We have our work cut out for us

Dismal picture from the UK in an article at the Catholic Herald:

Here are some not so fun facts about Catholicism in contemporary Britain: 1) Two out of every five cradle Catholics now no longer identify as Catholic; 2) A Catholic upbringing is a stronger predictor of having “no religion” in adulthood than it is of being a once-a-month-or-more church-goer; and 3) For every one convert the Church attracts, 10 Catholic children grow up to regard themselves as non-Catholic adults. These are hard facts, in both senses of the phrase.

The numbers come from the respected British Social Attitudes survey. Since 1983, the BSA has been a crucial resource for policymakers and social scientists. Each year around 3,000 adults are interviewed on a wide range of topics, including a number of items relating to religious identity, belief and practice. Pooling several years’ worth of data yields a sizable number of Catholic respondents (in this case, nearly 2,500 cradle Catholics from 2007 to 2011).

Such statistics provide a stark illustration of what St John Paul II began pointing out a quarter of a century ago, in his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio: “Entire groups of the baptised have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church.”

 

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6 Responses to We have our work cut out for us

  1. John Walter S. says:

    It’s the culture. The Cultural Marxists have already won, and the effects are felt 40-50 years after. It won’t be long, before we have a Communist-style sort of misery and corruption in the West which we thought could only be found in North Korea or Cambodia.

    Apologist Frank Sheed had this to say:

    “…Most of us have Catholic wills, but not many of us have Catholic intellects. When we look at the Universe, we see pretty well what others see, plus certain extra features taught us by our religion. For the most part, the same influences that form other people’s minds, form ours- the same habits of thought, inclinations, bodily senses, indolences, worked upon by the same newspapers, periodicals, best-sellers, film, radio programs. So that we have not so much Catholic minds as worldly minds with Catholic patches. Intellectually, we wear our Catholicism like a badge on the lapel of the same kind of suit that everyone else is wearing.”

    • EPMS says:

      “Communism”? Are you an ageing Baby Boomer? The very fact that you had to scrounge for an example of a present-day Communist state is evidence of the fact that this is yesterday’s bugbear. Misery and corruption, on the other hand, can be found everywhere, justified by persons representing the gamut of political ideologies.

      • John Walter S. says:

        Good heavens, I’d rather be dead than be caught praising Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher as if they were the Messiah.

        I’m not implying that there was a sort of Golden Age where there was no poverty and misery whatsoever in the West. They’ll always be there. What we have now are people repeating the cycle started by the same sort of people with promises of that absurd hope of totally eliminating poverty and misery by allowing more “freedoms” and more “rights” that come not from God but from Man and his creations in a heaven-on-earth utopia where nice rousing rhetoric, outrage, slogans, and wishful thinking leads to things happening. If not, then, they can always blame those who aren’t with the program.

        Where does that lead to? Piles of corpses and burnt rubble, usually. Recent events in the United States, rioting and pillaging and looting, are just a preview of things to come. But it happened before for hundreds of years, making it seem like an inevitable cycle.

        But it’s an incredibly different sort of misery and poverty you experience in Communist states. You need to have traveled to or lived in the former USSR, or even some parts to today of that former empire to understand, because otherwise you can only listen to someone else’s experiences and their own personal filter or how it really was. It’s one where you are even robbed of God and the ability to think for yourself. You try to find your reason to live in some debauched pleasure of pornography, or alcohol, or drugs, the sort of things Orwell wrote about in 1984- if they are even allowed by the state. Usually, corruption shows itself in the extensive black market where these things can be procured.

        Intellectually, you can look at the historical survey of attitudes towards religion before World War 1, and after. One prime example is the Czech Republic; once a part of the Austrian Empire, devout and pious Roman Catholic people- after the fall of Communism, the most atheist country in Europe. A materially prosperous country, maybe, but people go about with the assumption that it will always be a prosperous country, like how people assume stocks will always go up. But such a state of things is rarely sustainable, and it’s only a matter of time before that society collapses under its own rot.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You wrote: It’s the culture. The Cultural Marxists have already won, and the effects are felt 40-50 years after. It won’t be long, before we have a Communist-style sort of misery and corruption in the West which we thought could only be found in North Korea or Cambodia.

