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Number of U.S. Catholics, deacons up; priests, religious down
Catholic News.com ^ | 7-16-04 | Jerry Filteau

Posted on 07/20/2004 9:08:41 AM PDT by Salvation

 CNS Story:


KENEDY Jul-16-2004 (870 words)

Number of U.S. Catholics, deacons up; priests, religious down

By Jerry Filteau
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- New figures show the U.S. Catholic population continues to grow. The number of deacons serving them is on the rise, but the numbers of priests and religious brothers and sisters are down. The long-term slide in church marriages continues.

The 2004 edition of the Official Catholic Directory showed some drop in the number of U.S. Catholic colleges, high schools and elementary schools and in the number of students attending them, but slight increases in the number of elementary and high school youths served by parish-based religious education programs.

A Catholic News Service analysis of diocesan clergy figures showed nearly three out of every 10 diocesan priests in the country are now classified as retired, sick or on leave.

Known in church circles as the Kenedy Directory for its publisher's imprint, the 2,300-page directory is an annual publication that provides detailed information about diocesan offices and Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, religious houses and personnel in each U.S. diocese. It has statistical data on church life ranging from the number of baptisms and first Communions in the past year to the number of parishes, schools and hospitals and the number of patients treated in Catholic health facilities.

The directory is published from offices in New Providence, N.J.

The U.S. Catholic population at the start of 2004, according to the directory, was 67,259,768 -- an increase of some 850,000 over the 66,407,702 reported in 2003. Catholics continue to make up 23 percent of the total U.S. population.

The directory's national figures include data from Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, and U.S. territories overseas such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

The number of priests declined slightly from 44,487 last year to 44,212 this year. Of these, 14,729 were members of religious orders and 29,483 were diocesan.

The directory reported an increase in the number of permanent deacons, from 14,106 last year to 14,693 this year.

The number of religious brothers was 5,504, or 64 fewer than last year. Religious sisters numbered 71,468, a decline of 3,212 from last year.

The directory reported that there were 544 new ordinations to the priesthood in the past year -- up from 449 the previous year -- but the new figure was inflated by an erroneous recording of 61 ordinations in the Diocese of Lake Charles, La. That is the total number of diocesan priests there, and just this June Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Lake Charles wrote a pastoral letter on the impact of the vocations shortage, saying the diocese has not ordained a new priest in the past two years.

The directory listed 19,431 parishes, down 53 from last year, and 2,910 missions, down 78 from last year. Missions usually offer limited services and are typically served by a priest of a neighboring parish.

The nation's 583 Catholic hospitals served nearly 84 million patients last year and 376 other Catholic health care centers served nearly 4.3 million patients. Nearly 21.3 million people were served by the nation's 2,969 Catholic social service centers.

In Catholic education:

-- The 232 colleges and universities enrolled 747,060 students, down about 2,500 from the previous year.

-- The 787 diocesan and parish high schools and 560 private high schools had a total of 680,323 students, down about 6,300 from the year before. There were 37 fewer diocesan and parish high schools than the year before, but eight more private schools.

-- Enrollment declines were sharper in elementary schools. There were 6,488 diocesan and parish grade schools, down 285 from the previous year, and they served 1,796,275 students -- a drop of almost 77,000 from the year before. Private grade schools dropped from 369 to 365 and 95,742 students, about 2,800 fewer than the previous year.

The number of students in religious education rose. At the high school level there were 771,730, about 4,000 more than the previous year. At the elementary level there were 3,612,510, almost 30,000 more than the year before.

Despite the overall 3.2 percent enrollment decline in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the number of Catholic school teachers rose 5.2 percent. The 2003 directory reported 171,814 teachers but the 2004 figure was 180,881, an increase of more than 9,000.

Lay teachers, who number nearly 170,000, or 91 percent of the teaching force, accounted for more than 8,000 of the additional teachers reported in the 2004 directory.

Surprisingly, however, the numbers of teaching priests, brothers, sisters and scholastics -- Jesuits in training -- all increased in the 2004 report. In all four of those categories the numbers have been generally in decline for at least three decades.

There were 196 more priests in teaching (from 1,596 to 1,792), 174 more brothers (from 1,021 to1,195), 482 more sisters (from 7,389 to 7,871) and 24 more scholastics (from 33 to 57).

During 1993 there were 985,141 infant baptisms, down about 20,000; 896,670 first Communions, down about 1,000; 645,426 confirmations, up about 8,000; and 232,060 marriages, down almost 10,000.

