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Pope oversees a dwindling church
Press Europe ^ | September 22nd 2011 | Staff

Posted on 09/22/2011 5:41:12 AM PDT by Cardhu

“The Church dies in Europe,” headlines Tygodnik Powszechny on the occasion of Benedict XVI’s visit to Germany starting September 22.

Statistics published by the German episcopate tell it all: in 2010 over 180,000 Germans left the Church while only 170,000 were baptised. Also, the number of vocations has been dwindling: in 2009, 120 candidates entered the seminary; a year later there were just 79 of them.

Similar trends are observed in countries like Spain or Ireland, once considered Europe’s Catholic vanguard. “Less churchgoers, less vocations, less support for the Christian ethic, less Vatican authority”, writes the Polish Catholic journal, noting that sex abuse scandals have “swept away the Irish Church” and made many people turn their back on the Catholic Church.

“Churches of the Old Continent should get used to the fact that the age of the masses is over and they will not, hand in hand with the rulers, convert and baptise the crowd”, observes priest and theologian Paul M. Zulehner.


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; diplomacy; europe; europeanchristians; europeanunion; romancatholicism; vatican

1 posted on 09/22/2011 5:41:18 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu
Statistics published by the German episcopate tell it all: in 2010 over 180,000 Germans left the Church while only 170,000 were baptised. Also, the number of vocations has been dwindling: in 2009, 120 candidates entered the seminary; a year later there were just 79 of them. Similar trends are observed in countries like Spain or Ireland, once considered Europe’s Catholic vanguard.

Ping for later
The Incredible Shrinking Catholic Church [Kenneth C. Jones, 2003]
The Incredible Shrinking Catholic Church [Paul Gorell, 2009]

2 posted on 09/22/2011 5:54:01 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: Cardhu

The Church is being purified. Are you ready for its new age of evangelization and growth?

;-))))))))))


3 posted on 09/22/2011 6:05:13 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: Alex Murphy
over 180,000 Germans left the Church while only 170,000 were baptised

How out of whack are the 170,000 Catholic baptisms with the birth rate of ethnic Germans? I read that there are only about 600,000 new Germans born every year. The German birth rate is among the lowest in the world and the Christian component of that is lower still. So of 600,000 German births, an increasing number are Muslims. And Christianity in Germany is split about 50/50 between Protestants and Catholics. My point is that I am not sure that 170,000 is a startlingly low number as the article implies.

4 posted on 09/22/2011 6:32:39 AM PDT by Stingray51
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To: Cardhu

Nah, when the you-know-what starts hitting the fan, they all come back...


5 posted on 09/22/2011 6:35:54 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: Stingray51

Excellent point, Sting - you must study statistics!
The mooooslim world is on the march and we ignore, accept it, accede to it at our own/our children’s peril.


6 posted on 09/22/2011 6:39:19 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: Stingray51; Cardhu
How out of whack are the 170,000 Catholic baptisms with the birth rate of ethnic Germans? I read that there are only about 600,000 new Germans born every year.

I would say what's "out of whack" is the measure of moral and religious influence that the Catholic Church has in Germany, compared to the number of adherents reported. 170,000 out of 600,000 is more than one out of four Germans!

"Roman Catholics, the largest U.S. church with a reported 69 million members, start counting baptized infants as members and often don’t remove people until they die. Most membership surveys don’t actually count who’s in the pews on Sunday. To be disenrolled, Catholics must write a bishop to ask that their baptisms be revoked..."
....it is possible, for example, to be born Catholic, married Methodist, die Lutheran and still be listed as a member of the 1 billion-member Roman Catholic Church....
"...The Catholic understanding of membership is that a person becomes a member upon baptism and remains a member for life," Gautier said. "Whether you show up at church or not is not what determines whether you're a member."
-- from the thread When It Comes to Church Membership Numbers, the Devil's in the Details
Related threads:
Sign Me “Off” For the Christian Jubilee: On the Disturbing trend of “De-Baptisms” in Europe
Sign Me “Off” For the Christian Jubilee: On the Disturbing Trend of “De-Baptisms” in Europe [duplicate thread]
‘De-baptism’ trend spreads in Belgium
Austrian Catholic church exits increase to a record high since 1945
Irish service offering defection from Catholic Church is suspended ["no longer possible to defect"]
Why I left the Catholic Church
Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica

7 posted on 09/22/2011 7:03:58 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: Cardhu
It will take a long time to purge the memory of the decades of sexual abuse that plagued the Church and especially that this abuse was knowingly covered up by Church officials.
8 posted on 09/22/2011 7:14:46 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people's money" M. Thatcher)
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To: The Great RJ

RJ, there have been many, many abuses, not just sexual abuse, over the years. There has been injustice, corruption, and many other sins. But the fact that humans sin, and sin horribly, is not a new piece of information. Sin and mistakes don’t negate the truth of Catholic teachings.

