ERIC Number: ED310965
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
An Urgent Task: What Bishops and Priests Say about Religious Education Programs.
O'Brien, J. Stephen
A survey of Roman Catholic bishops (N=276; total population) and priests (N=655; random sample) on the purpose, effectiveness, and administration of parish religious education programs revealed a broad range of opinion. The respondents were almost unanimous in stating that such programs help people grow in faith into mature adult Christians; that they assist parents in their role as those primarily and principally responsible for the education of their children; and that they should help participants understand and articulate why they are Catholic. But only 75.9 percent of the bishops and 68.4 percent of the priests agreed that the main purpose of religious education is to communicate sound doctrine to children and youth. This attitude is also reflected by the importance given to instruction in the doctrines of faith. There was strong agreement that programs must include elements of social justice, but not as many urged student participation in social service programs. Elementary programs were seen as clearly more effective than secondary programs. Parish renewal programs for adults were considered effective enough to warrant encouragement. A solid majority wanted parish religious education programs to begin at the preschool level. The bishops and priests were split almost evenly over whether each parish should have at least one children's liturgy of the word every Sunday. A copy of the questionnaire and 44 tables of survey data are included. (PPB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Catholic Educators, Catholic Schools, Catholics, Church Programs, Preschool Education, Priests, Religion, Religious Education, Social Science Research, Surveys
National Catholic Educational Association, 1077 30th Street, N.W., Suite 100, WAshington, DC 20007-3852.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Catholic Educational Association, Washington, DC.