      Historically, the political left came to power in western Europe by first gaining control of three things: (1) the educational establishment (public schools and colleges an universities), (2) labor unions, and (3) the major media (both entertainment and news). This gave them complete control of the flow of information to the people, and thus the ability to sway public opinion by selective reporting, by choice of language (i. e. “reproductive choice” as a euphemism for elective abortion and “death with dignity” as a euphemism for suicide and euthanasia), and by gradually introducing deviant behavior into entertainment and portraying it as normal. And guess what the political left now controls in the United States? You got it — the educational establishment, the labor unions, and the major media! It’s no accident that, even forty-five years ago, the sitcom “All in the Family” portrayed the conservative (Archie Bunker) as an ignorant bigot in about every way imaginable and the liberal as the intelligent and educated victim (“Meathead”).

      There are, however, three major differences.

      >> 1. Talk radio has been very effective in exposing the shallowness of those on the left. It is no accident that liberal talk show hosts have consistently bombed.

      >> 2. Fox News and conservative newspapers have reported what the major media don’t.

      >> 3. The Internet has created alternative channels of communication — blogs, discussion boards, and even bulk e-mail — that allow literally anybody to become a news reporter or commentator.

      As a result, the truth usually gets through even when major media don’t report it. And the reality is that most of the general public here in the States is rejecting the liberal view of things pretty decisively. Unfortunately, many are asleep and don’t realize what liberal officials are doing until the damage is done.

      Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        You know what got me about “All in the Family”? Despite the fact that show was created by some Arch-liberal, even though Archie Bunker was portrayed as an ignorant bigot, the whole of America knew Archie Bunker was the protagonist, not that effeminate and politically correct Beta Male Michael Stivic. Deep down, America knew how Meathead was parasitic towards Archie Bunker, that he could only afford to mock and demean Archie because Archie was a dock worker for the sake of Stivic’s room and board. Archie Bunker was 100 times the man Stivic was, and they both knew it. So did America.

        As for Fox News? HA! The only reason Fox is considered “conservative” is because it’s the only alternative to MSNBC and CNN. From the viewpoint of extreme liberals, moderate liberals look conservative, including Fox News with their plethora of fake Catholics who would argue for the “right” to contracept and divorce, and argue that Christianity is a “philosophy” not a “religion”.

        You’d get more honesty from Russia Today, and, as you said, independent reports from the Internet.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: Here are some not so fun facts about Catholicism in contemporary Britain: 1) Two out of every five cradle Catholics now no longer identify as Catholic; 2) A Catholic upbringing is a stronger predictor of having “no religion” in adulthood than it is of being a once-a-month-or-more church-goer; and 3) For every one convert the Church attracts, 10 Catholic children grow up to regard themselves as non-Catholic adults. These are hard facts, in both senses of the phrase.

    The reality is that those ostensibly “leaving” the church were never really part of the church, at least in terms of their attitudes. Many of the supposedly “Catholic children” in question were baptized but never catechized or, if superficially catechized, got contradictory signals at home. I still know parents who are sending their children to Catholic elementary (or primary) schools, but who hardly ever go to mass on Sunday and who say bluntly that they really don’t believe what the church teaches. This parental counterwitness is inevitably what dominates when those children reach adulthood, so the children’s decision not to self-identify as Catholic is much more honest than the faux self-identification as Catholic of the parents. The Vatican is well aware of this situation — which is precisely why the “New Evangelism” is fundamentally about the real evangelization of those who are members of the church, including many of our clergy.

    There is, of course, a committed core within the Catholic Church who have heard the gospel and who live by the faith. When those who are superficial fall away, they will form a critical mass for a revival.

    I should point out that this situation is far from uniform. In areas where the Catholic Church historically is not a part of the culture, there tend to be a lot fewer parents whose faith is superficial. In such situations, the church tends to be much stronger.

    Norm.

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