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The Catholic Church: What Everyone Needs to Know
  1. Some Tips for Journalists Covering the Catholic Church (Hint: It's Complicated)
  2. Reform must happen from within
  3. The Catholic Church - What Everyone Needs to Know | Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan
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  5. Why everyone needs to learn what chastity really means

It is especially the first fruitless soil that applies to these reflections. In the words of Christ, as the sower sowed the seed, "some seeds fell on the edge of the path; and the birds came and ate them up. When the disciples asked Jesus to explain the parable, He told them, "When anyone hears the words of the Kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart.

This is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path" Matthew , This is both simple and tragic.

The seed of God's revealed truth has been sown into our hearts at Baptism. But that was only the beginning.

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We must do everything in our power to grasp the meaning of what we believe. Otherwise the devil will come along and steal the faith from our hearts. There has never been a substitute for understanding our Christian religion. There is no substitute today. But now, this understanding is absolutely imperative. The world in which we live is hell-bent on stealing from our hearts what we believe. That is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church is such a providential Godsend.

It provides the believing Catholic not only with information about what to believe. It also gives us an explanation of the meaning of what we believe. Of course, the Catechism is only a start.

Some Tips for Journalists Covering the Catholic Church (Hint: It's Complicated)

But it promises to be a powerful initiative for waking up a sleeping Catholic world to the duty we have, to know:. It is one thing to know theoretically what Catholics are to believe. It is something else to know where to find the true faith expressed in straightforward and unambiguous language. The confusion among Catholics on even the most fundamental doctrines of faith and morals is widespread. Part of my work for the Church requires that I read books by professed Catholics, which show how deep this confusion really is.

Just two examples out of a thousand. In the first example, the author is speaking of the Mass as a memorial of the Last Supper. The Church recreates the Last Supper by bringing followers of Jesus together and recalling through readings and prayers what God has done for His people. Then the priest announces what Jesus said and did at the Last Supper and himself offers bread and on some occasions wine to the people to eat.

Then to explain just what this means, the author asks, "How is Jesus present at Mass? There is no such ambiguity or heterodoxy in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. People may not want to accept what the Catechism teaches.

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No problem. Not everyone wants to be a Catholic. The second example just came to my attention. A large circulating national Catholic newspaper carried a full-page advertisement released by the Seamless Garment Network, Inc. The ad is signed by scores of prominent people, and a corresponding score of national organizations.

The basic theme of the ad is to equate such moral issues as abortion and capital punishment, claiming that both issues are part of the same seamless garment fabric. This is not true. But how is the average reader to know, when he sees Catholic bishops and prominent professed Catholics placing the murder of unborn children in the same category as justly condemned criminals?

Someone, somewhere in the Church founded by Christ must be in a position to tell the faithful, "this is true, and that is false;" or "this is morally good, and that is morally bad. In many dioceses of America, attendance at Sunday Mass is down to some twenty-five percent of the professed Catholics in a diocese.

Reform must happen from within

Some Church officials are scrambling for a solution and recommending the most bizarre solutions. It never seems to dawn on these "experts" that the heart of the problem is the massive uncertainty in millions of Catholic minds about what is unchangeable doctrine in faith and moral principles. That is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church has not been released one month too soon.

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It is the hope of restoring unity to a pathetically dismembered Christianity. There is still one more important aspect of this subject to explain; it is also the most important practical question that needs raising. No, the Catechism is an indispensable arm of instruction on every level of the teaching apostolate. We now have a one-volume reservoir of Catholic truth and practice for everyone who wants to bring others to Christ, if they are not yet Christians; to solidify the faith of those who have been baptized; to defend Roman Catholicism in a world in which the Church has been abandoned by so many once-believing Catholics and is being betrayed even by some of her ecclesiastical leaders.

The question, however, still remains: How to use the Catechism in the apostolate of evangelization and catechesis? I have five recommendations:. Each of these recommendations deserves detailed explanation. We shall be satisfied with just a short comment about each of the five. Know the Catechism. Our most fundamental duty is to know the Catechism. How do you come to know anything?

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By reading, by discussing, by hearing it explained by competent persons. Speed reading of the Catechism would be self-defeating. If anything, the Catechism should be not only read but prayerfully meditated. Spend some time set aside for reflecting, in God's presence, what the Catechism teaches through more than pages of print. How much time people waste in reading fiction, or worse.

Is it too much for Christ to expect us to spend a few hours a week in reading, alone or with others, what promises to be the food that feeds the soul on revealed truth? Trust the Catechism. Already, critics have appeared who discredit the Catechism on both sides of the spectrum. Pay no attention to these critics. To distrust the Catechism is to play into the hand of the devil, who fears nothing more than security of doctrine among the followers of Christ.

The Catholic Church - What Everyone Needs to Know | Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan

Adapt the Catechism. The Catechism is not simple reading. But neither is it sophisticated and out-of-touch with the vocabulary of the people. In any case, the Catechism contains all the essentials for Catholic faith, morality, and divine worship. The question of ''whither Catholicism'' is of vital public relevance, for believers and non-believers alike. Allen, Jr.

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This updated edition includes a new chapter on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the election of Pope Francis, and his extraordinary tenure thus far. Allen is a veteran Vaticanista whose coverage of the papacy for National Catholic Reporter has made him the media's go-to guy on church politics. But Allen's ability to clearly explain the arcane workings of Roman Catholicism to experts and lay people alike is as impressive as his punditry, and that skill is on full display in his latest book. In 12 chapters, Allen gives a smart, highly readable primer on the mechanics of the Catholic Church and on the doctrines and history of Catholicism.

His longtime perch in Rome also gives him a global perspective on Catholicism that is often obscured by events on the ground.

Why everyone needs to learn what chastity really means

Allen periodically indulges in his trademark analysis as well, salting the narrative with insights about present controversies and future possibilities for the church. This is an excellent handbook for those who want or need to know more about the Catholic Church and for those who think they already know it all. More Books by John L.