Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dereliction of Duty

A scholar on the culture of life writes in the Kyunghyang magazine about a  three day study and training program he conducted for 21 unmarried young people in their twenties. Before the program he prepared  a  questionnaire, and begins the article with some of the results.

Have you had an sexual experience with another? 11  said yes, 6 had a one night stand experience. Sexual relations are unrelated to marriage, 8 said yes. How long after relating with a person is sexual contact proper?  after marriage 3, after a year 3, after 6 months 1,  after 100 days 3,  one  month 2,  after a week 1, within one week having sexual contact, time is irrelevant 7.

The writer well versed in what is going on within our culture in matters of sex was greatly shocked at the results.They were active members of the community: teachers, choir members and altar servers, and yet 29 percent  had a one- night stand. This was hard to  believe. And asks do you think this is unique only to this parish?

The young people who are immersed in this culture pick up their understanding of sexuality from the culture: sex is for  pleasure. Religious beliefs and their parish activity have little influence on their actions. Before they are able to consider and make a judgement on good or evil, they have been exposed to TV, smart phones, and the internet. For many sex is something to enjoy and all that is necessary is the condom and contraceptive pills. But is it really that simple?

He goes into detail on some of the feelings of guilt that a Catholic would have and also the concern about the possibility of pregnancy on the part of the girl.Condoms are not 100 percent protection and this causes a great deal of worry on the part of the girl. A contraceptive  mind  will not be helpful in being recollected and having concern for the spiritual. Unless the young people can discern what the culture has done to justify the way they look on evil, the money that is spent in the pastoral care of the young will have little results.

He concludes the article with the observation that a vocation needs to be nurtured. A  priest needs at least 7 years of  nurturing. A religious needs about 10 years before final vows. Marriage is also a vocation and what kind of preparation do we give those who will be marrying? In Korea those preparing for marriage are required to receive 3 or 4 hours of education. He feels this is a dereliction of duty on the part of the Church.The first step in the  pastoral  care for the family should begin with the preparation of our young people for marriage and have this systematized within diocesan and parish programs. 

"I don't know yet  who I will marry. But I don't want to betray the person that I will someday marry." A person who would say such words would be considered a fool, and be shunned in the world in which we live.  Therefore we need to begin to educate so we will have many more with the courage to speak out this way. This is the effort that the Church has to make.

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