Website Review: Why Catholic? Site on which this review was based: http://www.whycatholic.org
Why Catholic?, a ministry of Renew International, is an adult faith formation process based on Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The program uses a series of four books that are broken down into 8 sessions, which (as with all RENEW programs) then break off into small group discussions. The main goal is to establish Small Christian Communities (SCC's) within the parish.
The books provided by the program are not heretical and do use the Catechism and Scripture as claimed, but the problem is in the details.
This program like almost any program is only as orthodox as the leaders. When it has a team of people who have one agenda, adhering to Christ and His Church, it has the makings of a decent program. If the leader is not knowledgeable, it can turn into the blind leading the blind; and if the leader has the wrong agenda it can veer off into heresy. This in itself is an inherently incorrect method of catechesis because it is open-ended and subjective.
And when you look further, you can see that RENEW has more to do with this program than just providing the four orthodox books that are used (see the Weaknesses below).
Philip Blosser provides a perfect summary when he worries that the program is "designed by revisionists whose devious aim is to use their small group approach to refract ecclesial focus, to undermine magisterial authority, to democratize the Catholic message, to continue the AmChurch decentralization of Catholic Church in America, to continue the process of protestantizing and revising the Church and detaching her from the only moorings she has in her own traditions. . . ."
We completely agree and recommend that you avoid Why Catholic.
Read more about Small Christian Communities in the Catholic Culture Library:
- A New Experience of the Church?
Stephanie Block (Catholic World News, July 2004)
- Compilation on Small Christian Communities
Catholic Culture Staff (June 30, 2005)
- Structures For a New Church Model
Stephanie Block (The Wanderer, August 17, 2000)
- Liberationism for North America
Stephanie Block (Forum Focus, Spring 2002)
- What to Think of 'Small Faith Communities'
James Likoudis (CUF NEWS, May/June/July 1996)
- A Commentary on the Industrial Areas Foundation
Unknown (Forum Focus, December 1998)
Review Ratings what do these ratings mean?
First Evaluated: 01/23/2008; Last Updated: 01/23/2011
- Fidelity: Caution
- Resources: Poor
- Useability: Excellent
- Fidelity: Why Catholic is a RENEW program Example(s)
- Fidelity: RENEW provides training for the leaders Example(s)
- Fidelity: RENEW provides answers to the facilitators Example(s)
- Fidelity: RENEW provides additional resources Example(s)
- Fidelity: Over 30 other titles are offered through RENEW International to Why Catholic participants Example(s)
CategoriesIssues > Controversies
Catholicism > Catechetics
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Plainfield, NJ 07062-1717
NB: All reviews are current as of the Evaluation or Update Date cited above. If you notice that a review contains information that is no longer accurate, please contact us and we will be happy to amend our review.