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*Image: The Good Samaritan by Jacopo Bassano, c. 1562-3 [National Gallery, London]

By David G Bonagura, Jr., The Catholic Thing, May 8, 2021

David G. Bonagura Jr. teaches at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York. He is the author of Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism and Staying with the Catholic Church: Trusting God’s Plan of Salvation.


David G Bonagura, Jr.Catholic education in America was completely transformed by the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s. In just a few years, Catholic colleges threw out their core curricula, which typically included multiple semesters of philosophy and theology courses for all students and replaced them with a “choose whatever you want” program of studies. At the same time, Catholic high schools and grammar schools replaced solid catechetical instruction in the faith with an amorphous “all religions are the same, faith is all about feeling” approach to Catholicism.

The results have been devastating: for fifty years the Church in America has witnessed a precipitous drop in Mass attendance, vocations, devotion, and basic understanding of the faith. What’s worse, there are no signs that this downward trend will flatten, let alone reverse itself, anytime soon. …