They want gay “marriage”…numerous divorces and “remarriages”…women priests…lots of birth control…nice priests who talk about love all the time and less talk about the need for confession and all the things Church doctrine has defined as sin- after all these are modern times and the Church must adapt!
The ignorance of such ideas by (one time) Catholics is so colossal I’m not sure where to start!
Both active and inactive Catholics (in Illinois) were asked assorted questions about being Catholic, the Catholic faith, parish life, Catholic doctrine and more.
The responses were no surprise…these “Catholics” know nothing of the Catholic Faith and don’t want to BE Catholic. They are protesting dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Faith, they don’t like the Mass, the music (it isn’t upbeat enough for them), they don’t like the homilies (they apparently don’t relate to real life) and they are seeking fellowship and community, not “a message of fear and guilt”.
These “Catholics” would have truly hated Jesus in His time on earth…oh you know, all that talk about sin, repenting and going to Hell if you didn’t repent.
Here is what some of them had to say about why they are “inactive” Catholics…
• “I do not approve of the churches [sic] stance on many issues. Abortion, gays, women as priests, and several others.”
Yes, and that is why you are a closet (I guess now out of the closet) Protestant.
• “My daughter came out to me as gay, and I went through a divorce after 28 years of marriage. The Church doesn't want either one of us.”
Completely untrue. If both the divorced mother and the gay daughter are living CHASTE CELIBATE lives they are living what the Church teaches.
• “Being divorced they do not let you take communion. Treat you like an outsider. But they allowed priest [sic] that they knew were bad to stay in the church.”
Completely NOT true. Divorced people CAN have Holy Communion- “remarried” people (without an annulment) cannot because they are in fact ADULTERERS. If the first marriage is valid, the spouse cannot ‘marry’ another spouse.
• “The archaic idea that only men can lead a congregation and be in the clergy, the underlying message of guilt and fear and the lack of diversity and openness to gays.”
I'm pretty sure Jesus' hand picking all men for the priesthood can never be "archaic" and “underlying message of guilt and fear” eh? Guess this person never read a word Jesus said in the Gospels!
• “We were both devout catholics [sic] who tried to have children with no luck. We decided to go with in-vitro fertilization and the result is 3 awesome boys through 2 pregnancies. The catholis [sic] church rails against that.”
Don’t you just love the “we are devout Catholics” who reject and thwart Catholic dogma? How “devout” can you be if you are rejecting the Faith?
• “I do not feel that the Church respects or allows full participation of women. I also feel that the Church's stance on birth control to be wrong and not in step with modern medical science and the real world.”
Oh and here’s a goody…
• “I struggle with the way the Catholic Church has not adapted an ever changing world. I also feel sometimes people are looked down upon instead of being lifted up by the church.”
Oh yeah, cause it’s all about YOU being “lifted up” by the Church rather than you going to WORSHIP GOD!
Here are some of the demands of these ex-Catholics that must be met for them to consider returning to the Catholic Church…(try not to laugh or cry)
• “allow civil marriage equality, approve birth control, consider ordaining women.”
• “Hierarchy start [sic] living like Christ.”
• “The church needs to stop focusing on fighting abortion, birth control, and gay marriage. I would suggest focusing on building our community and helping those in poverty”
• “Allowing priests to marry. Treating women as equals. Advocating birth control.”
And the Mass MUST be changed to suit them too!
• “Make EVERYTHING more upbeat, passionate and energetic. Make people look forward to coming to Mass because it energizes them and their faith.”
• “Jesus spent his days preaching to the people with stories and doing good works and most priests couldn't give a good homily to save their life. Even the gospel readings are done like a seventh grader reading to class and not like an important lesson from the book of God.”
• “Sunday night mass! I don't like to make the 20 minute drive to another city just to go to mass on Sunday nights, I would rather donate that money I spend on gas to my local church instead of going and giving very little.”
• “Yes, greatly reduce the performance and celebrate the Spirit's power through silence. Make the 90-minute human-led spectacle a 60-minute Spirit-led rejuvenation [sic]”
The next demand is to stop teaching them about sin! They don’t want to hear it and they will go to Protestant churches so they don’t have to hear about sin and the need for confession.
• “if the catholic church [sic] began sending a message of honesty, truthfulness and a message that we are all simply human and are trying to navigate this life with out [sic] the impeding guilt and better than though i [sic] would consider returning.”
• “quit threatening us and tell us more about God loving and forgiving us. Stop being so pious when you're human like we are.”
• “yes, the Catholic Church needs to accept all people if they love God and love the Catholic Church as I do. I refuse to have an annulment which is basically saying my first marriage of 19 years which bore 2 children did not exist.”
