I'm asking because my experience is quite otherwise. When I was preparing for Confirmation (that would be 50 years ago) we were told that if we didn't yet have a personal Bible of our own, we should ask our parents for one for our birthday or Christmas. Our teacher, a SSJ nun, stuck with the motto "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. - St. Jerome." (See, 12-year-olds do remember some things!)
Things took a sharp downturn when I was in about 11th grade and the demolition of the Sacred Liturgy had hit full force: late 60's, everything had lost its muscle tone and gone sloppy: Sacred Liturgy, Sacred Scripture, sacred anything, out the window.
Still later, it depended on your your Diocese. I don't know how I could have survived as a Catholic in Seattle, Milwaukee or Raleigh; but Catholics who did, did so in parishes where both the Church and the Scripture counted for a lot.
I realize I'm meandering a bit, but here's what strikes me: if I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to be saying that when you were a Catholic, it seemed things were too much "Church" and not enough "Christ". By my experience has been that "Church" and "Christ" fare for better or for worse, together.
Meaning: in a parish where the "Catholic identity" was weak, the Gospel was weak: people were out there pursuing "human development" or "social justice" or "personal wellness" or "holistic spirituality" or some such, but it was neither particularly Catholic nor particularly Jesus Christ.
But if a parish was strongly Catholic, it was also strongly "Come to Jesus".
It's a big Church, so I hesitate to make generalizations based on the tiny slice known as "my own experience."
But do you see where I'm coming from?
Thanks again for your good remarks. You can see I'm turning them over in my mind!
Pope Francis is speaking in Gods language, not Catholic language
as "good remarks".
I thought you and I were more on the same page, but definitely not here.
It does depend a lot on the diocese. I grew up in WHY and found this interesting comment about WNY Catholics on FR some time back.
Im sorry to hear it, metmom, though truthfully, it doesnt surprise me. Central/Western NY is governed by the appalling bishops of Albany (Hubbard) and Rochester (Clark). I dont know which one is worse; its a close call.
Both bishops allow and preach things in direct opposition to Vatican policy so it doesnt surprise me that your family think theyre in the clear.
Combine poor catechesis with the extremely liberal political outlook of many in those areas, I can certainly see why your family have turned out the way they have. It isnt easy being a conservative in ANY part of NY, trust me.
For all the accusations I've had lobbed at me about lying and leaving the church for reasons of morality, someone, at least, does recognize that not all Catholic churches are the same.
I rarely heard about Christ in the Catholic church outside of the mass and never heard of them being equated.
When people first started talking to me about Christ as in a personal relationship kind of way, it was like they were speaking a foreign language. It was almost inconceivable that Jesus would take a personal interest in me. Our parish was enormous and you hardly ever saw the same priest twice and none of them knew who you were.
Sure everyone heard the *God is love* mantra, but it had little bearing on anyone's personal life.
I only met a handful of Catholics in that area in my 30 years there that demonstrated any Christlikeness of any kind.
I'm glad to hear you had a different experience.