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Slutty Housewives and Pop Psychology – Catholic school catachesis in the late 60s June 27, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, priests, religious, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, shocking, Society.

If you are a Catholic convert like me, you may have struggled with the question – how did it all fall apart?  How on earth could the Church, especially in Europe and the Americas, go from being such a strong, cohesive, and vibrant institution, to one of collapse, division, and near universal apathy?  There are many reasons, of course.

But I don’t think it any exaggeration to claim that, aside from the massive problems in the Liturgy and failure to enforce ecclesiastical discipline, catachesis is quite possibly the area where the most profound damage has been done to the faith of millions of Catholics.  And catachesis – teaching Catholics, especially children, the Faith – remains a huge problem today.  Especially in Catholic schools, where the modernist mentality seems epidemic and deeply rooted.  So, how did catachesis collapse?

Well, in short, through mass acceptance and popularization of the devastating modernist beliefs of people like Teilhard de Chardin and pop psychologists like Freud and Jung, which spread like wildfire through the religious orders that then operated Catholic schools and from the religious to the lay teachers and administrators who replaced them (and right or wrong, the Council was used as the justification for all of this).  By the late 60s, many if not most all Catholic schools were teaching beliefs that would hvae been regarded as damnable heresy just a 5 or 6 years before.  I won’t get into why and how the religious orders, lay priests, and the laity themselves fell so deep and so hard right now, but I will provide some evidence for my claim via this textbook on religion, Growth in Christ, which was widely used in the late 60s in Catholic high schools. It was written by Brother Andrew Panzarella, FSC (a Christian Brother, which order ran so many schools in the northeast and midwest, and which was also very widely implicated in the boy-rape scandal), and was part of a number of catechetical books the Christian Brothers wrote around that time.  Just a note, most of the authors of these books subsequently went on to leave the priesthood/religious life, and some got quite involved in “alternative lifestyles.”

This book was extremely heavy on (now almost entirely discredited) popular theories of psychology and, as I mentioned, the new age cosmic pantheistic indifferentist heresies of Teilhard de Chardin. Here is how one orthodox Catholic writer described the book*:

By the late 60s, irate parents were asking just what all these wild theories of psychology had to do with the Catholic religion being taught their children.  They saw that Growth in Christ wreaked havoc among the students exposed to it in Catholic high schools (esp. those administered by the Christian Brothers). Catechetical texts were the causus belli in the conservative reaction to the excesses following the Council. And texts like Br. Panzarella’s gave every indication that what the parents pursued qualified as a just war. “Only recently,” Panzarella wrote in the book’s introduction, “has theology, like a cautious housewife sizing up a salesman, opened the door slightly to hear what modern psychology and sociology have to offer” [Remember, this book was intended for Catholic CHILDREN]

If caution was prescribed here, Panzarella seems not to have noticed. Of the three books teachers are recommended to read before commencing teaching this course, all are texts on psychology: Man’s Search for Meaning; A Primer of Freudian Psychology; and, Man for HimselfThe main source of inspiration for Growth in Christ, according to Panzarella’s own account, was “the viewpoint which Erich Fromm has stated so well in his book Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics.” That Fromm’s combining of the insights of Marx and Freud might be [no, I would say, surely IS] completely incompatible with the beliefs of the Catholic Church is an issue which never gets raised. What Br. Panzarella does tell us, though, is that the perennial philosophy, the one recommended by virtually every modern pope beginning with Pope Leo XIII, was hopelessly out of date and superseded by more recent insights. [Well, that is straight Teilhardian nonsense]

“There is no reason,” Panzarella continued, “why we should continue to settle for the psychology of the thirteenth century. In our own times psychology has developed in scope and depth to a degree unimagined by St. Thomas.”

End quote. Which, I’m afriad, was completely meaningless, since St. Thomas was arguing and teaching theology and philosophy at a level so sublime these 20th century dunderheads couldn’t remotely grasp it. But I would further argue that the Angelic Doctor knew more of true human psychology than all the pop theorists of the 20th century combined. These radicals really thought that “science” and the religion of evolution had truly stumped the Church, that the Church had no answer for these latest “scientific facts,” and thus, the Church must change to accomodate “science.”  This, in brief, is the Teilhardian synthesis, the massive error that the Jesuit de Chardin was able, somehow, to disseminate widely in the Church in the first part of the 20th century, so that, by 1962, most religious orders were just eat up with this garbage.

Towards the end of the 400 page book, Panzarella makes his Teilhard-worship quite plain:

“[Teilhard’s] theory of evolution is not without its flaws, but it stands out as the prophetic vision of the twentieth century…

“What is really new in Teilhard’s theory of evolution is the idea that evolution is moving towards a goal. Evolution is not just haphazard change but well ordered change moving toward the goal of the fulfillment of the universe…….”

