Most adult Catholics get no religious instruction outside the weekend homilies, a fact that underscores the importance of your article on the need for “solid preaching not fluff” (CR, Feb. 1). I would like to add to Archbishop Dolan’s comments about the epidemic of “sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice…but only soothes and affirms.”
My concern is the watered down message that our obligation to the poor is satisfied by such activities as donations for the hungry on Feb. 4 to balance our indulgence in special foods during Super Bowl parties. These and similar collections are laudable, but without solid preaching on Catholic social teaching parishioners are likely to infer that these contributions alone earn them a place on the “When I was hungry, you gave me to eat” list.
I have to wonder, are homilists ignorant of the current Catholic social teaching on responsibility to the poor, or are they afraid parishioners cannot handle the message that “giving from our excess” went out with Vatican II?