Thursday, December 13, 2007

Failure of catechesis in Northern Ireland

Briefing: it seems likely a similar survey on the British mainland would reveal ignorance just as bad as that found both sides of the border in Ireland. Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster's insistence on proper catechesis in Catholic schools is timely.

From CFNews: A new study has uncovered a surprising lack of religious knowledge among both Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Contradicting the impression that residents of Northern Ireland are generally more religious than their neighbours in the Irish republic, a survey by the Millward Brown Ulster firm found that the level of religious knowledge is roughly the same on both sides of the border. The survey-- the first of its kind in the region -- found that Catholics in Northern Ireland show the same level of religious knowledge as those in the south. Among Protestants, however, the residents of Northern Ireland are less knowledgeable. Overall, only 42% of the poll respondents knew that there are 4 Gospels, and just 54% could name the persons of the Trinity. The survey uncovered a striking decline in religious knowledge among younger respondents.

On each question and most others, Catholics scored substantially higher results. Only 21% of those aged 16- 24 knew the number of the Gospels, and only 33% could identify the persons of the Trinity. Commenting on the poll figures, Stephen Cave of the Evangelical Alliance of Northern Ireland said: 'Overall the figures are not good but the drop in knowledge, almost halved within a generation, indicates that the Christian faith is becoming less meaningful to those under 25 years of age.' His colleague Sean Mullen of the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland added: 'The notion that Christianity can be transmitted through the culture from one generation to the next is clearly no longer valid.' The survey was conducted by Millward Brown Ulster for the Iona Institute, the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland, and the Evangelical Alliance of Northern Ireland. Click here for full results.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen