Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
Roman Catholics in the United States are often fairly unfamiliar with their own church doctrines. They just haven't been well taught by their parents or by their religious leadership. There are a lot of Catholics who are essentially "cultural catholics" (and Catholics aren't alone in this one). They enjoy being part of a larger community and having a certain cultural identity but they don't look too closely at the actual requirements of the faith. It's less about Rome than about fundamental truths that the Church has come to in a number of ways over time.

For these people, it's easier to retain the cultural identification and still do their own thing than to examine the requirements and determine if they are willing to abide by them - even in disagreement - or to leave.

As each generation becomes less and less familiar with the faith, more leave. The RC has retained it's membership levels only through the influx of legal and illegal immigrants in the last 30 years.
Quite true,Most Catholics have little interest in further Education in their faith .

The weekly Mass and Communion with the occasional confession is about as about far as it goes for most .

Most of their adult 'Theology' comes from the Priest/Deacon Lector and an occasional 'Catholic Missionary' But there has been an upsurge in Catholic/Christian activity of late with groups like Cursillo,Opus Dei and Regnum Christi .


Opus Dei has a special classification in the Catholic church. It is a "personal prelature" - the only one in existence - which means it does not report to individual diocesan bishops, but to its own leader in Rome, who in turn reports directly to the pope.

Other lay groups within the church are tied to religious orders. Regnum Christi, for instance, another conservative Catholic lay organization, is united with the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order of ordained priests.

Opus Dei had a lot of bad press from Browns book "The Da Vinci Code," a novel featuring Opus Dei members as its murdering, scheming bad guys.but Brown is a well know Christian/Catholic hater who bends the truth to suit his literay needs !

Opus Dei, a conservative, largely lay movement within the Catholic church, has been shrouded in mystery and myth since its founding in Spain in 1928. Perhaps the brightest light has been shined on the movement in the two years since the publication and mammoth success of "The Da Vinci Code," a novel featuring Opus Dei members as its murdering, scheming bad guys. That light promises to get even brighter for Opus Dei next year when the movie, based on Dan Brown's novel and starring Tom Hanks, is released.

Opus Dei leaders were so disturbed by the group's negative portrayal in the book that they have devoted an entire section of the group's Web site to debunking some of Brown's claims.

Next year also happens to be the 50th anniversary of Opus Dei's presence in St. Louis. Its 100 or so members here will celebrate with conferences and parties, according to the Rev. Michael Geisler, spiritual director of the Wespine Study Center, the organization's St. Louis headquarters for men.

"In Opus Dei, at least according to the theory, it's not that lay people work alongside or support the priests; it's that the priests and the lay people are all part of one indivisible whole," said John L. Allen Jr., the author of the forthcoming book "Opus Dei."

Saint Josemaria Escriva, who died in 1975, founded the movement to help the Catholic laity "become saints" by dedicating their lives to God through their everyday work - whether they are electricians, police officers, teachers or attorneys - and in doing so, redeem the secular world from the inside out.