Criticizing the Catechism


Earlier today I found myself defending my Face Book Status.  I don't get reading the Catechism, which some seem to be doing for the Year of Faith. Isn't the Catechism a reference tool? Isn't it like reading a telephone book or dictionary? Catholicism for Dummies is more my style.  

Many friends (mostly my Dominican brothers and sisters) were all over me for that.  Well, of course; what was I thinking?  (See why I love my "cloistered brothers?"  They're not from the same mold.  Don't worry.  When you've met one Dominican, you've met one Dominican)  A Dominican doesn't criticize the Pope, doesn't pull on Superman's Cape, doesn't criticize Magisterium, doesn't spit in the wind, doesn't break Tradition, doesn't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger, or bother a friar in prayer with his Capuce up, or criticize the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Let me explain:

Is it lawful to criticize using the CCC as appropriate reading material during the Year of Faith?

Objection 1.  It seems that reading the CCC is not appropriate because if it doesn't make sense to you, then it is as worthless as straw.  Thomas Aquinas said,  "All that I have written seems like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me."  Hence he stopped writing.

Objection 2.  Besides, the Psalmist says, "thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."  (Ps 23:4)  Forcing yourself to read a telephone book, dictionary, catechism is not comforting.  Hence, it would not be comfortable to push yourself to read something so distasteful.

Objection 3.  Furthermore, St. Jerome said that ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.  By this insight we learn that there are other means, (scripture is one of many others) to be used to gain knowledge of our Faith.  Hence, there are other appropriate reading materials to be used.

On the contrary: Educators recognize that there are different learning styles.

  • Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

Therefore, it is lawful to criticize a learning style that is not appropriate for you.

I answer that, one may criticize the appropriateness of the CCC for oneself.  This country still has the First Amendment to the Constitution (so far), which claims freedom of speech, as a right.  The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law ...  abridging the freedom of speech,...    Consequently, one has the right to not read what I write.

Reply to the First Objection.  Here the Angelic Doctor expresses his opinion on his written word.  I also express my opinion on written word.  The Angelic Doctor didn't have the protection of the First Amendment, and he could still feel free to express his thoughts.  Hence, I do likewise.

Reply to the Second Objection.  Life if too short to waste time reading something that one finds not very interesting.  1 Thessalonians 5:2  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  Hence, parcing through the CCC would be a waste of valuable time.

Reply to the Third Objection.  The CCC style does not appeal to my type of poetical, verbal, learning style.  Pope Benedict has granted an Indulgence for certain activities during the Year of Faith. http://www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en/news/indulgentia.html  Hence I am not confined to plowing through the CCC to fulfill the Indulgence requirement.  (Deo Gratias) 
Provisions to gain the Indulgence:
 (A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.
"(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.
"(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, ... in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.
"(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.
"Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, ... may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence".
The document concludes by recalling how faithful who, due to illness or other legitimate cause, are unable to leave their place of adobe, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence "if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite ... the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives".











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