Skip to comments.Young people today have lost ‘moral vocabulary,’ says Archbishop Chaput (effects of multiculturism)
Posted on 10/16/2010 2:09:13 PM PDT by NYer
Young people and Archbishop Charles Chaput
Addressing a conference in British Columbia, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver asserted that Catholics today have failed to transmit the faith to the next generation, which has resulted in young people losing their moral vocabulary. The Denver prelate made his remarks on Oct. 15 at the Faith in the Public Square seminar sponsored by the Diocese of Victoria. He opened his speech with a reference to Shirley Jacksons famed short story The Lottery.
Jacksons story set in rural 1940s America features the tale of a small town that gathers every year to implore an unnamed force to grant a good corn harvest the people. Each year, town members draw a piece of paper from a wooden box to see who will be chosen for human sacrifice. A young mother ends up drawing the ominous black slip and is stoned to death by the community as part of the annual ritual.
Reflecting on Jacksons piece, Archbishop Chaput cited professor Kay Haugaards analysis on how young people in academia in decades past would react passionately to the tale with intense classroom debate and discussion.
She said that in the early 1970s, students who read the story voiced shock and indignation, Archbishop Chaput noted. The tale led to vivid conversations on big topics the meaning of sacrifice and tradition; the dangers of group-think and blind allegiance to leaders; the demands of conscience and the consequences of cowardice.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, however, reactions began to change, he said.
Haugaard described one classroom discussion that to me was more disturbing than the story itself. The students had nothing to say except that the story bored them. So Haugaard asked them what they thought about the villagers ritually sacrificing one of their own for the sake of the harvest.
One student, speaking in quite rational tones, argued that many cultures have traditions of human sacrifice, the archbishop continued. Another said that the stoning might have been part of a religion of long standing, and therefore acceptable and understandable.
Another student brought up the idea of multicultural sensitivity, saying she learned in school that if its a part of a persons culture, we are taught not to judge.
I thought of Haugaards experience with 'The Lottery' as I got ready for this brief talk, the prelate explained.
Our culture is doing catechesis every day. It works like water dripping on a stone, eroding peoples moral and religious sensibilities, and leaving a hole where their convictions used to be.
Haugaards experience, he added, teaches us that it took less than a generation for this catechesis to produce a group of young adults who were unable to take a moral stand against the ritual murder of a young woman.
Not because they were cowards. But because they lost their moral vocabulary.
Christians in my country and yours and throughout the West, generally have done a terrible job of transmitting our faith to our own children and to the culture at large, Archbishop Chaput remarked.
Instead of changing the culture around us, we Christians have allowed ourselves to be changed by the culture. Weve compromised too cheaply. Weve hungered after assimilating and fitting in. And in the process, weve been bleached out and absorbed by the culture we were sent to make holy.
We need to confess that, and we need to fix it, he asserted. For too many of us, Christianity is not a filial relationship with the living God, but a habit and an inheritance. Weve become tepid in our beliefs and naive about the world. Weve lost our evangelical zeal. And weve failed in passing on our faith to the next generation.
Renewing Catholic catechesis then, Archbishop Chaput added, has little to do with techniques, or theories, or programs, or resources.
The central issue is whether we ourselves really do believe. Catechesis is not a profession. Its a dimension of discipleship. If were Christians, were each of us called to be teachers and missionaries.
However, the Denver prelate noted, we cant share what we dont have.
If were embarrassed about Church teachings, or if we disagree with them, or if weve decided that theyre just too hard to live by, or too hard to explain, then weve already defeated ourselves.
We need to really believe what we claim to believe, he stressed. We need to stop calling ourselves Catholic if we dont stand with the Church in her teachings all of them.
In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Chaput added that if we really are Catholic, or at least if we want to be, then we need to act like it with obedience and zeal and a fire for Jesus Christ in our hearts.
God gave us the faith in order to share it. This takes courage. It takes a deliberate dismantling of our own vanity. When we do that, the Church is strong. When we dont, she grows weak. Its that simple.
