This article from The Catholic Thing captures almost exactly the confusion and lack of knowledge we encountered during the RCIA process we went through several years ago, and it was only because of our ongoing outside study, revealing the powerful truths of the Church so much more effectively than the RCIA classes were, that kept us in to the end.
“A friend’s father called the other day and announced that, after many years of staying away from the Church, he was finally going to seek instruction in the Catholic faith. It was a moment of tremendous joy for his daughter. And yet the next moment is always the hardest: Where will he get instruction? To whom can we safely send him? Where can an intelligent adult in America today go to get instruction in the faith that won’t send him running away screaming from the Church in agony?
“This is a terrible question to have to ask, but it comes up nearly every time one hears about someone who has decided to come into the Church. Great! But uh-oh, they’ll first have to “get through” the miserable gauntlet of RCIA classes, in which they’ll likely learn next-to-nothing about the Catholic faith, or at least nothing they don’t already know and know in a more adult fashion than they’re likely to have it presented to them. One often hopes for them merely that they can “weather the storm.”…
“My instruction in the faith was dramatically different from the many horror stories I’ve heard since: “The leader of our RCIA class said we don’t have to accept the Immaculate Conception. Does that sound right to you?” Or: “Our RCIA teacher told us not to worry about the Church’s teaching on contraception and homosexual marriage, and that soon they’ll be accepting women priests. Is that true?” No, and no; they’re both wrong. But both stories are all too familiar.
“In too many parishes, “Religious Education” is done by just about anybody in the parish other than a priest, no matter how insignificant their training and no matter how short a time they’ve been Catholic. Why is that? We send young men who want to become priests to four years of training in college-level philosophy and then four more years of training in graduate-level theology. And then, when it comes time to teach people the faith, we call the sweeper in off the streets to raise up the next generation and educate them in the faith. For the most part, the highly trained theologian is nowhere to be seen.”