I grew up in a loving, devout, strict Catholic family in the 1950’s. I entered the seminary in 1961, and within three years the Catholic church had changed radically, mostly because of the Second Vatican Council. We learned to understand the bible in a very different way than we had as children or even as university students. We were told that the church is primarily a community of believers rather than a power structure. We learned that we can make responsible adult decisions “in good faith,” even if they go against the laws of the church.
All the developments of the 1960’s were liberating for me. After being ordained in 1965 and serving as a priest for five years, I went on as a layman to a long career in religious education, faithfully trying to present the gospel to children and teachers in a way that would be attractive and valuable for their lives.
To me, the most troubling problem for religious education is the fact that most adults have to deal with life on the basis of what they learned about faith before they were twelve years old. Some have grown to mature faith on the basis of their own wisdom and that of their friends, but most still think that faith is what they learned as children. They realize that it’s childish, but they have nothing to replace it with. Our church offers very little credible adult religious education.
I have written four books to support adult faith. Language of the Heart is an introduction to modern understanding of the bible. What Makes Us Whole presents an adult understanding of God’s role in our life journey. The Sexual Believer deals with sexual morality in a way that is very different from traditional teaching, but still, I believe, faithful to the gospel. Gospel Overtures offers an analysis of the Christmas stories in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
If you are interested in any of these issues, I hope you will look at the descriptions of each book on this site.