"There is a great deal of misinformation about the Church and Her teachings among law students," said Marcucci, a third-year law student. "Very few students have dealt seriously with the philosophical and theological questions at the heart of Catholic doctrine."
Stepping into the breach has been the More Society, which has launched a lecture series, "Explaining Catholicism," designed to present Church teachings to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, with the goal of sparking "a general dialogue from a position of knowledge rather than presumption," Marcucci said.
The series, inaugurated last month, resumes Feb. 26 when Asst. Prof. Moira Walsh (Philosophy) speaks on "Women and the Catholic Church." All lectures take place at 4 p.m. in Stuart 409 on Newton Campus.
Upcoming speakers include: Rev. George Salzmann, OSFC, of Harvard University on March 12 ("The Communion of Saints"); Rev. Paul McNellis, SJ, of the Boston College Jesuit Community on March 19 ("Catholic Sexual Ethics"); Law School Chaplain Frederick Enman, SJ, on April 12 ("Ignatian Spirituality"); and Rev. Romanus Cessario, OP, professor of moral theology at St. John's Seminary, on April 9 ("The Rosary and the Theology of Marian Devotion"). Philosophy Department faculty members Prof. Jorge Garcia and Adj. Asst. Prof. Laura Garcia are also expected to join the schedule at a later date.
In previous lectures, Assoc. Prof. Arthur Madigan (Philosophy) discussed Church history and Adj. Prof. Rev. Francis Sullivan, SJ (Theology), spoke on the Magisterium and authority. Other presentations have included Fr. McNellis on confession, Assoc. Prof. Rev. Louis Roy, OP (Theology), on grace and Assoc. Prof. Rev. Robert Imbelli (Theology) on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
"One law student, who has come to every lecture, commented that formal religious education ends just when the world begins to get complicated, in high school and college," said Marcucci, who hopes the series will become an annual event.
"At best, most Catholics only get religious education through their senior year of high school, if they attended a Catholic high school. Even there, the quality of theological education varies widely. People are left with their eighth-grade religious education competing with a university education in other areas.
"I think that contributes to a lot of the falling off that occurs in high school and college. The Catholic Church has the goods. It has the answers, at the same level of sophistication as any secular philosophy, but too few people ever hear it and they assume that what they learned as children is the end of the story."
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