I am naturally skeptical of the tendency to divide Catholic things (liturgy, books, prayers, etc.) into youth/teen/adult categories. While I appreciate the efforts to evangelize the youth and speak to them in a language they can understand, I also think that catering certain aspects of Catholicism (most notably, the Mass) to "special populations" like teenagers may strike some teens as condescending. It may also encourage unnecessary divisions between age groups. Even more important, it's easy to compromise important traditions and aspects of the Church's rich history when we try too hard to make Catholicism "relevant," to any group.
But that's another post. I only mention this to drive home the point that I was REALLY skeptical of the YOUCAT when it first came out, not only for that reason, but also due to several critical reviews I had already read. These criticisms made three basic arguments:
- The YOUCAT's pictures are inappropriate.
- The YOUCAT has quotes from questionable figures like Luther and other heretics/non-Catholics.
- The YOUCAT is downright heretical.
|"They quoted me in the YOUCAT??!!"|
I haven't read the whole thing yet, and I certainly haven't dissected every theological argument presented. However, halfway in I can say that reading the YOUCAT has been a pleasant surprise, cheesy photos aside.