“………Mankind is building the kingdom of God. We are participating in God’s creative activity by marshaling the elements of the universe into new forms, so that all forces material, social and cultural nourish an emerging mankind. We participate in God’s redeeming activity by ceaseless war against the forces of evil in our physical world, in our biological and psychological organisms, in our social structures, and in our culture……” [For de Chardin and his modernist/leftist followers, personal sin does not exist, only “public” sins like capitalism, environmental damage, etc]

Some other quotes:

“In adolescence a person rejects many childish religious notions on the basis of his experiences of life. This is a good and necessary part of religious growth” [This was very, very widely taught – you can’t be a faithful Catholic if you adhere to traditional religious beliefs. That Rosary just shows how “spiritually immature” you are, while yoga shows you’re at a Teresian level of spirituality.  Please.]

“Is a person religious if he keeps various religious practices and assents to various religious beliefs but does not take a stand on social issues? Can a person be religious if he does not go to church but is involved in social issues?” [No. But you can see in protean form ALL the silly beliefs catholycs hold, and all the clumsy misrepresentations of leftism as Catholicism]

What Christ left behind was an infant Church; it has been and is going to continue to mature…People who cannot get over the shock of having their superstitious idea of the Church destroyed are becoming bitter and hostile. They think that the Church is going to ruins…[Yes, yes, the new springtime. Said Br. Panzarella as he left the Church a few years later.  I think we can see, 50 years on, just what blind ideological illusions these poor sick men operated under.  And this was supposed to be catachesis!  It’s nothing more than a 400 page diatribe against the Faith!  And yet, bishops across the country OK’d this book for use!  The reasons for that would take a whole ‘nuther post]

So, there you go.  Some data points for why the wheels came off at a frightening pace in the period 1965 – 1975. And to think, that generation that has wreaked so much distruction is still chomping at the bit to prove themselves right!  It appears no amount of evidence of devastation will convince them of their error. The pride these people operate under…..ay yai yai, it’s a disaster. Pray for them.  They have so much to account for. And it continues today.

*-from Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution, edited and condensed


1. tg - June 27, 2013

I went to Catholic school from 1960 till 1968. I was taught the true faith. The teachers were all nuns except for one lay teacher. I don’t remember being taught anything radical. I remember reading Dante’s Inferno. That fascinated me at the time. The only thing I can say is that I don’t remember being taught to have a relationship with Jesus. That’s something I remember Mother Angelica saying that she wasn’t taught that Jesus loved her personally. My parents worked very hard to send 4 kids to Catholic school. Back then poor people could afford it if they wanted to since the tuition wasn’t too high sinch nuns did the teaching.

tantamergo - June 27, 2013

You’re more fortunate than many. This kind of stuff was just really starting to spread in the late 60s. By the early 70s it was everywhere.

But thanks for letting us know there were still good schools back then. And there are still good ones even today, but they are pretty rare.

2. tg - June 27, 2013

I attended SS Cyril & Methodius School in Granger, TX. The church also still looks like a Catholic church. Last I heard the school is in danger of closing. There’s disagreements with the principal and parents. Since I don’t know anybody there, I’m not sure what it’s about.

3. Terry Carroll - June 27, 2013

This is a history of the decline of religious instruction/education in the UK beginning in the 60’s: http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2006/features_may06.html I found it very enlightening and helpful in understanding how the Faith stopped being taught.

4. David - June 28, 2013

There are two dioceses in the United States that have strived to keep Catholic education affordable. These are the Diocese of Wichita (Kansas) and the Diocese of Lincoln (Nebraska). Both of these dioceses are known for strong bishops, orthodoxy, better than average Mass attendance (I’m told on the average most dioceses have maybe 1 out of 4 Catholics attend Mass weekly, where Lincoln is like 3 out of 4) , and a commitment to faithful Catholic teaching.

I believe the cost of Catholic High Schools in Lincoln and Wichita are something like $500 per semester. That’s something most families can afford. And if it’s orthodox, that’s even better. I do hope that the newer bishops in these dioceses will continue this tradition from their predecessors, Bishops Olmstead, Jackals, and Bruskewitz.

5. David - June 28, 2013

I try to keep tabs on Catholic Education, because I didn’t have that great of a theological experience in the 1980’s when I attended a “Catholic” college in San Antonio that was affiliated with the Society of Mary (S.M.). I was also disappointed that the priest who was president of this college left the priesthood to marry circa 1999. I recall this priest as a teacher, and IMHO he was one of the better teachers when I was a student.

I also had a few friends who attended Central Catholic High School in San Antonio. IMHO, Central Catholic seemed to be very similar to a regular public high school,at least in the 1980’s. People I knew who attended public schools like Fox Tech (which was in the inner city) did pretty well in college (I think Fox Tech also had a magnet program).

That said, IMHO, the money to attend Central Catholic didn’t seem to be an educational investment. I’m glad I didn’t go there. I went to a public high school, and while it was a long four years, I was able to take a few honors classes every year keep my faith intact, choose the right friends, avoid the troublemakers, and stay clear of the party crowd.

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