How the USCCB Can Save $28 Million

Many who do attend Mass do so with little reverence. Often the Mass is presented as theater and not a “sacrificial rite.” The musical legacy of the ’70s is uninspiring. Tee shirts, jeans, sneakers, and flip-flops are ubiquitous. Almost universal reception of Communion is the norm even though a 2011 Guttmacher report found that 87 percent of Catholics use artificial birth control, a mortal sin. Most sermons seem designed to placate rather than challenge. Is it any wonder that belief in the Eucharist has waned?

The same Pew survey showed that less than 5 percent of Catholics of any group did not know or were unsure about the Church teaching on transubstantiation. It would seem, then, that knowledge of the faith is not a central problem. This would explain why we have groups like “Catholics for Choice” who, despite scientific evidence on the beginnings of life, and clear Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life, simply ignore it. Or the many Catholic defenders of the LGBT agenda who know the Church teaching on sodomy but reject it.

This is where I think the bishops can save some time and money. Church history tells us what changes people’s “hearts and minds:” virtually all successful evangelization is the result of persons who model the faith. The most powerful model of all is martyrdom. A quick glance at the early Church should provide sufficient evidence. No one would have listened to the apostles if they held conferences, sent out pamphlets, and held “glory and praise” meetings but weren’t willing to die for their beliefs. It was their courage that captured people’s attention.

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