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Monday, December 29, 2014

Church stuff and Iceland

- The pope is losing women, both lay and religious. This from The Economist ...

[...] According to Pew Research, the number of American nuns has dropped 72% since 1965—from 180,000 to 50,000. By contrast, the number of American priests has fallen only 35% over the same period. The number of nuns is also declining much faster in America than elsewhere in the world: in 1970, American nuns represented 16% of the world’s religious sisters; today, they’re only 7%.

This drop makes sense, given the increased opportunities for American women outside the church and the sexism within it. In 1965, most Catholic girls faced a choice between being a mother and being a nun. Now that women have more options, fewer are inclined to take that vow of obedience. It is likely that the growth of women’s roles in Protestant churches has also played a role. Women who are called to religious life are understandably more drawn to institutions that afford them equal treatment and allow them to take on leadership roles.

In light of the waning appeal of the Catholic church to women religious, are Pope Francis’s vague talk about broader opportunities enough? ....

The short answer is "No!"

- Two views on the recent request by German Bishops that the Vatican let divorced/remarried people partake of the sacraments .... from NCR ... from Damian Thompson. Damian's article contains an interesting factoid about the German church ...

[...] Why the Germans? An article in the December 12 issue of the new Catholic Herald magazine (not online) by Jon Anderson, its specialist in European Catholic politics, helps explain. Mass attendance in Germany has fallen from 22 to 11 per cent since 1989 – and that decline would be sharper if it weren’t for Polish immigrants. How does the church exercise such influence? Answer: it receives £4.6 billion a year from Germany’s church tax. Its charity Caritas employs 560,000 staff – the country’s second largest employer after Volkswagen.

- I'm learning interesting things about Iceland .... Iceland banned strip clubs in 2010—not because they are conservative but because they are ultra-feminist ... they publish more books per capita than any other country. ... and arctic foxes live there :) ....


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