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For your information and discusssion.
1 posted on 07/20/2004 9:08:43 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
**The U.S. Catholic population at the start of 2004, according to the directory, was 67,259,768 -- an increase of some 850,000 over the 66,407,702 reported in 2003. Catholics continue to make up 23 percent of the total U.S. population.**

Nearly one-fourth! No wonder the Bush administration is courting the Catholic vote!

2 posted on 07/20/2004 9:12:50 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 07/20/2004 9:14:01 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

4 posted on 07/20/2004 9:16:30 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sorry about the double ping!


5 posted on 07/20/2004 9:21:09 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
We currently have 2 high schoolers in our parish that are considering vocations.

How was your trip to Dallas?

6 posted on 07/20/2004 9:30:31 AM PDT by al_c
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To: Salvation
The directory reported an increase in the number of permanent deacons, from 14,106 last year to 14,693 this year.

That's up 587 over 2003. And that's net, since some deacons retire or die. Dioceses have three year programs, so not every diocese ordains deacons every year.

7 posted on 07/20/2004 9:30:32 AM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: Salvation
Nearly one-fourth! No wonder the Bush administration is courting the Catholic vote!

Do you consider this a good or bad thing?

Becky

8 posted on 07/20/2004 9:57:44 AM PDT by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: Salvation

Ordinations up about 7% in one year. And yes, that's after I removed the 61 Lake-Charles priests from the tally. Still, at this rate each priest would have to serve 100 years to maintain the current size of the Catholic priesthood (40,000), but given what has happened in the Church lately, I think it suggests that the call has gone out for the Calvary.

I was going to correct myself and write "Cavalry," but I decided the typo was more correct.


9 posted on 07/20/2004 10:40:52 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Salvation
Of interest. "Despite the overall 3.2 percent enrollment decline in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the number of Catholic school teachers rose 5.2 percent. "

I wonder if the same reverse math is available for the priesthood. Priests are down but is the number of Bishops up? " Maybe too much administratin goin on out thar?"

10 posted on 07/20/2004 11:00:51 AM PDT by ex-snook (Trade deficits export jobs and the money used to buy America and all we get is a cheap T-shirt.)
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To: Salvation

Actually, voting Catholics should be courting Bush. He is more in line with Catholic teaching than our "Catholic" senators and congressmen.


11 posted on 07/20/2004 11:23:14 AM PDT by pieces of time
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To: pieces of time

**voting Catholics should be courting Bush. He is more in line with Catholic teaching than our "Catholic" senators and congressmen.**

Very well said!


12 posted on 07/20/2004 11:55:32 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain

While it is sad that the Catholics who vote do not always vote along the conservative lines that you and I would have them vote -- I do consider this a wake up call and a good thing that Bush is courting the Catholic vote.


13 posted on 07/20/2004 11:56:47 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
The $64,000 question is this: where are they getting these numbers? Are they counting real, actual people in the pews (from the Status Anuarium of each parish/diocese), or are they counting every hand raised when asked the question: "would you identify yourself as a Catholic". I was in the market research field for a few years and well know that statistics - even if honest - can be skewed.
Secondly: are they counting all the illegal aliens from Central & South America who are overwhelmingly Catholic? In NYC the number of legal US citizens who are church going Catholics is frighteningly small, compared with the vast numbers of the illegals from south of the border
It goes without saying that most of these people contribute little to the church in $$$, and certainly nothing in vocations as they have no long term commitment to this country.
American citizens who are Catholic are contracepting, aborting, and sodomizing themselves to death in the sense that they now have a low birthrate. The ongoing nonsense in the church inspires most of them to stay home on Sunday, not contribute....much less do the young in any serious number want to commit their lives to the church as priests of religious.
14 posted on 07/20/2004 1:33:12 PM PDT by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux!)
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To: thor76

Time to quote Mark Twain:

"There are three kinds of lies; lies, damn lies, and statistics."


15 posted on 07/20/2004 2:12:43 PM PDT by RonF
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To: Salvation

Actually, CHURCH-going Catholics vote 68% Republican, according to Gallup/USA Today. The same percentage as church-going fundamentalists, IIRC.


16 posted on 07/20/2004 2:49:28 PM PDT by dangus
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To: thor76

>>The $64,000 question is this: where are they getting these numbers<<

Parish registration, for certain. Doesn't mean they go to church every week, but does mean they probably at least go for Christmas and Easter.

