About time. The apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, has told the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that it's high time Catholics get serious about evangelizing. Of course this can mean many things, and the reasons why the Catholic Church in America is floundering in terms of evangelism are legion, for they are many. It takes a parish, diocese, and national Church committed to evangelising, finding ways to proclaim the Gospel by deed and by word, and making darn sure when people show up to see what all the fuss is about, they aren't made to feel like someone just dropped in the middle of the Amazon basin.
I studied both history and theology, but when I first began visiting local area Catholic churches, I was as lost as I ever could have been. Nothing made sense, and I was already pretty well versed in the liturgical rites of the Anglican communion. I still had to wonder what was happening. My wife and kids, raised solely in the Baptist tradition, were even more confused about what was happening. With no family or friends in the Church to guide us, we were as confused as I ever had hoped to be. Finding ways to break down those walls of wonder, making sure visitors are treated like guests, making sure we Catholics aren't inadvertently living up to anti-Catholic stereotypes, and being sure that the leadership of the Church is involved and supportive are all essential elements to effective spreading of the Good News.
I think the biggest one may be theReplyDelete
'making sure we Catholics aren't inadvertently living up to anti-Catholic stereotypes'
Catholics have been known to be rather loose with morality at times. Holy living needs to be a focus if we are going to reach those that are not of our faith expression. To many evangelicals holy living is everything. If you drink, cuss or date women that do you are going to burn in hell. So to them that Catholic stereo type means Catholics really are not of the Christian faith.
There is a great deal of work to be done if evangelizing is to become a part of what we Catholics focus our faith life on. Remember many Christians spend their lives living their faith in everything they say and do (you know what they believe Jesus would do)
Just a thought!
And yet when we show any sign of taking our morality seriously, it's called phariseeism.ReplyDelete
Dunno whether that plays into this or not, but I think you may count me in the group that says we have to start by reevangelizing the Catholics.
I would agree with you on that.ReplyDelete