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Have We Turned Sacrament Into Sacrilege? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 18:31

Well, Fr. Richard Simon's blog post has struck a nerve.  He is sick to death of clueless teens passing cluelessly and fruitlessly through confirmation prep and he's not going to do it anymore!

Here's a taste:

We have tied our religious education to the public school system of kindergarten and eight grades. The sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation have become graduation rituals, rites of passage, instead of the beginnings of a life of faith and commitment. We have turned sacrament into sacrilege.  When you “get your sacraments” you’re “outta” there.  (“Out of there” for those who don’t speak Chicagoan.) The Sacraments are an ending instead of a beginning. I can’t do this anymore. I believe it is morally wrong. The last time I brought this problem up, angry parents called the bishop. I remember one agitated parent who railed at me for questioning his Catholicism. He said that he was perfectly good Catholic. He went to Mass every single Easter and every single Christmas without fail.

And the Pew Forum's Faith in Flux survey would back him up.  They looked at our three major "strategies" for passing the faith onto our children and found that CCD amd youth ministry and even Catholic high school made little or no difference in whether or not children raised as Catholics would remain Catholic or become Protestant or become "Nones" as adults.

His solution?

I  no longer intend to prepare children for First Communion and Confirmation. There will no longer be First Communion and Confirmation classes. How and when will the children receive Communion and Confirmation? They will receive when they are ready.  When are they ready? They are ready when they want the Sacrament. How do we know they want the Sacrament? When they understand it, can tell the pastor what it is and why they want it. If they are not in ongoing religious education and they are not coming to Mass on regular basis, they don’t want the Sacrament.

What do you think?



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