>> Secondly: are they counting all the illegal aliens from Central & South America who are overwhelmingly Catholic? <<

Not sure, but possibly. Certainly, immigration is fueling the growth in the numbers of Catholics. Most of the largest sources of immigrants certainly are nominally Catholic nations (Mexico, etc.), but some are very irreligious (Mexico, Central America, etc.) while others are very devout (the Philippines).

I have a friend just back from Honduras who reports that no-one in Tegulcipada was even familiar with the concept of a marriage, so I imagine immigrants from such places don't remain identified as Catholics very long.

In eastern Somerville, MA, the population is at least 70% Hispanic and Brazilian; but the Catholic Church is devoid of any worshippers. The only Christian influences are a few store-front Pentecostalist churches.

On Long Island, most of the Hispanic population is Puerto Rican; they tend to at least maintain ties to Church.

From what I hear, LA Chicanos are mostly Marxist with only peripheral cultural ties to the Catholic Church, while in Texas, although the churches themselves are polluted by a dominant liberation theology, the Tex-Mexes are still more faithful. (These would seem to be the Bush Hispanics?)

In my present parish, attendance is very poor, considering the large number of Hispanics. (The area is 50% Hispanic, and only 20% of Anglos are Catholic, yet the Spanish mass has room to sit, and the four English masses are SRO.) The response is of course to condescend, so the Spanish masses are a three-ring circus.

>> American citizens who are Catholic are contracepting, aborting, and sodomizing themselves to death in the sense that they now have a low birthrate. The ongoing nonsense in the church inspires most of them to stay home on Sunday, not contribute....much less do the young in any serious number want to commit their lives to the church as priests of religious.<<

That definitely aptly describes Boston, but not red-state Catholics.


17 posted on 07/20/2004 3:02:17 PM PDT by dangus
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To: RonF

Mark Twain was, of course, referring to what we now call "spinning." I don't detect any agenda or spinning in this article. Do you see anything that sounds deceitful, or are you just coming along to piss on everyone and everything?


18 posted on 07/20/2004 3:04:19 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Salvation
In other words, there goes the neighborhood.

This is a depressing piece, very depressing, because what it means is that the Traditional Catholics are a tiny minority, overshadowed by the cafeteria Catholic bishops, joined at the hip deacons, and their minions.

No thanks.

19 posted on 07/20/2004 3:09:59 PM PDT by AlbionGirl ("The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.")
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To: dangus

Parish registration, for certain. Doesn't mean they go to church every week, but does mean they probably at least go for Christmas and Easter.
I agree with much of your assessment, Though, from personal experience, many pastors will inflate the figures to make themselves look better to their chancery offices.
Assuming they are telling the truth, the white & black Catholic polulation is decreasing in proportion due to the vast growth off illegal Hispanic Catholics here. But - you are very correct to say that not all of them go to mass. Many are hardly devout, in any real sense of the word. Through Marxist influence in their homelands, they are "baptize, marry, and bury" Catholics - if that!
Many Catholic immigrants - from all countries - come here for freedom FROM religion. They are only cultural catholics back home, and are just here for the $$$. Filipinos are notable excpetions, as a group.
Traditionalism among recent immigrants is squashed by apostate priests, who purposely make Spanish masses into "alleluia ministry" with the maximum amoutn of noise, screaming, gross disrespect, etc. If you query these priests, they will tell you that "this is what the people like/expect". Well, of course - when that is the only menu offered to them!!!
Whatever genuine, orthodox, real Catholicism may exist in the hearts of recent immigrants, is being weaned away from them. So that they will fall away from the faith, and their children will follow suit. Voting? Well, that is obvious: do just what HolaMTV tells you to do!!!


20 posted on 07/20/2004 3:34:52 PM PDT by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux!)
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To: AlbionGirl

"This is a depressing piece, very depressing, because what it means is that the Traditional Catholics are a tiny minority, overshadowed by the cafeteria Catholic bishops, joined at the hip deacons, and their minions."

Where do you get that from? Most young priests I know are very conservative compared to the Baby Boom priests of the Viet-Nam draft-dodger era.

Priests who went to seminaries in the 1950s and 1960s are the liberals. Priests since then fall squarely in two categories: Poofters and conservatives. It seems like it's conservatives whose numbers are growing, however.


