced. And her hot temper, which gave fire to her evangelization, also at times led her to indulge in ad hominem attacks and unfair characterizations of her opponents’ positions. But these are quibbles.” –


    • If newly deceased Mother Angelica received those blatant insults for quibbles, then the living Senator Tim Kaine should generously receive the Fullness of Truth. Please publicly write to teach and specifically address Senator Tim Kaine’s “quibbles.”

      Tim Kaine’s candidacy revives a Catholic civil war on abortion



      • Good nuns with common sense, practicality, and good teaching skills, who were deeply dedicated, and would do all they possibly could, to help people– are the ones we will always remember! The nuns who cared enough, to “go that extra mile,” to help, to teach, to love! You remember them all your life, and are so thankful! Mother Angelica was one of those nuns, plus much more! She sacrificed her life, enduring much evil, due to the sins of Cardinal Mahoney– and eventually died due to stress-related illness, as a result of Mahoney’s sins!! God will, in time, punish that terrible Cardinal!

      • Here is what I MISS, about REAL MEN (and REAL WOMEN, too!) in our Church, and in society! A REAL MAN leads with dignity and authority, like an adult, very secure in their beliefs, training, knowledge, and abilities. They do not sit around like petty, frightened little girls at tea parties, lacking confidence and skills, to handle disagreements, questions, and disputes, maturely! They don’t expect the world to agree with everything they say, either! They will teach their subject of religion maturely, with confidence, and good manners– and one must politely listen, and follow!

      • Christ, the Son of God, taught with Authority, from the day He began His ministry! He was only age 33, when He died! He passed His ministry on to His Apostles– and they taught with His Authority! Priests and prelates of today, who have inherited Christ’s holy mission, should all seek to lead holy lives, in imitation of Christ- and teach with Authority, in Christ’s Holy Name! Christ is our Role Model! “Authority” does not mean, “irresponsible egoistic power,” it means to teach with a sense of dignity, respect and responsibility!

      • Oh, yes– and there is one important word, that I forgot– teachers like priests and nuns, as well as good Church leaders- must lead with good discipline! Love, and discipline!

    • So being “perfect” now equates to being nuanced and balanced. I wonder what would be said of Our Lord’s speaking boldly.

      • Linda Maria says

        The concept of holiness, is not always something that most of us can understand! God’s ways, are not our ways! People often do not understand, that the perfections of God, are what we little human beings are to seek — and hope and pray for God to dwell more fully and deeply, within us! Many people confuse the idea of God’s perfection, with human behavior— behaving as society, or their mother, desires! But to please society, or to please our mother– is not exactly what God has in mind! I think a good priest or nun, such as Mother Angelica– understood this well. Especially as she was a contemplative, directly seeking God Alone!

        • Linda Maria says

          I think many of our modern-day, post-Conciliar priests and prelates, worry excessively about pleasing the public, scared to state the truths of Christ, exactly as they are– because they really are not committed to Christ! They are hypocrites, committed to pleasing the world! They hide behind phony social masks, like unfaithful cowards, to gain false popularity, and false social acceptance. They fear that they must appear “nuanced and balanced,” or else face rejection! Hypocrites!!

          • “…I think many of our modern-day, post-Conciliar priests and prelates, worry excessively about pleasing the public, scared to state the truths of Christ, exactly as they are– because they really are not committed to Christ.”

            I’d say that they are not taught what being committed to “Christ” means. That is they are taken by the need to please people and keep them coming. So much so that they cover Our Lord with a tarp or move Him to a broom closet.

          • Linda Maria says

            Two beloved Saints of history, who seemed eccentric at times, to their societies, and to their religious leaders– are St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Louis de Montfort. They never lived nor taught, by “nuance and balanced opinions,” they lived and taught by Christ’s holy truth! Same thing, with the ancient Jewish prophets —- especially, St. John the Baptist, Christ’s holy cousin! Such holy Saints only sought to serve God, not man! They preached God’s truths to their sinful listeners– who would have much preferred, “nuance and balance,” in nice little sermons!

