Skip to comments.Ireland’s Growing Evangelical Churches Shift Congregation from Catholic Majority
Posted on 06/25/2005 1:14:46 AM PDT by Destro
Irelands Growing Evangelical Churches Shift Congregation from Catholic Majority
Posted: Friday, June 24 , 2005, 17:28 (UK)
A report released by the Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI) recently showed that increasing numbers of Irish people are converting to evangelical Christianity. With an estimated weekly total congregation in evangelical churches rising by 13,000 members each week in the Dublin area alone, the Catholic majority in Ireland is shifting and forming a new religious face.
Greater Europe Mission (GEM), a devoted mission agency which supports church planting throughout Ireland, told the Mission News Network (MNN) about the trend.
Twenty-five years ago there were only 40 evangelical churches in the Dublin region, with an average of 20 to 30 members. Now 130 churches have been identified with an average membership of 100.
Phil Kingsley of GEM has worked in Ireland for 23 years, and he said, "There's just a radical explosion in comparison in the number of new churches and the number of new church groups."
He added that most of these members are coming from the Catholic Church: "There have been a lot of disappointments in the Catholic Church over the last few years. Things have come out in the media that have shaken basic assumptions that people have had and people are not ready to give up on God and ready to give up on spirituality, but they're coming back and saying, 'Is there another option?'"
In Ireland, 4.2 million among the 5.6 million-strong total population are Catholics. Father Kevin Doran, Director of vocations of the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin said to Reuters in an interview last month, the Church was shaken to its foundations by a string of scandals involving the sexual abuse of children by priests.
The Catholic Church also faces a shortage of local priests. Therefore, a lot of priests from Eastern Europe have come to Ireland to minister and revive the country.
In fact, evangelicals still number less than one-percent of the population of Ireland, according to Kingsley. However, he has expressed a great hope and excitement of the quality of its make up.
"One of the exciting things for us, from our standpoint, is to see local Irish Christians - they themselves are stepping up and saying, 'God is calling us to be the (in) in the forefront of spreading the message of Jesus, the message of hope and life across this nation.'"
GEM desires to see a self-supporting Evangelical Church throughout Ireland. Kingsley said to MNN, "Really the whole focus of our mission is to work toward seeing an authentic example of the body of Christ - a witnessing, evangelical fellowship within geographical and we say 'cultural' reach of every man, woman and child in Ireland."
Other sources quoted comments from the Evangelical Alliance Ireland, "While the Evangelical Church does indeed have certain doctrinal variations to the Catholic Church, they were very close on moral issues, and it believes that there are many different areas on which the two could work together."
2. To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.
8. By no means may you presume to confess venial sins, nor even all mortal sins, because it is impossible that you know all mortal sins. Hence in the primitive Church only manifest mortal sins were confessed.
14. No one ought to answer a priest that he is contrite, nor should the priest inquire.
24. Christians must be taught to cherish excommunications rather than to fear them.
31. In every good work the just man sins.
32. A good work done very well is a venial sin.
34. To go to war against the Turks is to resist God who punishes our iniquities through them.
Only one I see talking about the Medici is you. I was talking about Christ's one holy catholic and apostolic Church, "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing" (Eph. 5:27).
Fortunately, I suspect most Irishmen will remember the centuries long Protestant oppression of the Irish and they will pay as much heed to these evangelical interlopers as they did to Cromwell. And they will remember that, beginning with the great St. Patrick, the Catholic Church has always stood by their side.
The Irish have been showing what they think of Christ for centuries. Patrick completely transformed Irish society, and he has been followed by a long and unbroken line of saints.
You said it is people who divided into Catholic and Protestant.
Precisely. There is one true Church. Unfortunately, some people decided to split off from it and start their own. Thus, we have Protestants, who begat Evangelicals.
I do fear my fellow Christians. They are leading people away from the Church, with appeals to pride. I am sure Christ and St. Paul are indeed quite displeased with Catholics being led astray.
"You full well know that most of these are only cultural Catholics who probably wouldn't be saved according to Catholics if they continued their current path. Really your little outburst is about power and politics."
Cultural Catholics are much more likely to return to the Faith than people who actively leave it.
Evangelicals should stay home and do some research on their religious beliefs. Use reason, not emotion.
Prayers that the Catholics will keep their faith and eventually come back to the true church (with the four marks of one, holy, catholic and apostolic.)
"...the primary theological loyalty of so many Catholics we knew and/or were is not to the Triune God, but to some substitute object of devotion..."
Catholics recognize that Christ came with a human family and started a Church that continues to teach what He did for us. Mary, Joseph, the apostles, the saints, the Doctors of the Church: All of these people carried on the Faith. By reading St. Paul or St. Augustine, most of us learn much more than we could on our own. By asking them to intercede for us, we are, certainly, asking for their help. But we also pray to God directly, and do so most efficaciously at Mass or in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
"...the sexless suffering mother goodies...nags her infants to 'be good'..."
We can hope many people have attained Heaven by heeding her words. Mary has brought many people to her Son. I am sorry to read that you think she is a goddess.
"...discovering that salvation was a gift, the start of life, rather than its terrifyingly improbable goal, reserved for the deserving, has made permanent protestants out of many cradle catholics..."
It is so much nicer to think that we are destined for Heaven than to think we may actually have to earn it. But I am not sure what reason there is to believe that outside of reasoning backwards from the conclusion. In your own life, do good things come no matter what you do? Are you rewarded for not doing what you are told? If God said, for instance, to follow the 10 Commandments, why wouldn't there be a problem for those who choose to do otherwise?</p>
To me Protestants and Catholics are like Captain Kirk after the transporter beam split them up into different personalities. The Orthodox Church preserves the traditions and attitudes found splintered into Western sects (more or less of course).
There was a heresy in the early history of the church and the ecumenical councils found it a heresy to consider a priest who sinned as making the sacrements invalid.
I'll take the popes you mentioned, since they did not require me to accept any new or to deny any old articles of faith.
Poor Luther, tormented and constipated, stumbled out of the Church he wanted to change. How much was pride, how much bad theology? What a sad story. Try to learn from it, not imitate it.