Eamonn Keane responds (letter)

Eamonn Keane responds (letter)

(This is a response to Bishop Manning's letter above.)

I have the deepest respect for Bishop Manning as one of the chief pastors of the Catholic Church.

My article in the December edition of AD2000 made no assertion that the Parramatta "Diocesan Religious Education Program, Sharing our Story, contains material which contradicts orthodox Church teaching." Rather, I drew attention to the fatally flawed nature of Groome's shared Christian praxis, the prescribed methodology for Sharing Our Story, as well as citing examples of how Groome promotes dissent from the dogmatic and definitive teaching of the Catholic Church.

Thomas Groome's shared Christian praxis is made up of several "Movements" - none of which may be omitted. For example, Groome states that if the educator bypasses Movement 3 the process "would not then be shared Christian praxis" (Sharing Faith, p. 218).

Movement 3 involves the application of a "hermeneutic of suspicion" to Scripture and Tradition. This means that divine revelation, as it has been mediated and authoritatively interpreted by the Magisterium, enters into shared Christian praxis from a perspective of "suspicion" with a view to sifting out the "untruth" which Groome asserts is present "in every statement of faith".

In his published works which outline the process of shared Christian praxis, Groome treats the teaching of the Church as mythic putty which he sometimes subjects to heretical reinterpretations.

The character of the methodological principles of any discipline influences its conclusions. Pope John Paul II alluded to this when he told a group of US Bishops that "methodologies used" to renew catechesis "have to respond to the nature of the faith as truth received" (L'Osservatore Romano, 3 June 1998).

Shared Christian praxis is an ideological construct wherein Groome's theological perceptions are imminent in his pedagogical method. It invites teachers to "devalue" Catholic doctrines which have been "judged certain" by the Magisterium by subjecting them to "suspicion".

Sydney, NSW

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