30 December 2008

Don't Fudge on the Truth

A common temptation when trying to reach out to lukewarm or fallen away Catholics is to water down the faith in an attempt to make it more appealing to these various groups. Recently Bishop Conry in England stated that
"you can't talk to young people about salvation, they want to hear how you will save the planet in your homily."
Never mind for a minute that proper stewardship of the Earth and it's resources is a part of Catholic teaching and could certainly be incorporated into larger Catholic teaching, it is obvious that both among Protestants and Catholics growth is most evident where the traditional/orthodox teaching of the faith is expounded.

As I wrote in a previous post about the book The Soul of the Apostolate, Dom Chautard clearly refutes this muddled thinking which ultimately has little effect on effecting a change in those people it intends to reach. In contrast to Bishop Conry, the Dominican Father Augustine DiNoia, undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently wrote,

If the church wants to reach young people today, it must avoid the temptation to "fudge" on core Catholic beliefs in an effort to make them more agreeable to contemporary tastes. Instead, it should confront with courage the major barriers in modern evangelization, including cultural resistance to the proclamation of Christ as the unique savior.

"No one in his or her right mind will be interested in a faith about which its exponents seem too embarrassed to communicate forthrightly," Father DiNoia said.

"We have to be convinced that the fullness of the truth and beauty of the message about Jesus Christ is powerfully attractive when it is communicated without apologies or compromise,"

"This so-called 'accommodationist' approach generally fails, and it fails doubly with young people. There is a risk in this approach that the Christian message becomes indistinguishable from everything else on offer in the market stalls of secularized religious faith," he said.

You can read his full comments at CNS - Catholic News Service.

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