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Monday, October 08, 2012

A couple of things

A letter's been sent to all the Bishops in the Church of England from Changing Attitude and it begins like this ...

If the Church does not want to reach a tipping point where it is too morally discredited to be respected on any issue, it is vital that its senior figures start, this year and next, to speak the truth.

These words could so apply to my own church! You can read more about this in The Guardian - Church of England bishops urged to have honest discussion about gay clergy


I've been thinking about the recent synod on the "new evangelization" - it's about a push to reel in Catholics who have fallen away in places like the US, Europe, Latin America. I think this effort will mostly fail. Church leaders seem to be under the misapprehension that people are falling away because of the aftereffects of Vatican II ....

While the [Second Vatican] council marked a moment of renewal and enthusiasm for the church, [Cardinal] Wuerl said it was followed by decades of poor teaching and substandard worship — “aberrational liturgical practice,” he called it — that made “entire generations” of Catholics incapable of transmitting the faith to their children and to society at large, ushering in today’s secularized society.

And so, their plan to fix things ..... "better" transmission of church doctrines and incentives like indulgences (yes, they still exist!) ... will actually fix nothing.

Here's a bit from a past article by Thomas Reese SJ ...

The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants

[...] The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their “spiritual needs were not being met” in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they “found a religion they like more” (70 percent). Eighty-one percent of respondents say they joined their new church because they enjoy the religious service and style of worship of their new faith.

In other words, the Catholic church has failed to deliver what people consider fundamental products of religion: spiritual sustenance and a good worship service. And before conservatives blame the new liturgy, only 11 percent of those leaving complained that Catholicism had drifted too far from traditional practices such as the Latin Mass ....

Looking at the responses of those who join mainline churches also provides some surprising results. For example, few (20 percent) say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teachings. However, when specific issues were mentioned in the questionnaire, more of those joining mainline churches agreed that these issues influenced their decision to leave the Catholic church. Thirty-one percent cited unhappiness with the church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality, women, and divorce and remarriage, and 26 percent mentioned birth control as a reason for leaving. Although these numbers are higher than for Catholics who become evangelicals, they are still dwarfed by the number (57 percent) who said their spiritual needs were not met in the Catholic church ...


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