One thing I’ve noticed as I listen to the stories of former Catholics is that they often, though not always, feel like they were never taught what the Church teaches. Or if they don’t express this concern, it is evident by the way they understand Church teachings. I was listening to a friend of mine talk about her religion classes that she took as a young Catholic, and she was very dissatisfied with them and seemed to feel like they were pointless. Basically, it sounded like they consisted of the kids memorizing a prayer and getting checked off for it, but no real in depth (as in depth as you can get with children) lessons on the beliefs and reasoning of the Church. Of course knowing prayers is important, but there are so many other important things as well, like Church history, scriptural studies, lessons on morality, etc. And this was not the first time I had come across this issue from former Catholics, and unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last.
The Catholic Church, as I see it, is the church Christ founded and what she teaches as dogmatic truth cannot be wrong because of the protection Christ promised to Peter. But this does not mean that the Church is perfect in every way. Clearly, she could do a much better job at ensuring, as much as is in her power, that the lay people of the Church know what they are attesting to when they claim to be Catholic. Or what they are rejecting when they decide to leave the Church. There seems to be a lack of understanding about what the Church believes and it’s not just coming from the outside. This lack of proper education for people of the Church makes them easy prey to false gospels and the secular views on morality.
Something needs to be done to correct this, whether it be on a local level by the priests, a global level by encouragement from the pope, or somewhere in between. Maybe parents can try harder to teach their children about the Church they are a part of. Maybe those who claim to be Catholic can step up and take the time to learn what exactly it is that they are attesting to and why the Church teaches it. So many people can be held accountable for the teaching of the lay people, but bottom line is, something needs to be done. Just because at times and in some places she fails to adequately teach her Truths does not mean that these Truths are not true. The Catholic Church is a beautiful thing founded by the Savior of the world and it’s important to make sure that people are taught the Truth.