Which is Worse: China Banning Children from Church or Our Sub-Par Catechesis?

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.

Stalin Says, “MY STUDENT!” — Soviet “Workforce Training” Programs prepared students for one job. and nothing else.

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.

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 Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • John B. Manos says:

    And then today, the Catholic Herald posts an article about the young adults taking back the Latin Mass. Click here to read the article.

    From the Article (wherein it discusses that the young Dominicans are clashing with the hippies that threw off the rule and habit):

    “Then the province began to get vocations. The young Dutch Dominicans were eager to reconstitute the forms of life and prayer their elders had dismantled. “We are on the brink of far-reaching changes,” Fr Dinklo observed in an address last year. “In this situation tensions between generations may arise.” The younger men want to wear the habit and “re-discover a number of religious practices, rituals, forms of singing and prayer from the tradition which the older generation has set aside”. In order to avoid generational conflict, these young men are being established in a new house.”

  • Darren says:

    I’m 45 and feel cheated of my faith. Grant it, I wasn’t too interested learning my Catholic faith, but maybe I wasn’t was because of the way it was presented. Either way, thank God for the Internet in this regard of looking up past Papal Encyclicals, EWTN, GK Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, Archbishop Scheen, Cardinal Newman, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, all the St. Francis’s and websites like the Bellarmine Forum.

    I have found my kindred spirits. Better late than never.

    St. Pope John Paul II, pray for us.
    St. Maxmillian Kolbe, pray for us.
    St. Faustina Kowalska, pray for us.

    Go figure, I’m Polish.

    • John B. Manos says:

      We did get a short shrift on catechesis in our age group, didn’t we, Darren? Thank God we both found it in this life, though!

  • Darren says:

    Didn’t look at the title. I would say when you prevent someone from doing something by threat it’s not as bad as sub-par catechesis.

    Sub-par catechesis numbs a person to a state of lathargy. Why do I say this? Because of experience. When I realized my Catholic religion was being attacked that’s when I started wanting more to learn about what I didn’t care to learn before.

    Put someone in the corner and they will fight back. Give someone pooh-pooh teachings and they drift off into space and end up being tranquilized to the point of pure slothe.

    Governments will have retaliation when religion gets attack like this. It happened to the USSR with the likes of Poland.

    China is following in the same false manner. There will be another revolution. One against the communistic government.

    May the Holy Spirit guide the Chinese people to Jesus Christ.

    St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.

  • Darren says:

    Below post. Threat not treat.

    • John B. Manos says:

      Darren, I edited it for you.

      I agree… here the enemy is hiding as the very church. There, the enemy is direct and in front. But not to the person affected. The child will not know twenty years from now what it was like. It is the parent and the pastor that is threatened now.

      Someone suggested to me that this was China’s way of limiting mosques, but I haven’t seen any proof of that. It still appears to be all religions, Catholics included. In some ways, especially Catholics because they are having massive conversions.

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