RCIA: Needlessly complicated barrier to entry … or a wonderful gift of the universal church?

by Doug Lawrence

A recent article in the Catholic Herald about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) once again has me wondering: If the Catholic Church is indeed the original and true universal Church … founded by Jesus Christ himself,while he still walked the earth (it is) … and the RCIA program is the best the Church can do … then why aren’t people lined up outside, 24/7 and 365, waiting to sign up?

I don’t recall the recently deceased modernist Cardinal Martini saying anything in particular about RCIA, but if he had, it might have been something like this (and he would have been right):

Is it rational for the Catholic Church to expect to attract large (or even reasonably acceptable) numbers of converts by means of a one size fits all, once a year, six month long program of  religious instruction … often of dubious quality … from a world full of people who have come to expect instant (or at least, very prompt) gratification in everything from their choice of food, to their ordinary communication and social interaction, oil changes for their automobiles, downloads of their music, and virtually everything else?

Perhaps the Catholic Church might be able to attract more than one or two real converts each year, per parish (as opposed to the usual cadre of badgered relatives and spouses) if they concentrated on offering a modern, responsive, technologically up to date RCIA program that addresses at least some of the particular needs and sensibilities of ordinary people … rather than making them overcome totally unnecessary obstacles and jump through various “hoops”?

Isn’t that what the original apostles did?

A case in point: Make a visit to a Catholic parish … other than your own … and see how long it takes you to find the rectory or parish office, gain entry, and obtain a face to face meeting with someone who can actually tell you about the RCIA program … and get you signed up.

If you can get that done in less than an hour and a half, send me an email with your name and address, and I’ll send you a free copy of my latest Catholic CD.

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