Skip to comments.Holy Impatience
Posted on 12/03/2012 8:00:41 AM PST by marshmallow
Some years before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger was asked what he thought about the health of the Church. He answered that she was doing very well; she was just a lot smaller than most people thought. He was exactly right. We need to think of the Church in our age as a seed of life embedded in layers of dead tissue. We also need to distinguish the Church in the emerging world from the Church in developed nations.
In the emerging world, the Church has few material resources. She rarely has adequate money for education, development, or ministry. She faces well-financed and aggressive Islamic growth, and cults and competing religious groups of every sort. And she suffers various forms of state harassment and persecution in China, North Korea, Vietnam, across the Islamic world, and even in India.
The situation in developed nations is more ambiguous. In some places the Church has ample resources. She supports a wide variety of important educational institutions and service ministries. She often has an effective public voice.
But Catholic and other Christian influence on daily life in the developed world is rapidly diminishing. In western Europe, the number of Catholics who attend Mass is very low, and the number of people who identify as Catholic is declining. While American religious belief and practice remain high by European standards, these facts are changing. Roughly seventy-five million Americans claim to be Catholic, but less than a quarter of them attend Mass on most Sundays. Some 69 percent of American Catholic adults say they would not encourage someone to become a priest or religious sister. The implications of that one piece of data for the sacramental and apostolic life of the Church in the United States are enormous.
How did this happen? I can only speak..........
(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...
Once the Depression and WWII ended, prosperity began to be common in the USA. The nuns and priests who went into the religious life (many of them to escape poverty) no longer had a reason to stay. They left in droves. Personally, I’m relieved that some of them did because they had no religious vocation and were not always good examples to Catholic children. And I emphasize “some.” Of course, there were always good priests and nuns.
Sorry, Archbishop. You lost this Patriot right here “economic and immigration justice.” I’m sick of it and vote with my feet, my time and my money.
There can only be one answer to the question about how the church is doing and it relates to her very mission in the world which is to evangelize - to witness to Christ so that they may accept Christ as their redeemer and enter into a relationship with him.
Let’s look at the numbers: How many are being baptized each year (not including babies born to Catholic or Christian families)? That’s the answer to the question about “how we’re doing as a Church.”