Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Pastoral Letter

Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange in California has issued The Pastoral Letter [18 pp. pdf], in which he asks a series of bullet-pointed questions (pp. 2-3). These are all in the same form; here's the first,
Our religious education programs are packed with youngsters preparing in the second grade to receive their First Communion but the enrollment often drops dramatically in the ensuing years. Why don’t they come back?

and the last,
While Catholics are the largest religious denomination in Orange County, I am told that the second largest are socalled "former Catholics." I presume that these are good people. Why has the Catholic faith become for them less the priority I believe it needs to be for all of us?

Let me ask in reply, why are these in the form of rhetorical questions? Why isn't each followed by him saying what these people say when asked these questions?

From what I've seen the reason these questions are asked rhetorically is that real answers threaten the status quo. That's certainly my experience with my parish and my archdiocese.

(via Open Book)


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