Who is teaching the faith?

In “Archbishop Chaput: No unity among U.S. bishops on sanctions for abortion support” (CatholicReview.org, April 12) Archbishop Charles J. Chaput suggested the USCCB’s failure to agree on denying communion to pro-choice believers is that some bishops “fear” they “might somehow disenfranchise the Catholic community from political life.” This raises a question about their responsibility to teach the faith irrespective of their fear.

I suspect problems we have in the church are the result of its failure to adequately enjoin us to become salt of the earth. Faith formation is a lifelong process, but many adults function on a self-imposed, stagnant understanding of it. We are ill-equipped to be what the church calls us to be. We suffer not from lack of available sound teaching, but from lack of inculcating that teaching into our lives.

Evidence of this over the last 40 years includes a decline in religious vocations, an increase in divorce, a virtually ignored sacrament of reconciliation, misguided handling of pedophile priests, the closing Catholic schools Catholic colleges more interested in intellectual freedom than faith formation and pro-choice Catholic politicians claiming to know more about their faith than their bishops.

I can understand why Jesus wondered if there will be faith when the Son of Man returns. We go to church out of habit, recite a creed from memory, follow the crowd to the altar but fail to absorb the miracle.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.