As a catechist, I have often participated in the Chicago Catechetical Conference. Naturally, when I hear of such a conference, I can safely assume that it is sponsored by a Church agency in Chicago which of course it is (the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry).
Likewise, when I attend the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, I can safely assume that it is sponsored by a national catechetical organization which of course it is: NCCL.
So imagine my surprise when I attended the “National Catholic Bible Conference” held at Dominican University in River Forest (a Chicago suburb) on Friday only to find out that it was a showcase for one publisher (really one guy) to showcase his Bible program!
I think that’s very presumptuous to use a title like that to attract people by giving an air of Church authority to an event that it does not have or deserve that authority. When I go to a conference, I want to hear a variety of experts enlighten me about various topics. If I want to go to a publisher’s showcase, I’ll go to a publisher’s showcase.
It just goes to show, fellow catechists, that when something is labeled “Catholic” (events, websites, Bibles) we can’t always assume that it is sponsored by an agency of the Catholic Church but is often someone’s personal agenda or a sales tactic.
p.s. In a future post, I’ll tell you more about the product being pushed at this so-called conference. It’s attracting attention but it has its problems.