Archbishop Charles Chaput addressed the Catholic Life Congress this past weekend and spoke about the importance of education in Renewing the Church and Her Mission in the Year of Faith.
Chaput’s speech touched on three topics in what could be seen as a State of the Church in America speech. He spoke about where we as a Church find ourselves in the 21st century, what we can do about it, and thirdly who we need to be, or become, to live the kind of witness God wants from us.
Among the many salient points he made, the leader of the Church in Philadelphia made a special point of emphasizing the importance of educating young people about their faith — a point that is the heart of the mission of The Cardinal Newman Society:
“But if we’re honest – and there can be no real reform, no real renewal, without honesty – we need to admit that the problems in American Catholic life today are much wider and much deeper than any clergy scandal. And they’ve been growing in our own hearts for decades. If young people are morally and religiously ignorant by the millions, they didn’t get that way on their own. We taught them. They learned from our indifference, our complacency, our moral compromises, our self-absorption, our eagerness to succeed, ourvanity, our greed, our lack of Catholic conviction and zeal.
…We need to protect and educate our young people. We need to impress on their hearts that salvation is not just a pious fiction, but a matter of eternal consequence; a gift that cost God the life of his own son. Our Catholic schools are vital in this work. St. John Neumann founded our schools 150 years ago to protect the faith of our young people from Protestant pressure in the classroom. But our same Catholic schools are even more important today in a time of aggressive secularism, moral confusion and bitter criticism of the Church.”
You can read Archbishop Chaput’s entire speech at The National Catholic Register.
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