Monday, October 15, 2012

Ask A Seminarian Open Forum Question #1

Just recieved a question from Victor S E Moubarak. Here is what he had to say-
Great idea about the Open Forum. Here's a question, perhaps unfairly aimed at you.

The Year of Faith aims to teach Catholics about Vatican II (50 years on). But in reality, many Catholics and Christians go to church to pray and worship God as best they can. They are not high-minded intellectuals like the priests and bishops who inhabit the Church. To them, Vatican II and gatherings of bishops in synods in Rome are light years away from their daily lives, lived as best they can according to God's Word.

Is the Church risking to confuse/alienate its congregations with a whole year of teachings which may well be above people's heads?

Best wishes and thank you for your vocation.

God bless.

John Bender:

Great Question! The Year of Faith not only teaches about Vatican II, but it also celebrates the very purpose that it tried to make, 50 years ago. The problem that comes up now however, is that everyone has a totally different view on what Vatican II was. The Year of Faith attempts to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a tool to teach the faith. Ultimately, the Catechism isn't meant to be over someone's head, but rather, is a means of explaining difficult aspects of faith in a easy to understand form. It is very difficult to sum up the main point of Ecumenical documents and councils, but I will do my best.

 Vatican II came at a time when Blessed Pope John XXIII knew the world had been through two world wars, through persecution and trials, but he knew the church needed a revival. Because of the problems of the world, Catholics tried to live separate from it. Instead of living in our Catholic bubble, Pope John XXIII wanted to revitalize the church and inspire people to bring Christ into the world. What he was referring to was an earlier form of the New Evangelization. No longer should we as Catholics stay within our Catholic bubble, but we should be evangelizing and bringing people to Christ by our example. This means that  the time that simply going to Mass, but then going and hiding our faith when we go to public places, needs to end.

The Catholic faith is constant and unchanging, but we need to present it to a world that is constantly changing. The church wants to present the faith and teachings in new ways that people of today's day and age can understand. and is by no means, trying to confuse people. We need to live out our faith and bring people to a better understanding of it, perhaps through social media and technology which much of the world uses today.  We do not need to be high-intelligent to do this. The Year of Faith attempts to give people a way reflect on how we can present Christ to a world by  not totally dependent on Him. It is not asking us to do anything radically new, but rather continuing to incorporate Christ in our daily lives. The main goal for us by the end of this year is to better understand our faith and become better evangelizers.

I hope this helped.

 God bless you!


  1. Thank you for a full well-considered reply. I hope and pray that the Year of Faith is successful.

    I fear that perhaps too many people are blinkered in their religions and confused as to what they really believe. They may well go to Church every week, perhaps more often, but may well have forgotten the basics of our Christianity.

    God bless you and thanx.

  2. Wow. What a wonderful response, all of it. "...the time that simply going to Mass, but then going and hiding our faith when we go to public places, needs to end." Amen. Wow.

  3. Victor: No problem! Thanks for the question!

    Nancy: Thanks for the great comment! If you or someone you know has a question about anything at all, please ask:)