Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Interfaith Mind-numbing

September 4th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

See the Catholic Courier article. To summarize, a number of Rochester Catholic teens spent time learning about other religions, visiting their worship spaces, and doing what the Diocese of Rochester likes to call “interfaith dialogue”.

Some excerpts with added emphasis and commentary:

Through The Next Generation, Elizabeth and two dozen other teens learned about a variety of religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Participants listened to presentations by members of each faith, engaged in small-group discussion, shared meals and visited several different places of worship, including a Sikh gurudwara, or temple, an Episcopal church, the Islamic Center of Rochester, and Jewish and Hindu temples.”

Though the article tries hard to make it sound like these other faiths weren’t attempting to convert our Catholic teens (yes, teens, these aren’t even college-aged students but our young that these faiths are targeting), I hardly imagine that these presentations by the other religions weren’t crafted to make their respective faiths sound “cool” and “interesting.”

She [Belinda Brasley, Cathedral youth minister and wife of Cathedral Community deacon, John Brasley] said she liked the program’s emphasis on interaction and the way it facilitated understanding among the teens through listening, discussion and shared worship experiences.”

“Shared worship experiences”? I can’t even imagine what that might have involved.

When I saw the information about it, I knew right away I would be taking some kids, and I thought of a few who would really love it,” Brasley said of the program.”

Do these youth ministers share this enthusiasm with activities that help children learn about their own faith? Anytime interfaith dialogue is mentioned in our diocese, you see people’s eyes light up and drool protrude from their bottom lip. This dialogue is the holy grail of progressive Catholicism.

“If we’re talking about interfaith dialogue (moving us) towards peace, it’s all about the interaction,” she said.”

I highly doubt that this interfaith event, which included only voluntary participants who are in their teens, is going to accomplish any meaningful dialogue or peace among religions. I don’t see peace in the Middle East because four students from the Cathedral learned about Hinduism.

He and the other teens said they enjoyed beefing up their knowledge of other religious traditions.”

In the modern era of poor catechesis, wouldn’t our young be better served by “beefing up their knowledge” of their own faith? Maybe we would have less people falling away from Catholicism if only they knew more about their own religion, instead of spending this time learning about others.

The majority of the participants seemed to be Christian, Elizabeth said, but there were a lot of agnostic teens who’d come from Catholic or Protestant backgrounds.”

Umm… that sounds sound like it was not a very diversified dialogue, if the Diocese is really serious about this. It sounds more like religion experts coming to preach Christians away from their faith.

“I think this generation is very interested in peace,” Belinda Brasley added. “I think they see that it’s essential. I see them stepping up and taking a step towards bringing about peace.””

This “peace” they speak of may be possible if people become apathetic about their own faith because they know squat about it, or if people begin to think that there are multiple paths to salvation, including Islam.

Though learning about other faiths could be very interesting, especially if one is already solidly grounded in his or her own, I take issue with bombarding our young with speeches and worship experiences with other religions. People in their teens and early adulthood are the ones most likely to fall away from their faith. In this most crucial period of formation, exposing these young people to other faiths like this is going to do more bad than good, in my humble opinion.



10 Responses to “Interfaith Mind-numbing”

  1. Quite a few years ago, a confirmation class from St. Joseph's in Rush came to St. Stan's for the Latin Mass. We had about 25 teens, pretty even between guys and gals.
    I gave them a short explanation of the Mass and said I would answer any and all questions after Mass.

    One of the first comments was "why has this Mass been kept from us; why weren't we told that something like this even existed. It was so beautiful; but almost too quiet.

    These kids were so interested. The usual question that comes up is "why does the priest have his back to us? Isn't that rude". I explained that the priest is offering sacrifice and leading the people in prayer as the congregation all faces the same direction. One girl made the observation then, that in the Novus Ordo, is the priest then have his back to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament…..kaching!!! Hit the jackpot on that one. Using a somewhat Socratic method with her and the other kid; she came to realize that, as she put it, "it's pretty cheeky of the priest then to have his back turned away from Jesus, if he is suppose to be leading us TO Jesus….I told her she should join up with Mother Angelica's nuns in Alabama.

    The whole point is traditional Catholicism and Catholic culture and Catholic devotions and Catholic living are thing kids want to know about. The want to be proud to be Catholic and have a stake in it. They want bread and the diocese feeds them stones.

    Some of the kids came back with their parents.

    Catholicism is an inherently logical and reasoned system of belief and teens GET IT!!! Too bad the diocese dooesn't.

    Brick-by-brick we are re-building Catholicism.

  2. Dr. K says:

    That's probably one of the reasons why the Diocese wants tabernacles off to the side, to take away an reason for ad orientem worship.

    ~Dr. K

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excessive ecumenism is killing our church.

  4. Anonymous says:

    ..and later that day 4 teens left the Church.

  5. Rob says:

    "but there were a lot of agnostic teens who'd come from Catholic or Protestant backgrounds."

    Gee, I wonder why these formerly Catholic teens are agnostics. Could wishwashy interfaith experiences like this be at the root of this? If not the root, it may have watered the roots. End the ecumenism, and watch the Catholic faith flourish.

  6. Bruce says:

    Wasn't it Msgr. Knox who noted that the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious?

  7. M says:

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa…wait a second…who the heck is the confirmation director who took their teens to a TLM? Who was the priest that allowed such horrendously Catholic behavior? Someone clearly forgot to tell him that in preparation for confirmation, students need to understand more about the Islamic Center! 😉

    Seriously though, who did this? I'd like to shake his/her hand, and offer my assistance with their youth!

  8. hahahaha, M. The teacher was a lady who said she remembered the TLM and loved it. She wanted her Confirmation classes to attend different Catholic liturgies so, she took them to St. Stan's and she mentioned Epiphany on Carter Street (Ukrainian) and St. Nicholas in Gates and one other, I think.

    She was a pretty sharp lady.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pure secular humanism, "this generation is interested in peace" the great promised mesianic generation of delusional hippy style humanism. there will never be world peace. promoting understanding will not bring about a perfected society. human beings are as a result of the original sin inclined to sin its called concupesence. sin disrupts society and is the cause of discord. therefore if you want to improve society and reduce discord it would be more productive to help our youth obtain holyness through the ordinary means (the sacraments and prayer ect.)established by God (not to mention converting the noncatholics). rather than engage in marxist consensis making.


  10. That's it BGP…thanks for saying it so well.

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