Chaput is papabile!
Young people? What about the adults?
Interesting; coming from the same group which condones buggery, molesting children and illegal aliens.
Interesting comment ... a reflection on your dependence for news from the msm.No Catholic will ever defend the indefensible. Most of the sex abuse that took place dates back to the 50's and earlier, long before JPII. I would ask you, however, what is being done in non-Catholic communities to stop predatory sex abuse of children? This is not limited to the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church here, through its bishops in the USCCB, have implemented a program to prevent future occurrences. This includes all members of the community who come in contact with children, from janitors in the schools to volunteers who teach children at the parish level. We all are subjected to fingerprinting and a police background check. We are also required to attend classes on how to identify sexual predators and what actions to take. This is possible because of the centralized nature of the Catholic Church. It is also the reason why the media have been able to focus a laser beam on us. This is not possible in the non-Catholic denominations where there is no one to take responsibility.
Worse still, is the sex abuse of children in the education system.
And then there are the camp counselors, Big Brothers of America and the list goes on and on. There is plenty of guilt to go around.
Pedophiles go where children are. It has nothing to do with religion or anything else.
Quite a few people I know were molested at their schools. Pedophiles like schools; they like scout troops, clubs, churches - anyplace that has children and people trust each other.
Understandable remark, coming from an ignoramus.
Read the article.
No way. Chaput doesn't like Latin or sanctus bells and he uses altar girls.
Thank you for the additional information. Although, I agree with the premise of the story and believe all Christian based Churches should have never wavered from the primary precepts making America great, have devolved into pop-culture corporate systems.
No Catholic will ever defend the indefensible. Most of the sex abuse that took place dates back to the
I am not sure this is exactly true the Church(s) and its members went to great length to hide, not take responsibility and conspired to avoid prosecution. Second, when exposed to the open light of public awareness four actions became apparent, 1. Everyone scattered like cockroaches; 2. The Church and its leaders which were proven to be involved were all at the highest levels; 3. Important resources, teachings and social goodwill were squandered; 4. Money was the deal with the Devil not to prosecute the multiple offenders. All the while Rome and many sects lived well upon their activities.
The many post processes, are nice for pop-culture consumption and policing; still does not eliminate the problem throughout American society, for no church dares to speak against the teachings of the state at a minimum. Nonetheless the initial problem should have never happened, let-alone gotten to the level it did in any of the supposedly Christian organizations. And now after 30, 40, 50 years we can see how the primary and social teachings have corrupted society publics at every strata.
See post #11
Your numbered list of points is not documentation, evidence, or proof. It is a list of your personal opinions and it is not convincing.
If I thought that you were genuinely interested in having a dialog with Catholics about the clerical sex abuse scandal and its effect on the Church’s moral authority, then I might take you seriously. But it is clear from the provocative, insulting comments that you are making about the Church and the dismissive way that you are responding to Catholics who are trying to engage in a rational debate with you, that you aren’t interested in this. You just want a forum for bashing the Church and not just the Church as an institution but the members of the Church since you called Catholics “cockroaches.” And don’t try to deny this when in the sentence before that you said “. . . the Church(s) [sic] and its members went to great length to hide, not take responsibility, and avoid prosecution.”
Please take your anti-Catholic bigotry elsewhere.
So you say! The facts are what they are! As with much of pop-culture and moral relativism, the Corporate Church is an extension of the State, and not of the body of Christ!
The story of the students’ reaction to “The Lottery” is instructive. A few years ago, I had a similar discussion on an internet message board where the participants were mostly young people (teens, 20’s). The discussion started out with support of multiculturalism, until someone mentioned something like so-called female circumcision. The young people had a very thoughtful discussion, coming to the conclusion that all cultural practices are NOT equally valid. It was fun to watch.
I sent this article to our three younger children, who are all in undergraduate and graduate school. I’m also going to discuss it with my 10th grade Confirmation students.