Welcome. We are American Catholic Solidarity, and this is our first blog post! Let us tell you a little more about who we are, and what we are trying to do.
Back in the late twentieth century there was a movement in what was then Communist-controlled Poland that protested government exploitation of workers. This movement was called Solidarity, and it was started by an out of work electrician named Lech Walensa. Solidarity was instrumental in the destruction of Communism in Poland.
While Solidarity started as a workers’ movement in Poland, American Catholic Solidarity is not a workers’ movement. It is an organization whose mission is to help better Catholic education for our youth and adults. As a father of four, I can tell you that the current religious education classes at many of our parishes and parochial schools are highly inadequate. My oldest child is in fifth grade, and he informed me that some of the children in his PRE (parish religious education) class do not even know how to say the rosary. Some do not even know what the host is! These are not little children! They are fifth graders who have already received their First Communion! It is obvious that our children need much better instruction. I know that the Church is working on solving the problem, but progress is not being made fast enough.
As bad as our children’s religious education is, it is even worse for adults. I am the Mystagogy coordinator for my parish, and I can tell you that part of the problem is that adults are adults. They can not be forced to do what they do not want to do. Many adults are, quite frankly, apathetic about religion. They want to go and do their thing. They do not often care about the specifics. Study after study has shown that Catholics are among the most ignorant of people. They tend to have very little idea about what other religions teach. The studies have shown that atheists, agnostics, and Protestants tend to know more about what the Catholic Church teaches than Catholics do! This situation must be remedied. American Catholic Solidarity wants to help in this task.
We also intend to help fight for the rights of Catholics against government infringement. There are groups approaching the government now, and trying to have the Catholic Church labeled as a hate group! The HHS Mandate on contraceptives orders Catholic employers to provide contraceptive coverage on their employees’ insurance. We do not believe in contraceptives. That fact is not a secret. If someone wants contraceptive coverage, then let them go work somewhere else. No one is forced to work for Catholic employers.
Bishop Jenky is the bishop of Peoria, Illinois. He once wrote a letter to his flock encouraging them to do more to publicly stand up for the Church and its Teachings. He said that Catholics have been complacent for far too long. The government would not be as adamant about encroaching on our rights if Catholics would stand up and fight more. Well, American Catholic Solidarity will fight more, and be more assertive about it.
Due to the child sex abuse scandal (among other things) the Catholic hierarchy (rightly or wrongly) has lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of many people in this country. As Catholics, we know the Church will never be defeated. We have Christ’s promise on that. The hierarchy will regain its credibility, but laypeople can help recover this credibility a little quicker. When the hierarchy defends itself many think, “Well of course the hierarchy will defend itself! It’s the hierarchy!”
If the laypeople of the Church help fight for the integrity and credibility of the hierarchy, then others may pay a little more attention. But we must fight with our intellects, and by our good Christian examples. We must know what the Church Teaches, and how to defend it. We must know how to debate the Faith with respect for others. We must know how to live a moral Catholic life properly. In other words, we must know how to set a good example. We also must come together to pray for the Church, our leaders in government, and the world.
With that let me end by saying that we will try to have a new blog post every week, as time allows. For now, allow me to simply recommend a good book to read that I recently read myself. The book is called “Render Unto Caesar”. It was written by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. He was archbishop of Denver at the time. Now he is the archbishop of Philadelphia. This book is absolutely amazing! I learned a lot from this book. Give it a read, and let us know what you think. Also, we would like to know what you think about our organization. Let us know. We welcome comments and criticism!
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity