Monday, November 8, 2004

USATODAY.com - Church struggles with change

Major series of stories in the USA Today, today. Slant is inaccurate...fails to mention there are more Catholics even if there are fewer priests/parishes serving them. Also fails to note the true why of decline in Mass attendance, something that the Year of the Eucharist if properly implemented (and don't hold your breath on that happening) could bring about a great reform in the Mass.



On a side note that is relevant to this point: A whole generation of priests have been taught a confused theology of the Church. Ask any of them a simple question and you are bound to receive an overqualified answer that nuances everything to the point of saying almost nothing. Until this problem is remedied, I don't see how things are going to change.



For Example: All Souls becomes "memorial day" with no mention of praying for the dead, or keeping in mind our final end.



From USATODAY.com - Church struggles with change:



"Today there are fewer parishes and fewer priests than in 1990 and fewer of

the nation's 65 million Catholics in those pews. And there's no sign of

return."


6 comments:

  1. "Ask any of them a simple question and you are bound to receive an overqualified answer that nuances everything to the point of saying almost nothing."

    Hoping I'm not too proud, that's not true about me, and while it may be true to a large degree, it's not true of a good number of priests that I know. Please, no big paint brushes!

    Still, I do agree with the rest of your comments.

    In the Catholic Churches of the Byzantine family there are FIVE All Souls Saturdays each year...Saturdays, mind you. But attendance at my parish is terrible.

    I suspect that the primary reason often given is that the "living" are too "BUSY" to remember and pray for the dead, which I translate as "I don't want to think about my own death." For the same reason, attendance at funerals has steadily declined over my lifetime.

    But if people are so reluctant to consider their own deaths, where is the glory of the Resurrection in their lives, and how strong can their faith really be without that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Ask any of them a simple question and you are bound to receive an overqualified answer that nuances everything to the point of saying almost nothing."

    Hopefully not being too proud, but while that may be true of some, or even many, it's not true of me, nor a number of priests I know. Too big a paintbrush here!

    Still I agree with the rest of your points.

    In the Catholic Churches that have Byzantine usage, there are FIVE All-Souls Saturdays during the year (Saturdays!) but attendance is sparse.

    I suspect most people would give the excuse that the "living" are too "BUSY" to attend and pray for the dead, but I think the real reason is that they don't want to have to consider their own mortality, which is hard to ignore when you're remembering the departed. I believe this is the same reason I've seen attendances at funerals steadily decline during my lifetime.

    This desire to avoid one's own mortality shows a horrible lack of belief or interest in the Resurrection. Without that belief being primary in a Christian's life, how much faith can there be?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Ask any of them a simple question and you are bound to receive an overqualified answer that nuances everything to the point of saying almost nothing."

    Hopefully not being too proud, but while that may be true of some, or even many, it's not true of me, nor a number of priests I know. Too big a paintbrush here!

    Still I agree with the rest of your points.

    In the Catholic Churches that have Byzantine usage, there are FIVE All-Souls Saturdays during the year (Saturdays!) but attendance is sparse.

    I suspect most people would give the excuse that the "living" are too "BUSY" to attend and pray for the dead, but I think the real reason is that they don't want to have to consider their own mortality, which is hard to ignore when you're remembering the departed. I believe this is the same reason I've seen attendances at funerals steadily decline during my lifetime.

    This desire to avoid one's own mortality shows a horrible lack of belief or interest in the Resurrection. Without that belief being primary in a Christian's life, how much faith can there be?

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sorry about the unintentional Triple Posting....I should know better!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peace, Michael.

    You're right on this story not hitting the mark completely. But I'm curious about your "true why," and if it applies worldwide or just to the US. I'm also curious about that "whole" generation not being plural. I've had interesting exchanges with clergy who were trained in the 40's and 50's who weren't exactly well-prepared in theology. How do you think implementing the Year of the Eucharist will bring back those fallen away?

    ReplyDelete
  6. My "why"...

    People including clergy have forgotten what difference Christ makes...Chrisitianity has been swallowed up by the secular culture...everyone thinks he will live forever apart from any faith...people have forgotten fundamental truths or doubt them.

    I actually think this is a problem that began in Europe and has finally made its way to our shores.

    I agree with Father Richard that as usual I made a global statement when I should have qualified it a bit more, the problem of course is that when you go to one or two churches and here the same kind of tribble, one tends to make universals of particulars. My apologies to Father...

    ReplyDelete