II'S LOVELY when you have found a really nice scapegoat, and can rid yourself of guilt feelings. If you are an ordinary kind of Catholic like us, and you look at some of the reports on Catholicism that are being made, you find your first instict is to look round and say, 'Whose fault is it that Catholicism is dying or dead?" And according to who you are, you decide to apportion the blame.
There are three main areas — parish, home, and school — and it comes down actually to priest, parents, and teachers. So: "We really aren't well served by the parish priest. He's not outgoing; he's holding all the strings in his own hands; he doesn't understand the young; he never gives us a lead on prayer. Who wants to listen to his endless sermons? He's out of touch with real life; he doesn't link up with the school." And so and so on. Can you wonder that there is no true Catholic life and that people drop away?"
Or you may — especially if you are a priest or a teacher — turn on the parents. "How can you expect the children to remain Catholics when the parents never darken the doors of a church? How can you give lessons when there's no discipline in the home?"
Or finally you can decide the fault is in the school and that is just now a favourite scapegoat — partly I imagine because for years people have been making great sacrifices to pay for schools so that their children should receive a Catholic education.
I am going to study what John Paul 11 says in his exhortation on "Catechesis in our Time." He puts firmly on everybody the responsibility to pass on the Good News according to his abilities. If only we did so! What wonderful life would circulate through the parish, the home and the school. But how, how? Prayer to the Holy Spirit?