Catholic World News

Pawlenty's faith, and why Catholics don't study Scripture

June 24, 2011

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, a prominent contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was a practicing Catholic, but moved to a non-denominational Protestant church when he became interested in Bible study. Jeremy Lott (who was raised a Protestant and became a Catholic, following the opposite route), sees Pawlenty’s switch as evidence of a significant problem:

One does not have to agree with Pawlenty’s decision to understand the motivation behind it. In a sense, it’s a back-handed affirmation of an important truth the Catholic Church bids us believe. According to the Catechism, Scripture and Tradition form a “single deposit of faith.” So why are so few lay Catholics serious students of Scripture? Why is it that, if you want to find Catholics who know Malachi from Maccabees, the best bet is to look either for theologians or former Protestant converts?


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  • Posted by: - Jun. 25, 2011 9:16 PM ET USA

    Looking (with some guilt) into myself, I suspect the reasons for the lack of diligence in reading the OT have to do with the fact that in the NT Jesus is vibrantly and immediately present to a reader. The denizens of the OT on the other hand seem cranky and downright strange.Additionally, our Faith is much more something handed to us by the Church as a precious heirloom. Protestants have less knowledge of and fear of old heresy than we do.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jun. 25, 2011 8:45 PM ET USA

    If Mr. Pawlenty attended Mass every Sunday as a Catholic, he would have found that over 3 liturgical years he would have read/listened to/and heard homilies on most of the Bible - most of the complete Bible.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jun. 25, 2011 12:55 PM ET USA

    Catholicism is a grownup faith, not a quick fix. It's not about taking the scriptural verses that fit one's theology. Having taken an excursion into Protestantism, it became obvious to me that the same scriptures were dwelt on, to the exclusion of the rest. It was an introduction to the study of the Bible for me, but not all of it.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 24, 2011 9:37 PM ET USA

    Why is it that adult education is not valued by the leadership in the U.S. Church, but is a normal part of the Protestant faith experience. How can we expect adults who are ignorant about their faith to educate and support their children and grandchildren. And Jesus wept ...