21 posted on 07/20/2004 3:36:34 PM PDT by dangus
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To: AlbionGirl
In other words, there goes the neighborhood.

Only in the minds of a Raddie-Traddie would the increased membership in the Church be greeted as something negative.

22 posted on 07/20/2004 4:06:42 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: thor76
Traditionalism among recent immigrants is squashed by apostate priests, who purposely make Spanish masses into "alleluia ministry" with the maximum amoutn of noise, screaming, gross disrespect, etc.

Where do you get the idea that "traditionalism" (at least the kind that is expressed on this forum) is widespread in Latin American countries?

It's practically non-existent.

23 posted on 07/20/2004 4:09:13 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: dangus
I hope you're right, but I don't see that. What I took from this piece is that U.S. Catholic population in on the rise, deacons are on the rise, but vocations are not. I wouldn't mind if there were no such creatures as deacons at all, but I realize that's a pipe dream, so I'll leave it alone.

I believe your stat about younger Priests leaning more to the Conservative side, but I don't think the Catholic population is following suit. As I see it, current Catholics want a Catholicism that is easy, that is in line with what is accepted by secular society at large.

They want to be able to practice birth control, they want to be able to be divorced, and they secretly want abortion to stay legal should they find themselves in a jam. They'll worry about the jam, murder, God and damnation later, they still want the convenient out that is abortion. They won't admit it because they know its wrong, but society's embrace of it assuages their guilt and attenuates their bond to the Catholic proscription against it. Once gay unions become an accepted fact look for a replay.

The Catholic Church may yet turn itself around and remain true to its Cathechism, but that turnaround is a long, long way off, and if it is to be accomplished a fumigation and much extirpation is in order.

24 posted on 07/20/2004 4:19:16 PM PDT by AlbionGirl ("The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.")
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To: thor76

I know that when our parish is contacted we use the list of registered members. We update constantly and purge the roles of the people who have moved so we have a pretty accurate system. They don't all attend Mass every week and we have a lot who aren't registered in the parish but attend Mass regularly.


25 posted on 07/20/2004 4:22:37 PM PDT by tiki
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To: AlbionGirl
What I took from this piece is that U.S. Catholic population in on the rise, deacons are on the rise, but vocations are not.

The diaconate is a vocation to Holy Orders. Perhaps you're not up on the theology of Ordained Ministries.

26 posted on 07/20/2004 4:27:55 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: dangus; Maximilian; Polycarp IV; sinkspur

500 ordinations times 40 years is a rough number for predicting the future number of Priests at plateau if trends continue (the 40 years accounts for defections). That would be 20,000. However, there is reason to hope that the number will rise somewhat with no other actions taken. Current priests are being drawn from the "birth dearth"/"baby bust" population of 1972-1978. The low Catholc birth rate continued another ten years to 1988, then it rose about 10-15% over the next 15 years to the present.

I would predict a future steady-state rate of about 25,000 barring other actions.

Other noteworthy musings - the number of marriages is equivalent to about 52% of the number of Catholics born 25 years previously. Since 30% of those married in the Church are not Catholics, 85% of the 52% are Catholics, so 44% of Catholics roughly are getting married in the Church. This bears up fairly well against very long term American trends that have seen defections of about 1/6 of children baptized not receiving first communion and 1/3 of children baptized by not receiving confirmation - projecting the rates of defection out as an annual trend, you would only expect about 50% would come to marry in the Church.

On the bright side, the number of Baptisms versus marriages over the long term continues to rise. This is the first year since 1962 that there have been more than 4 baptisms for every Catholic marriage, 4.08 to be precise (the peak of the baby boom in 1958 saw 4.27 baptisms for each marriage). The cumulative 15 year average of Catholic Baptism versus Marriages is now 3.52, the highest number since 1971 (which was calculated based on the 1957-1971 cumulative totals). The previous peak of that number was 3.84 in 1966 and 1967. If present trends continue, that will be matched in 3 years.


27 posted on 07/20/2004 6:19:04 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: thor76; dangus
Secondly: are they counting all the illegal aliens from Central & South America who are overwhelmingly Catholic? In NYC the number of legal US citizens who are church going Catholics is frighteningly small, compared with the vast numbers of the illegals from south of the border

Just 37% of Hispanics are registered Catholics (thus, about 14 million of them, or about 20% of all Catholics). Your perceptions are not congruent with reality.