  39. Michael McDermott says

    Why do so many ‘drop out’ – often because they see “Professional Catholics” milking the Church for a nice living * ignoring the Faith. How can they believe tit is other than a con job When Pelosi-Krats and Kaine Worship Abortion – and bishops fawn over them for handouts:?

    “Professional Catholics” Pope decries liberal Catholics as having little faith – Catholic Answers Forums


    Pope admits sadness at influence of professional liberal Catholics on Church
    By Deacon Nick, on November 30th, 2010

    In his interview with Peter Seewald Pope Benedict admits his sadness at the influence of professional liberal Catholics, particularly those advising bishops, especially about their media…

  40. Michael McDermott says

    I was and remain an admirer of Bishop Barron – for his Catholicism Series made the faith accessible and understandable to many who could not parse the ‘Formulaic’ teachings and needed all the help they could.

    The accusation of ‘idol worship’ founders on the need for those with little education to achieve some (even if imperfect) understanding of the reality (All that is Seen and Unseen) underlying the Faith, and provided small steps towards greater understanding – particularly to the young – who often foundered on concepts like the Homley Ghost and Cross Eyed Bear.

    As for Reasonable Hope – a different story, which I have a Reasonable Hope We All can use to Learn – as Children in Christ, regardless of age..

  41. “. . . here I offer a J’accuse . . . avatars of secularism . . . Marx’s adage . . . projection of our idealized self-image . . . Freud further adapted Ludwig Feuerbach . . . a dismissive and patronizing psychologization of religious belief . . . altogether vulnerable to a tu quoque counter-attack. . . .”

    Whew, ran out is more like it. If that’s the “art of apologetics,” maybe the youngsters are onto something here. Hey Kids, Wait Up!!!

  42. CARA at Georgetown has just released a new study that shows that most Catholic kids leave the faith between age ten and 17. Much of the loss is due to the lack of understanding of how faith and science work together and how the Church is a big believer in science. They are essentially taught that you can’t prove that there is a God, so science rules. They are also taught in social studies classes about equality between races, sexes, genders, etc and don’t see it in the Church. A new essay by George Weigle sic talks about the loss of faith in Quebec, due to church/government coziness over the years. We have work to do.

  43. Michael McDermott says

    The Amish have a ‘wanderjahr’ – when they go their own way hoping to find a Path Back – leading through You Know Who.

    I went through ‘Returning Catholics years ago, after thinking I could do a better job on my own than the all to imperfect leaders of the time – Rong!

    Bishop Barron spoke of holding Precious Truth in easily shattered clay jars, and had a great point. We are All Broken and Only the Lord Can Heal Us — but sometimes silly sullen humans need a few cuts and bruises when trying to mend what we had taken for granted – a Vessel for the Most Precious.

  44. Michael McDermott says

    Teaching AND Doing – Both are needed to Fully Form at All Ages.

    Joy is More than a few good times and some laughs AND Teaching is More than suffering through long passages summed up with platitudes.

    A Playground can teach more about Christian Ministry than hours kneeling at a pew – though some would see this as blasphemy, where I would say fair and honest sportsmanship builds character where reluctant penance often fall short.

    Focus this Truth on the Young, and the Heart Remembers long after the Mind falters from the cares of Age.

    “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourself” – and the Word Will Work in You Too.

  45. As a young whippersnapper, a friend once quipped (truthfully) that he hadn’t been to church since his (infant) baptism.

    And that’s just it. It’s not that youngins leave the church, lose their faith, or are “vulnerable to tu quoque conterattacks.” There was never any there there–and that includes Catholic school attendance (but you can bet thay all heard about the teasing of murderous savages at Abu Grub, eh Bishop).

    Quick, pop-quiz: “What’s the 7th commandment?” See what I’m saying.

    Barron can add parents and to his list of blamees.

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