Monday, 13 June 2011

The Hidden Exodus... a response

The Editorial of the Catholic Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain for Sunday June 12th 2011 mentioned the report made by the National Catholic Reporter on April 18th entitled : The Hidden Exodus - Catholics becoming Protestant.

I wish to add my two cents to the discussion.

First off the article mentions that people leaving the church can be divided into two groups, however, three were identified. Almost half of those who leave the church become disinterested. A Similar group (???) join other christian faiths and about 10% join non christian religions.

The NCR article deals with those who join other christian groups. It is significant to note that about a quarter of these people have left the Catholic church due to our stand on Homosexuality and Abortion. Almost all the others don't feel that they are moved by the Catholic church.

So the group breakdown would read like this:
100 people born catholic
66 Still catholic
15 left the church but don't identify with any other religion
3 left the church for none christian religions
16 left the church for other christian denominations

... of those 16 people "half of those who became Protestants say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teaching, specific questions get much lower responses. Only 23 percent said they left because of the church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality; only 23 percent because of the church’s teaching on divorce; only 21 percent because of the rule that priests cannot marry; only 16 percent because of the church’s teaching on birth control; only 16 percent because of the way the church treats women; only 11 percent because they were unhappy with the teachings on poverty, war and the death penalty."

If the math doesn't add up, remember, there were many questions to answer. So the data is reflective of specific questions and not a dividing up of the group.

I am not sure that we can apply those figures to us in Trinidad, however, at the last Synod we had here in Trinidad we discussed this matter as it pertains to the Trinidad Church. The truth is that people go where they get fed... or that they believe that they are being fed (spiritually). The Catholic Church is not a tent revival, nor is it a Broadway production. Our Mass is a solemn event with the Eucharist "Christ the KING" being our focal point. All those who chase the feel good religions or leave the church because of our values need our prayers.

It is important to note that in hard times companies cut staff and reorganize themselves to be very effective in their core operations. Maybe this is our time to get rid of the people on the fence so that the remaining Catholics would be true lights in the darkness of this world. ... and maybe if we get rid of the dead weight, we would have enough priests to give proper guidance.

I don't know. What do you think?

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