Page 2, 6th November 1953

6th November 1953
Page 2
Page 2, 6th November 1953 — CATECHISM BY ROTE

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Locations: Surrey, Leeds, Worcester, Rome


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Majority do not Remember

SIR,-" Blood-Boiler" hits the nail fairly and squarely on the head. What a vivid light it casts on human selfishness of which, unfortunately, we priests and teachers have our full share. The battle would be half won if we only realised this painful fact. There ought to he less excuse for our blindness now. Because, forsooth, the Catechism is an efficient summary of theology for our trained minds and because we remember it through constantly teaching it, it must be suitable for everyone in these dreadful times and even for those who forget how to read when they have left school; and of course they all remember it in later years when their vocabulary has grown.

Anyone who has carefully investigated the matter finds that the majority do not remember itaand that the vocabulary of those who have no love of books or of intellectual activity does not grow.

Let me suggest in conclusion to any young reformers who may read these lines that they can learn how slow their job is by remembering how long it has taken to get over the simple staring fact stated by your correspondent, "Blood-Boiler." It seems that in some quarters it has not been grasped even now.

(Rev.) Gerald Flanagan

The Presbytery, 'vet. Heath, Bucks.

Some do Profit

SIR,-"Blood-Boiler" may be a considerable authority on educational matters, but we are not considerably impressed. He still has to get over the fact that we who learned the Catechism by rote can still in our middle and old age quote it word for word and are glad of the "mental cruelty!: practised upon us as children.

In discussions with non-Catholics we have found that there is no finer answer than to quote the exact words of the Catechism, as the official teaching of the Church. By the time they have digested the answer, say, on Indulgences, they are not so sure of themselves. It occasions such remarks as : "Well, at least you do know your religion."

To become expert in anything, sacred or profane, constant repetition is necessary.

E. J. Keegan

28 Cardinal Avenue, Mordcn, Surrey.

Catechism Reform

SIR.-Our English "Penny Catechism" is 18th century and its vocabulary is now obsolete, as is pointed out in the October issue of the Sower.

Why must we be so Anglican, so insular (so Galilean)?

Why do we not follow the example of all the other countries and start revising our Catechism?

Why do we not become more Catholic more universal, more Christo-centric (Our Lord taught by intelligible parables, not the archaic abstractions of the Pharisees), more Papal?-the Pope at the Catechetical Congress at Rome, 1950, condemned rote-learning of unintelligible abstractions (see various reports in the Sower, Parrot-learning is not learning by heart, for the heart, the mind and the soul have all been lost in the souldestroying materialism of mumbling repetition in which parts of two different memorised answers are often telescoped-resulting in heresy.

Thank God for Leeds and its new Catechism!

John Ignadus Gaffney

83 Rath Road, Worcester.

Feast of the Universal Church

Sut.-May I solicit learned opinion on the suggestion that Missions Sunday might be elevated to the rank of a first-class feast under the title of the "Universal Church" (Church Militant). We already observe the feast of All Saints (Church Triumphant), and set aside a day for the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (Church Suffering). Amid this trilogy we fittingly celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the King, who reigns with supreme sovereignty and dominion over all His Church. We speak of the Church, now as the Mystical Body, then as the Bride of Christ, or as the Kingdom of God. Would not these titles warrant a feast in the calendar in honour of the Church of God on earth? Perhaps your readers would be interested to have some views expressed on this idea.


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