If an American does something horribly, horribly wrong, do we conclude that America is a bad nation and we have to leave it? Of course not; we stay and fight the wrong. And so should Catholics stay in the Church and combat what is wrong.


9 posted on 09/22/2011 7:51:16 AM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: Stingray51

From my experience of going to Church in Europe, I think a significant proportion of the 170,000 are not German (probably Polish, Filipino etc).


10 posted on 09/22/2011 8:19:07 AM PDT by AfricanChristian
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To: Alex Murphy
I hate to be the one to burst your celebratory bubble (I actually rather enjoy it), but you quoting yourself in previous threads is hardly authoritative or credible. Selectively chosen news snippets, following the time honored practice of editorial by omission so favored by those who wish to distort the truth, are a red flag to anyone actually desiring to know the truth. Whether practiced by the New York Times front page or Jean Calvin selective use of Scripture, the result is the same....eventually the truth will out.

The decline of religious membership Germany and Europe is not a singular or isolated phenomenon or isolated to the Catholic Church. It is a combination a decline in the Christian population along with an overall cultural decay. The losses in the numbers of Protestants exhibiting an even sharper decline. I find this an entirely sad situation and not a cause to rejoice.

It is not confined to Germany. Across Europe the decline is similar. Since 1969, Anglicans in England have sold over 10% of all of the 1,600 the once possessed. The number increases by 20 to 25 each year.

In Holland, more than 600 places of worship, mostly belonging to Lutherans, Reformed Protestants and other evangelicals, have been closed down in the last decade.

It is bad enough that 500 years ago much of Europe lost its mind. It is tragic to watch it lose its soul.

11 posted on 09/22/2011 9:41:44 AM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world He did not send a book.)
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To: Alex Murphy
Exactly..as we are told here.."once a Catholic always a Catholic"...more to the point though most of those infants will not darken the door of a RC church till 1st communion.. and then not again til they want a church wedding...and then to get their babies baptized..

The churches are empty...

12 posted on 09/22/2011 1:18:56 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
"The churches are empty..."

There is an undeniable emptiness within the psyche of those who have left the Church yet find compelled to spend countless hours each day rationalizing and defending their choice to leave to anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, who will listen. I hope some day you find something to fill that void.

13 posted on 09/22/2011 2:32:10 PM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world He did not send a book.)
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To: RnMomof7

The Catholic Churches may be empty in Germany, but they aren’t here. Our parish church is jammed every Sunday at the 8, 9:30, 11:15, and 1:30 masses, as well as the two Saturday masses and the two weekday masses. I can hardly find a place to stand on Sunday mornings. When I joined the Church a year and a half ago, I went with my fellow converts to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, and was astonished at the thousands of people from all over the DC area who were flooding in as new Catholics. They couldn’t all fit into that enormous cathedral at one time and had to be taken in two separate sessions. There are hundreds of thousands of new American Catholic converts each year, many coming in from the mainstream Protestant faiths, like the Episcopal Church.


14 posted on 09/22/2011 2:42:59 PM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: ottbmare
"The Catholic Churches may be empty in Germany, but they aren’t here."

Mine is packed too. I do sppose that there are many parishes netionwide that are losing members, but I suspect that has more to do with the erosion of local economies and migration to warmer climates than with a decline in practicing Catholics.

15 posted on 09/22/2011 3:56:01 PM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world He did not send a book.)
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To: Cardhu

Pope oversees a more faithful Church.


16 posted on 09/22/2011 4:14:33 PM PDT by Mat_Helm
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To: Cardhu

Oh, so your group is overjoyed? Well, the Mormons are also decreasing.


17 posted on 09/23/2011 3:16:25 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: ottbmare; Natural Law

I went for mass in May in Augsburg in Southern Germany at the Cathedral there. While not full, it was definitely not empty. The parishes here in Warsaw, Poland (and there is one every few minutes) are overflowing for daily masses, leave alone Sunday masses


18 posted on 09/23/2011 3:18:31 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: ottbmare; Natural Law

Besides, it is quite strange that Calvinists will jump to support a Mormon posting distorted news against The Church. They stick together because their faith system is just “we ain’t Catholic”, nothing about Jesus Christ in that for them.


19 posted on 09/23/2011 3:19:41 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: Cardhu

yeah, so rich Germans are leaving the church. But that doesn’t mean the church is “dwindling”...it means that the writer is racist and doesn’t consider African or Asian or South Americans who belong to the Catholic church as Christians.


20 posted on 09/23/2011 9:44:37 PM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: Cardhu

And mu church is busing out all over and we are building a new church.

I wonder about the sources of some of these facts.


21 posted on 09/23/2011 10:09:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Alex Murphy

There is no such thing as a de-baptism — in any church. Once a person is baptized, God knows they are baptized, and that fact does not change.


22 posted on 09/23/2011 10:11:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: The Great RJ

Actually it won’t take long at all when it happens. In three days, people will all be heading for the Catholic Church. But certain things have to happen first.


23 posted on 09/23/2011 10:12:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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