I have spent more that a few hours over the past several weeks in conversations with pastors, priests, deacons, catechists, religious education instructors and parents about the lamentable state of catechetics among American Catholics today. It appears that our evaluation of the level of religious ignorance is not overstated according to a survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
It was particularly disturbing to hear that forty percent of Catholics have no understanding of the real presence and that atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable about religion in general.
The only bright side that I see to this study lies in its potential to serve as a wake up call forcing those of us who are called to teach the faith to re-examine our efforts. What we have been doing is not working. We have too many "cultural Catholics" who think they have rejected the faith when they have no idea of what the faith really is.
Can we tear it all down and start over?