Over at Jennifer Fitz’s place, Sticking The Corners, is a great post titled “The Hero Complex that is Destroying the Catholic Faith. In it, Jennifer wrote:
Parents, not catechists, are the people ordained by God to pass on the faith to their children. The mission of the Church is to make disciples of those parents, and equip them to teach their children. If we have to choose between programs for adults and programs for children, adults are the priority. Not because we don’t care about kids, but because we want what is best for kids.
What is best for kids is what is best for adults and what is best for the Catholic faith: Adult disciples passing on the faith within their families.
Yeppers. Too many adults have no relationship with Jesus Christ, or have an abysmal grasp of Church teaching, or worse, don’t care all that much. Back in 2010, a Pew Research poll found, for instance, that only 45% of Catholics were “unable to recognize Church teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” That’s just awful.
The problems persist. Jen’s article and experiences as a catechist attests to it. But what to do about it?
The AoftheA Religious Education Resource Department has the answer: the Catholicity Baseline Test. It’s sad to say it, but I think we gotta assume that the average American Catholic adult knows absolutely nothing – or a skewed, “through a glass darkly” version – of the faith. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt, that most adults are clueless about Church teaching, rather than actively averse to it (unless they’re Catholic teachers in the San Francisco Archdiocese – then it’s a fait accompli. What?). In fact, they mightn’t be merely clueless – they may even know less than nothing. The Catholicity Baseline Test is a finely tuned and formulated list of twenty questions that will assist the catechist in determining how far beneath the Nothing Bar these adults find themselves.
Here we go –
1) What letter does the word ‘Catholic’ begin with?
2) What hardware did the Romans use to nail Jesus to the cross?
3) If God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, and Moses passed on those commandments to the Jews, then how many commandments did God give the Jews?
4) Sex with a person other than your spouse is okay is you really really like them. True or false?
5) What was the color of the Golden Calf?
6) The Bible is comprised of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Which one came first?
7) Jesus preached against climate change. True or false.
8) What day of the week does Good Friday land on?
9) When Jesus calmed the storm while in the boat with the disciples, what was the weather like at the time?
10) In what country is Rome, Italy located?
11) Who wrote St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians?
12) Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert for four decades before entering the Promised Land. How many years were they lost?
13) God is a Democrat. True or false.
14) In Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep, a shepherd has 100 sheep, and one goes missing. How many sheep did not go missing?
15) The current Pope is Francis I. How many other popes named Francis have there been?
16) Catholics cast their vote for pope every six years. True or false?
17) What shape is the cross?
18) Jesus is the Son of God, and His mother is Mary. Who’s His father?
19) Jesus died, was buried, and was reincarnated on the third day. True or false?
20) (This question must be read aloud once to the adult) You’re administering the Eucharist at Mass for 4 consecutive weeks. At the first Mass, 37 people receive in the hand and 12 receive orally. The next week, 41 receive in the hand and 19 receive orally. The following week, 46 receive in the hand and 9 receive orally. On the final Sunday, 42 receive in the hand and 14 receive orally. How old is the Eucharistic Minister?
The number of incorrect answers provides you with the Catholicity Baseline Number (CBN). If the respondent answers all 20 questions correctly – congratulations! They have a CBN of Zero, which means they’re less clueless than the average American Catholic!
Of course, as a catechist, it also means you still have your work cut out for you, but at least you know where to start.
[Answers: 1) C. 2) Nails. 3) 10. 4) False. 5) Gold. 6) Old Testament. 7) False. 8) Friday. 9) Stormy. 10) Italy. 11) St Paul. 12) 40. 13 ) False. 14) 99. 15) None. 16) False. 17) Cross-shaped. 18) God. 19) False. 20) Really???]