I missed commenting on this part of the fingerprinting priest story.
The pupils will mark their fingerprints every time they go to church over three years and if they attend 200 Masses they will be freed from the obligation of having to pass an exam prior to their confirmation.
So now we are rewarding students for something they should be doing anyway? That's not even smart parenting. "I'll give you an ice cream cone if you do your homework."
Well, not quite, 3 times 52 would be the weekly obligation which is 156 masses. So he's looking for people to attend 44 more times... divided by 3 ...is roughly 15 times a year-- a bit more than once a month. Add some holy days of obligation, and this is hardly tough.
Go to mass every day in lent ...you're 4 away-- as long as you don't miss on Sunday. Add an Advent season and you've made it easy.
Also, what's to stop some kid from sneaking in and swiping on off-hours? I'm assuming there's a time code. But I can also come in and then leave early...do I also have to "swipe out."
Lastly, is it any wonder that most children are catechetically stupid? That may sound a bit harsh, but indeed there are people who don't know the difference between the Old and New Testament. They can't name an old testament prophet, nor 3 apostles out of 12. One catechist told me that most students can't say the Hail Mary or Our Father without assistance.
I'm not a "when I was your age" person because when I was getting confirmed while we indeed had to memorize a lot of things if we didn't quite learn it all, the pastor would cave into the parent who complained that their son/daughter wasn't getting confirmed. Cannonically speaking the sacrament can't be "refused" but it can be "delayed." Perhaps we should be a bit tougher in making sure that people are really ready to be confirmed, that they take it seriously and most importantly that they have a plan to continue to contribute to the life of the church...and then we need to hold them to that promise in some way.
Now in fairness, since I am King of Fairness, perhaps mass provides people the grace they need to actually contribute to the life of the church, to garner more information and to learn more about Christ. What do y'all think?