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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.



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January 16, 2009



DD...this is just as true in Europe, if not more than in the US.


I have to disagree when you look at the youth in the church today. Those younger priest and lay people seem to be much more orthodox than their parent's generation. I point to the packed houses that many Theology on Taps around the country bring in. While I do sense that the Church may get smaller in years to come I do see it as being much stronger in it's faith.

Dan Wright

Jason, I fixed the broken link to the story so you can go ahead and read the entire article.

It's not about church attendance being down or there being less interest in things of the faith, or there even being a sizable contingency of young people with strong orthodox beliefs, but it more addresses the phenomenon of cafeteria Christianity, and not just in Catholicism but as a snapshot of American beliefs in general.

The Barna poll also reflects the same findings that were reported earlier last year by the Pew Forum (to which I link in my list of websites). Interestingly, the poll sites that a larger number of Christians under the age of 25 (82% as opposed to the overall 61%) are likely to pick and choose from the beliefs of other denominations, which of course doesn't really fit the definition of "orthodoxy."

The story also points out that the poll finds that greater numbers--a majority even--of American Christians hold pluralistic beliefs in regard to salvation being obtainable through paths other than faith in Jesus Christ. Overall, if we accept the findings of Barna, there is a broad American rejection of the exclusivity of Christian beliefs.

If there is any doubt whether pluralism is compatible with Catholic teaching, which it emphatically is not, we can go back and take a long second look at the document Dominus Iesus.

The earlier post I did on the Haight controversy looks at a Jesuit recently being having his teaching faculties taken away due to his pluralistic stance.

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