6. Ignorance – too many Catholics simply don’t know their faith well enough to share it.
7. Professional Catholics – For so long everything in the Catholic Church was done by the “professionals.” Priests, bishops, sisters and brothers were the ones who ran the parishes, dioceses, schools and colleges. They were the ones who were trained to do all the “church work”. Lay people were there to pray, pay and obey…or not. But this clericalism still dogs the church. The people in the pew don’t take ownership and don’t feel it is their job to evangelize.
8. Slack Use of Resources – I should specify. There is no lack of resources. In fact, there are more resources than we can handle. The resources are professionally produced, orthodox, relevant, attractive and dynamic. It’s not the lack of resources as much as it is the lack of people who will use the resources. How many good Catholic videos languish on the shelves because people just can’t be bothered to watch them and share them? How many books, pamphlets, booklets and training courses gather dust because no one can be bothered to use them? The same for websites, diocesan seminars, seminary training days etc. etc. etc. There plenty of good resources.
9. Indifferentism – This is the widespread feeling (and teaching) that all the Christian denominations are pretty much the same and it doesn’t really matter which one you go to. It’s consumerism. Choose the one you like best. This indifferentism is widespread in our culture and widespread in the Catholic Church. Furthermore, it extends to non Christian religions and no religion at all. Huge numbers of Catholics think it is perfectly okay if a person attends not only another Christian church, but follows a different religion. “We’re all climbing the same mountain. We’re just going up different paths!” That is a load of codswallop. Any casual study of the different world religions will show that they are not all equal. Some are superior to others simply from a human perspective. Likewise with the different Christian denominations. This is sentimental clap trap.
Do people who say this really believe it? No. Otherwise they would have to agree that a rattlesnake handling Pentecostalist from Kentucky is equal to St Francis. Would they look at the wild eyed Westboro Baptist crowd or an anti Semitic, racist Catholic fundamentalist and say benignly, “Well, we’re all pretty much the same. They’ve simply chosen a different path up the mountain.” And yet indifferentism is rife in the American Catholic Church, and that’s why Catholics don’t evangelize: they don’t think they need to.
10. Universalism – the ugly twin sister of Indifferentism is Universalism–the teaching that God loves everyone so much that he would never send anyone to hell. In other words, in the end, everybody will be saved. Why bother if we’re all going to get into heaven simply because God is such a nice Santa Claus type figure in the sky who will make sure everyone succeeds? Like indifferentism, the Catholic Church is riddled with universalism and it’s cowardly half breed sister semi-universalism. This is the belief that there is a hell and there might just be a few people there, but there won’t be many and maybe even the ones who are there will serve their prison sentence and be allowed into heaven after all. Universalism is a cowardly, unScriptural and unChristian. It doesn’t take a Thomas Aquinas to figure out that this teaching means not only the death of evangelization, but eventually the death of the church.
For some good news on Catholics who are evangelizing and training others check out St Paul’s Street Evangelization