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Theologian sees irrational approach among some Catholic religious-education teachers

Catholic World News - July 20, 2012

Writing for The Catholic Thing, Francis Beckwith coins a new term, “egopapism,” to describe the attitude displayed by Arlington diocese religious-education instructors who refused to take an oath of fidelity.

When they argue that Christians should be guided by their own consciences, without admitting the need for expert guidance and authoritative judgment, those teachers embrace “an anti-intellectual and fundamentally irrational position.” Unfortunately, Beckwith reflects, that unserious approach to religious instruction is all too common in the Church. Beckwith—who became one of America’s leading Evangelical Protestant theologians before returning to the Catholic faith—relates:

As I noted in my 2009 memoir, Return to Rome, the lack of theological seriousness that flowed from this agenda is what pushed me and many others into the arms of Evangelical Protestantism.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 20, 2012 4:13 PM ET USA

    "Egopapism?" How about "_anti_papism!" For years I have been referring to my catechists as "papist" because of the allegiance we swear to all papal directives. The "anti-intellectual and fundamentally irrational" catechesis that I was expected to deliver in the 1990s is one of the aberrations that pushed me and others into our FSSP parish. Among other problems, my most serious one now is monitoring instruction to make certain that it remains free of certain SSPX anti-Vatican II influences.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 20, 2012 3:23 PM ET USA

    Five catechists out of 5000 who didn't sign and caused this stink? Really? Show 'em the door and move on. My experience, however, suggests that quite a few more should have signed the document and this doesn't include those in the administration of the diocese (or any diocese, for that matter)- this includes those who don't know the Faith at all and are contend with having students color drawings and other mindless exercises for Religion class.

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