A Catholic father , an intelligent and conscientious man, was explaining why he and his wife took their daughter out of a Catholic high school: "They told the kids that the gospels weren't true."
Compare that with Pope Benedict XVI's affirmation in his best-selling book Jesus of Nazareth: "I trust the gospels." The Pope, a serious scholar who is one of the genuinely distinguished theologians of the day, judges it reasonable to believe the gospel accounts. Some religion teachers in a Catholic high school do not. Now, who do you think is right?
Over the years, many conscientious Catholic parents like the father quoted above have been scandalized and dismayed by the religious formation they've encountered in the Catholic schools, colleges, and religious education programs to which they've entrusted their kids. Not infrequently, it seems, a mischievous counter-catechesis has contributed to the young people's loss of faith.
To be sure, CTSA members aren't the people who teach religion in Catholic grade and high schools and religious education programs. But there's a link. It resides in the trickle-down effects of what these (academically speaking) humbler souls may have picked up from academicians in college courses and professional publications, as well as from the CTSA's own well-publicized proclamations of dissent.
In other words, the Catholic school teachers who have the religious studies credits they need to teach theology have been in the liberal propaganda machine long enough to believe this nonsense. And teach it. These are positions which I learned in my 11th grade Biblical Theology class from Sr. Pat, a young novice whom I admired so much, I came in on a Saturday to watch her take her vows at the convent.
"The miracles in the Bible didn't really happen the way they're written. People of those days didn't understand science and psychology the way we do today. For example, the Red Sea was really the Sea of Reeds, and there was no wall of water, the tide went out, allowing the Israelites to walk across"
I once heard a Pentecostal preacher enjoy this view very much. He said, " do you mean to tell me that all of Pharaoh's army, including his horses and charioteers drowned in two feet of muddy water? Now, THAT'S what I call a MIRACLE!!"
All the miracles were similarly debunked by Sr Pat, even Christ's multiplication of the loaves and the fishes." The people had the loaves and fishes, Jesus just convinced them to share them" Mother Angelica had fun with that one. "Do you think, that if I had been listening to Jesus preach for three days, with a salami sandwich in my pocket , I'd need Him to tell me to eat it? I got news for you; that salami sandwich would be long gone!"
The corrections to this nonsense came much later in my life. In high school I absorbed this stuff readily. I even went on a trip to a Protestant friend's home, notebook in hand, ready to defend what I believed then was the truth. Her correct interpretation of the Scriptures put the lies I'd swallowed to shame, and I never pulled out that notebook. I could tell she was right to believe that the Scriptures tell the truth. I am grateful for her understanding.
Sr. Pat has left the Academy since, but continues teaching the historical-critical method of theology in Catholic settings elsewhere, and was seen at a Voice of the Faithful meeting asking the bishop for more of a leadership role in the Church because of her education. Heaven forbid.
Meanwhile, since I live too far away from the one Catholic high school on Long Island which has the courage to teach from the Magesterium (ie. like Pope Benedict says, the Scriptures are trustworthy) while we live here, I either subject my daughter to the sewer of popular culture and anti-Catholicism in the public schools, or continue to home school her. Reluctantly, I have chosen the latter, but not without a bit of anger towards the Catholic Theological Society of America.They have robbed countless students of their Catholic faith, and essentially deprived my daughter of the legitimate pleasure of attending a good Catholic high school.