Monday, September 1, 2008

Experience vs. knowledge

Also in yesterday’s Catholic Weekly was a Zenit interview with His Grace The Lord Archbishop of Adelaide. I was dismayed at His Grace’s answer to the following question:

Q: What does the Church in Australia need to do after World Youth Day?

His Grace answered:

… I could give people long lectures on the theology of the Church and talk about the reality of “communio”. And that’s good and powerful, but is nothing compared to the real experience of “communio”. That’s what we have to do. We have to give young people everywhere this experience of community
(my emphasis)
What young Australian Catholics need desperately is catechesis. The strong turn-out of young adults at WYD08 catechesis sessions shows that there is an openness to this. But in the Australian Catholic schools, catechesis virtually ends with primary school and shifts to an experiential and ecumenical (bordering on the syncretistic at times) focus in high school. The post-Vatican II experience-based ‘new catechesis’ failed miserably. Youngsters can find an ‘experience of community’ in many places, most fully in the Church of course, but only the Church has the ‘words of eternal life’, the truths necessary for salvation.

Reginaldvs Cantvar


Louise said...

I think what the young people need (and the rest of us for that matter) is both catechesis and communion and a whole heap of other things.

The evangelisation of the Australian people (beginning with those people who are already baptised, but not practicing) requires a multi-pronged approach.

The need for community (as well as the sacraments, catechesis etc) is most felt in my life because I am a mother of five children, for which I am pilloried regularly. This bothers me less when I have numbers around me who are doing the same thing - ie following Church teaching on sex and procreation. It is a lot easier to be faithful to Christ and His Church, when you have others with you for support.

Having said all that, catechesis is my own passion and there has been a terrible dearth of it for a very long time.

Perhaps you should send a little letter to His Grace and implore him to attend to catechesis anyway; he'd be very good at it.

Cardinal Pole said...

"This bothers me less when I have numbers around me who are doing the same thing ..."

Quite right, Louise, but my problem with His Grace's answer (it is probably available on-line through Zenit) was that it was concerned virtually exclusive with the 'experience of community' dimension.

Louise said...

Yes, understood.

+Wilson is a great preacher, so he should do a lot of teaching and preaching. (Not sure how much he does outside of Mass).