Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cardinal Pell sees "muddle" in young Catholics' approach to faith

Sep. 27 (CWNews.com) - Young Catholics in Australia are badly confused about their faith, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell told the National Catholic Education Commission in a September 28 address.

"Too many young Catholics have been led by the pressures of contemporary propaganda," the cardinal said. He warned that Australian culture is currently seeing a decline in religious faith that he characterized as a "slippage, with Catholics slipping faster."

Cardinal Pell cited survey data that show young Catholics adopting a skeptical approach to all religious beliefs. He called attention particularly to survey questions showing that 75% of young Catholics think it is proper to "pick and choose beliefs," while only 10% accept the notion that "only one religion is true." The overall impression left by the studies, the cardinal said, is that the beliefs of young Australian Catholics have gone "beyond tolerance and ecumenism and toward muddle."

Cardinal Pell told his audience that his concern was not a matter of "a few isolated points of heresy." More disturbing, he said, was the prevailing confusion about the nature of religious doctrine. Younger Catholics, he said, appear to approach Church teachings as a "smorgasbord of options from which they choose items that best suit their passing fancies."

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