The crisis in Catholic Christian faith
Even among many Catholics who still identify themselves as such, there is a remarkable weakening of faith in God as a person, and consequently of faith in Christ as Son of God. They also fail to see the Church as a sacrament, an objective, not-to-be- manipulated gift from him. This is why, all too often, interior life or spirituality is equated with philanthropy and socio-political action in the cause of peace, justice, ecology and so forth, and why some people regard prayer, meditation and lectio divina as lacking particular importance.
Some lay people too, engaged in parochial, diocesan and national church structures, exhibit this secularized forma mentis, as also do some males and female religious who get more and more involved in social mission, which they often identify with their actual work as missionaries.
The publication of the new Cathecism of the Catholic Church cannot fail to reassure and strengthen those of the faithful who have lost their bearings in the theological fragment of these latter years, and to bring back to the genuine sources of the faith those who have gone astray after false prophets.
In point of fact, studying theology, being a believer and feeling onself to be an active member of the Church are three components which students sometimes find hard to integrate into their lives. We must not over dramatize this: to go through crisis can even be salutary and positive, inasmuch as it can make one's faith more mature and foster responsible Church membership. For this to happen, however, there must be careful pastoral support.