Don’t Water It Down
A couple of good pieces on why watering down the truth is such a bad idea. First Christopher Blosser, linking to the comments over at Fr. Z’s blog, and the woeful instructions imparted to the faithful. Here are the sampling of comments that Chris highlighted:
“When I was in RCIA, back in the early 1980?s we were told that it is almost impossible to commit a mortal sin so not to worry.”
“When I asked one of the RCIA instructors to tell us how to make a proper confession she blew me off.”
“I was under the impression that Reconciliation was a one-time thing until the priests starting coming to school to offer it a few times.”
“I thought in order to commit a mortal sin you had to do something really bad such as kill someone, have an abortion, or commit adultry.”
“I actually heard a priest say in a homily that he never committed a mortal sin and that none of us probably hadn’t either.”
“I have had people who prepare young people for confirmation say that theydon’t remember ever going to confession.”
To which Chris asks the question, “In a parish where the idea of sin and absolution are passé, why be Catholic? what does it even matter?”
And over at POWIP, Enoch Root discusses his time as a Catechism Instructor for 7th and 8th graders:
The first year went well, as I mentioned some paragraphs above. So I was asked to sign up for another year of instructing. Again, no one wanted the 7th and 8th grade class. So, I thought about it. I agreed to teach the class once more. Sadly, my no-holds-barred approach to passing on the faith rubbed some parent(s) the wrong way. I am given to understand that my comment to the class that it would be very unlikely for everyone in the class to ultimately find ourselves among the Elect stunned and, yes, frightened a student. Further, I am given to understand that my suggestion that not every one of our beloved relations was likely to be among the Elect also was cause for concern. The fallout was immediate. And it did bring on a small crisis of faith for me. I was not very interested in defending my approach to teaching what we believe. I was not interested in heaping scandal on top of the deep hurt I felt. I was not interested in chastising the Powers That Be about the very real dangers of withholding the Truth from these kids… some of which were quite worldly to begin with. I was not interested in defending the Faith to ministers of the Faith… or taking them to task… or forcing them into a debate about whether or not I was teaching other-than-Dogma (which I was decidedly not doing). In short, I resigned to save all parties from what would have been a bloody affair… and potentially embarrassing I might add.
I was deeply offended. As I have said. And only now, several years later, am I able to clear my head enough to receive the Eucharist with a mended-heart. I will not lie: the sting of that wound remains. But my animus toward the players involved does not. God works in mysterious ways. And it was a truly humbling experience. Truth be told, I had been praying for God to help me become smaller. And He answered my prayers.
As I related in the comments, I’ve seen faith watered down. I’ve heard instructors tell potential Catechumens that they don’t need to go to Confession, among other whoppers. And as someone who attended a Jesuit high school, well, let’s say there were things about Catholicism that I didn’t learn until later on.
I understand the desire to make faith seem less hard. You’ve got some young skulls full of mush, or perhaps adults just dipping their toes in the waters of Catholicism, and you don’t want to scare them away. But all you are doing is depriving them of the truth, and in doing so you are actually putting their souls at risk. Either tell the truth, and the whole truth, or so help you God.