In the news today, reports are there that four provinces in China now ban children from churches. The churches are warned not to allow parents to bring children or they will be severely punished.
I was thinking about that. If successful, it will be a generation that has no memory of going to church with the parents. These adults will be denied the experience of the Christmas, Easter, the seasons of feasts and fasts. It made me sad to think of the loss for them. Only after many years of the patterns have I seen more depth and enjoyed more. They’d be without that!
But then it made me think about comments I’ve heard from people here in the United States. Young adults, for instance, lamenting that they realized at some point that they had “been cheated” out of the true faith. They recognized at some point that the feel good, find what it means for you, catechism they received wasn’t the true faith.
In other words, young adults here say they were cheated out of the faith as well.
In discussing the Soviet Union, Fr. Hardon often cited a statement by the Soviet goverment:
“The Soviet school, as an instrument for the Communist education of the rising generation, can, as a matter of principle, take up no other attitude towards religion than one of irreconcilable opposition. Communist education has as its philosophical basis Marxism, and Marxism is irreconcilably hostile to religion.”
So I am not surprised that China would be hostile to religion and would make strides to take this away from children.
I’m not concerned that God cannot work there, though – He can. Vladmir Lenin is oft quoted as saying, “Give me the first 5 years of a child’s life and he’ll be mine forever.” and “Give me a generation of children, and I can change the world.” Lenin got 70 years. When the Soviets withdrew from Slovakia, villages there were found to have preserved the faith. I trust that the Chinese can do the same.
I started thinking about here. Look at the catechisms today, such as the Subpar Catechesis we reported. Twenty years ago, Fr. Hardon was already declaring that America needed to be Re-evangelized.
I see little evidence that we’ve made any headway doing that.
It just makes me wonder… do we have it worse here in America for teaching faith to our children? Sure, we can take them to church, but when you see what many of the churches are like today, is it really helping? Does a “gathering” in a “worship space” to “celebrate community” really mean they experienced the true faith?
Look at Church attendance here and in Europe. It didn’t even take a Communist government threatening that we will be “dealt with severely” if we attend church. They’re empty. How much harshly will we be judged because no one had a gun to our head telling us to stay away.
What do you think? Has the modernist AmChurch catechesis been more effective than the Marxist states?
This article, Which is Worse: China Banning Children from Church or Our Sub-Par Catechesis? is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.
About John B. Manos
John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.