Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
I believe that the five-step plan presented by Bishop Barron (“Search and Rescue,” Herald Nov. 15 issue) to the U.S. Bishops’ Conference to address the massive loss of Catholic youths to apostacy suffers from a lack of social research in support of both the causes and possible solutions to that problem.
The non-profit Pew Research Center’s decades-long Religious Landscape Project that has documented the steady decline in the percentage of U.S. adults who self-identify as Catholics has also questioned the Catholics who joined the swelling ranks of the religiously unaffiliated (otherwise known as the “nones”) about why they left. Contrary to the popular opinion that people leave because of disagreements with the Church’s teaching on “hot button” issues such as contraception, same-sex marriage, clerical sexual abusers, etc. the primary reason is far more basic: they simply don’t believe in the existence of God.
One of Bishop Barron’s five steps is to “beef up the intellectual content of our religion classes.” Since throughout all of known history every culture has had its god or gods and, as St. Paul affirms, “the existence of God can be known by the things he has made,” a suitable beginning for determining what needs to be beefed up would be to question why in 21st century America unbelief in God or even “gods” has become a social phenomenon.
One factor may be the acceptance within the Catholic clerical and intellectual leadership of scientific speculations which are actually affirmations of faith (i.e., “dogmas”) of the non-theistic religion of Humanism first codified in the Humanist Manifesto of 1933. Evolutionary cosmology and evolutionary biology which are the materialist scientific consensus regarding our origins are taught as if they were proven facts to children from their earliest school days. The Church, which has the truth about our origins, has ceded the education of its youth on these matters to the secular culture to provide explanations for which no God was necessary. World-famous author, lecturer, and prominent spokesman for “the New Atheists,” Richard Dawkins, has explained that Darwinism makes theistic belief both implausible and unnecessary: “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”