Without registration, no baptisms or Church weddings or first communions or funerals, so the number is pretty accurate.

The number of registered Catholics in parishes in Hispanic neighborhoods in major cities bears out this assesment.

28 posted on 07/20/2004 6:23:23 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Your perceptions are not congruent with reality.
Oh really? Well, as any mass-goer in the NYC area can tell you, I am quite correct. The white catholic is a vanishing species - either he moved to the "burbs", or is staying home! Very few modernist priests actually care or bother to check if the applicant for baptism, marriage, funerals, etc. are actually registered parishioners. All the care about is the stipend! The Hispanics are the majority of pew sitters here. Now, perhaps you are quite correct that even though they come from "Catholic" countries, there are a lot of Hispanics who are not practicing Catholics here in the USA.
Perhaps one should consider the reality that many illegal aliens will not officially "register" with a local parish - or anything else - because they don't want to be deported!!!
I can think of quite a few parishes where the English masses (3 of them) get perhaps 100 people a piece, and the Spanish mass gets 300. We also have many parishes where the total Sunday mass attendance is 1500 or better, and virtually all of those are a) Hispanic, and b) most are illegal aliens.
If I were an illegal alien - working off the books for cash, why would I register with the parish for an annual tax deduction statement of my contributions........when I don't pay taxes in the first place???
29 posted on 07/20/2004 7:19:43 PM PDT by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux!)
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To: thor76

I was a Mass-goer in NYC for 5 years 1996-2001. The Churches I went to in Manhattan and Brooklyn had your typical white American Catholics. And the Priests I dealt with wouldn't allow you to receive Sacraments without proper paperwork.


30 posted on 07/20/2004 8:12:33 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: RonF

And then, you can always construe the statistics to mean what you want them to mean.


31 posted on 07/20/2004 11:08:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: thor76; dangus

**I agree with much of your assessment, Though, from personal experience, many pastors will inflate the figures to make themselves look better to their chancery offices.**

Why would they inflate these numbers when they have to pay stewardship on them?


32 posted on 07/20/2004 11:12:09 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: dangus

**It seems like it's conservatives whose numbers are growing, however.**

Agree with you here.


33 posted on 07/20/2004 11:14:08 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: AlbionGirl

I'm wondering if you are aware of the three levels of Holy Orders:
Diaconate
Priesthood
Episcopacy

Deacons are ordained right along with priests and bishops. Why are you so negative about them?


34 posted on 07/20/2004 11:16:57 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Why would they inflate these numbers when they have to pay stewardship on them?

Because they pay a "tax" to the diocese based upon the goss annual receipts of the parish, not based upon the number of active, enumerated parishioners! My friend - son't you get it yet: the priests LIE!!!!!


35 posted on 07/20/2004 11:59:38 PM PDT by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux!)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker

Perhaps you were lucky, and you had a good parish priest. Thank God for that! But for the most part they LIE about money and attendance! Would somebody please tell me why people believe that statistics provided by (largely) apostate priests would be in any manner true? Perhaps the parish you were in was one of the rare, properly administered ones. If so - good! BUT my story is true in most of the neighborhoods in which white people in NYC fear to tread - which is most of them!
And sir - I have been to many, many parishes there of a Sunday morning!!!


36 posted on 07/21/2004 12:08:09 AM PDT by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux!)
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To: thor76

You know, there are few neighborhoods in NYC I would not venture into. Most of those, like Bedford-Stuyvesant, have very, vey, very, few Catholics.


37 posted on 07/21/2004 5:32:56 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: AlbionGirl

What I took from the piece is that the number of nominal Catholics is on the rise, but given the decreasing trend in Catholic marriages and Catholic-school students and vocations, the number of practicing Catholics is on the decline. At the same time, there is a trend reversal in vocations, and sharp increased in measures of lay participation; Given the scandals of the past couple years, this is remarkable.

The Church seems to be following Ratzinger's prediction: leaner and stronger.


38 posted on 07/21/2004 6:45:41 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Hermann the Cherusker

Thanks for the stats on Hispanics. It confirms my observations: that a small portion of Hispanics are practicing Catholics. That said, I do think there are strong regional variations.


39 posted on 07/21/2004 6:47:25 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Hermann the Cherusker

Thanks for the stats on Hispanics. It confirms my observations: that a small portion of Hispanics are practicing Catholics. That said, I do think there are strong regional variations.


