In the decades immediately following the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), we witnessed an alarming deemphasis of doctrinal teaching in religious education in favor of an overly experiential approach. The result of this catechetical malfeasance was a generation-make that two generations-of poorly formed Catholics.
So while the feminists burned their bras and draft-dodgers burned their flags, catechists and pastors burned their Baltimore Catechisms, proclaiming liberation from the rote memorization of doctrinal formulas. But were we better off because of it? What were the fruits of the catechetical novelties of the 60s and 70s? Surely not practicing Catholics who know and love the Catholic faith.
Leon Suprenant goes on with the necessary caveats about memorization without a relationship with Christ and then quotes Church documents on the subject.
Archbishop Dolan tells the story of somebody he grew up with who was saved by the Baltimore Catechism. This man had become seriously drug addicted and the person he was with decided that they might as well just overdose themselves if they had no reason to go on living. That .unless he could come up with any reason to go on living he would just fix up an overdose. After some thought Dolan’s school friend replied "God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven." This was enough to deter both of them.
Now I wonder how many people’s lives were saved by a felt banner?