Friday, November 23, 2007

Young People and "That Petition"

On the Cathnews DB, Craig asks the following questions:
Why were there so few young people in attendance [at last night's meeting re problem of the priest shortage]? If change is to be effected, it stands to reason that a critical mass of young people should be represented. If there are no, or very few such young people then why is this the case?

How will it be possible to engage and energise young Catholics who identify with the Catholic tradition, but also wish to agitate the kind of change contemplated by the petition.
These are intelligent questions and deserve an answer.

I do believe that there are many young people who have at least been baptised and confirmed as Catholics who would support the aims of the petition--including the bit about Women's Ordination--but who were neither at the meeting, nor have they signed the petition, because they are in fact no longer active in their faith. Mainly this is because they were never properly evangelised or catechised in the first place. In other words, while there are many young people who would support the petition, they are past caring and past taking any action to get any change.

On the other hand, there are other baptised and confirmed young people (admittedly, a distinct minority compared to the first category) who are still active in the Church precisely because they have been properly evangelised and catechised. But also precisely for this reason, they do not support the endeavours of the petition and in fact make up its most vocal opponents. Ironically, some of these young people are in fact the only ones doing anything positive about the priest shortage situation: they are answering the call to the priesthood and entering the seminary.

Of course these young people would not have been at last night's meeting.

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