40 posted on 07/21/2004 6:47:28 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Salvation

>>Why would they inflate these numbers when they have to pay stewardship on them?<<

Not only that, but the Bishops have a good sense of how many communicants there are, and solid figures on the number of confirmations, first communions, marriages, and baptisms there are.

If you have a 300-seat church which is 50% filled over 6 masses, that's about 900 communicants. If you have 2,000 registered Catholics in your parish, your bishop will think you are doing quite well. If you have 6,000 registered Catholics in your parish, your bishop will wonder what the hell is wrong with your services that you drive everyone away.

Of course, that would only apply if the bishops gave a damn.

(All language is deliberate.)


41 posted on 07/21/2004 6:52:29 AM PDT by dangus
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To: thor76

"BUT my story is true in most of the neighborhoods in which white people in NYC fear to tread - which is most of them! "

Well, I think you just explained your own observations. Please do not think NYC is typical of America. By the way, people at this sight are well aware I have a very inhospitable attitude towards illegal aliens. I slam Bush regularly for selling America down the Rio, and trying to outflank the Democrats to the left on all language and immigratiuon issues. But I've moved from city to city (NY, Philly, Boston, DC) several times, and each time I do that, I plot out with pushpins on a street map the location of every violent crime. Hispanic neighborhoods are almost always quite safe.


42 posted on 07/21/2004 7:00:08 AM PDT by dangus
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To: thor76

>> Because they pay a "tax" to the diocese based upon the goss annual receipts of the parish, not based upon the number of active, enumerated parishioners! My friend - son't you get it yet: the priests LIE!!!!!<<

Thor, that is quite misleading at least in the dioceses of Boston, Rockville Center, Arlington and Washington. Most of what a parish pays to the diocese is partial renumeration for loans and expenses the diocese has approved for the parish (i.e., construction costs, etc.) These are not taxes, but are moneys the parishes owe the diocese. The parishes are legally obligated to pay their lenders, which happen to be the dioceses. The only way these moneys are not paid back are becuase the diocese will occasionally forgive loans to struggling parishes. Parishes that are closed are often parishes which dioceses are frequently loaning to and then forgiving the loans of.

The operation of the diocese is funded through annual and quarterly Bishop's appeals. While most dioceses try to come up with a formula for meeting targets to ensure fairness, these are merely targets. I'm sure meeting loan targets helps a bishop notice that a parish is being run well fiscally, and pastors are certainly pressured to meet their goals, but the parish does not "owe" the diocese the appeals.

The goals set by the appeals do certainly keep in mind how much the bishop expects the parish is capable of raising, and I can certainly imagine that a parish which is well in the black will have a higher target set than one which is far in the red; the dioceses often have a sense of income redistribution. But to descrobe it as a "percentage take" would imply that a parish keeping up with massive costs (flooding? roof replacement? exceptional ministries?) would be expected to pay more than one with fewer costs. The truth is usually the exact opposite.


43 posted on 07/21/2004 7:18:17 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

sight=site. Seriesly!


44 posted on 07/21/2004 7:19:46 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

I was responding to thor76's skepticism in the immediately previous post about what the assumptions and methodologies were behind the statistics reported in this article by pointing out that such skepticism about that kind of thing is a long-standing issue.


45 posted on 07/21/2004 7:29:25 AM PDT by RonF
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To: RonF
Poll: Protestant majority in U.S. eroding

This MSNBC article seems to support the number of Catholics mentioned here.

46 posted on 07/21/2004 7:37:03 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: dangus

**Of course, that would only apply if the bishops gave a [-----].**

And maybe some bishops do really care and do tell the truth. Can we really put them into one general category such as "non-caring" here?


47 posted on 07/21/2004 7:39:54 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: RonF

>>I was responding to thor76's skepticism in the immediately previous post about what the assumptions and methodologies were behind the statistics reported in this article by pointing out that such skepticism about that kind of thing is a long-standing issue.<<

It read as if you were validating his skepticism.


48 posted on 07/21/2004 7:41:20 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

There are very strong regional variations in Hispanic participation.


49 posted on 07/21/2004 7:42:09 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: dangus

The largest part of Catholic growth is natural increase and native converts. 1 million Baptisms plus 175,000 converts minus about 450+ thousand deaths is about 700,000 new Catholics every year. Immigration provides only around 200 thousand new Catholics.


50 posted on 07/21/2004 7:44:38 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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