• “only God will be our judge.. [sic] so how can we be critical of those that have alternative lifestyles.”
Now that they’ve demanded Dogmas, doctrines and the Mass be changed they have one more demand. Change the priests;
• “only a kind, gentle, and loving priest”
• “priests that speak with passion and apply the knowledge to today's time.”
• “younger more enlightened priest that could relate the sermons to todays [sic] world.”
• “we need Priests, Deacons and Bishop that are willing to work love into the hearts of these parishioners.”
What saddened me even more was what was said by the ACTIVE Catholics still sitting in the pews, most especially the poll on their REASONS for attending Mass…
"Sense of Community" rated 358 while Receiving the Sacraments was only 60 and Religious Obligation ranked 32. Convenient Mass times trumps the Sacraments? Even the "Active Catholics" are confused about why we SHOULD be attending Mass.
Encouraging comments from ACTIVE Catholics…
• “Our faith is an integral part of who we are. Attending church gives us strength in meeting the challenges of daily life. Because we have been members for a long time we also feel very connected to the families that attend the same mass we do as many of our children have "grown up" together. We've gotten to know many of the families and individuals who attend the same mass we do and enjoy the "connectedness" we have with them.”
• “I believe in the Catholic Church and this is my parish, born and raised where I raised my family. This parish has supported me thru good times and bad, it is where Our Lord gives me comfort”
• “I was raised in the Catholic Church, I believe it is my duty to attend Sunday Mass.”
• “I love my Catholic faith, our parish family, and the opportunities available at XXXX to pray, study, celebrate Mass and other sacraments in a warm, inviting family atmosphere.”
• “I attend to serve Jesus and the people. I attend to be close to Jesus, and partake of the Eucharist. I go to honor God as he has commanded. I enjoy the people around me, I go to be inspired throughout the week.”
Worrying comments by ACTIVE Catholics…
• “Sometimes the music is drab, some people are not friendly, our school, which is over 50% non-Catholic [sic] is a drain on our finances”
• “We don't have anything for the elderly, such as a potluck, we don't have anything to give support to young mothers, to give parenting skills to young familes [sic]. We have nothing for young, single adults, or for college kids.”
• “Sometimes it feels like they are always asking for money and if you don't give, you are not welcomed at some events. Some people seem to be friendly toward you but don't include you in some events.”
• “like most church communities there seem to be a shortage of youth, and a church community that is void of youth is a dying community”
• “We never seem to be caught up financially, it is stressful”
And here are the ACTIVE Catholics who want to see things like women priests, gay marriage and changes to Church teaching on birth control…
• “I don't understand why the Church is opposed to birth control that prevents conception - I think birth control is immeasurably better than abortion. I think priests should be allowed to marry and that women should have a larger voice. (I am a 60+ year old man).”
• “I think that the Catholic church [sic] should be more tolerant of people with different sexual orientation. I believe that this is genetically determined, and therefore determined by God. I also do not agree with the church's stance on birth control.”
• “I would not have a problem seeing women have the option of becoming priests. Also, it would not bother me if priests could marry. Lastly, I think people should attend mass because they really want to be there and not attend because they are afraid of committing a mortal sin.”
• “I feel that we get bogged down in legislation and that maybe our efforts need to go to education more. Abortion will never go away, but we can educate our young people as to what it is. We seem to be in the dark ages still. Women deserve leadership roles. We judge instead of accept people. Condemning gays does not feel loving. The whole pedophile thing is disgraceful. Acting like it never happens is not a solution. I'm glad our Pope sees this.”
• “Confession - since we have had so many questionable priest [sic], I don't trust any of them anymore to confess to.”
• “Beliefs against gays. Politics shouldn't mix with religion. Always demanding money.”
Oh the irony in this one…
• “I have a difficult time with the church's stance a [sic] some social issues, ie contraception and sexuality. I also feel that the church gets away from teaching about faith and what it means to be catholic.”
A bright light in the dimness…
• “More education on what the Church believes and why we are passionate about these issues. ‘Why we do what we do’ seems to be a big question for most people. Adult education is important, because at a lot of parishes people did not get an adequate education as children/teens.”
• “As a Traditional Catholic I don't like seeing the True Faith being undermined by a much more liberal Church of Nice crowd.”
So what are the concluding thoughts from this survey? Don’t judge. *sigh*
Quote: "This study suggests Church doctrine plays a key role in individuals separating from the Catholic Church and it may be difficult to prevent current parishioners from leaving or to bring lapsed or drifting parishioners back to this faith community.
However, in the recent words of Pope Francis, “no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships” (Spadaro 2013). Given our findings, parishes and pastors in the Diocese of Springfield may have opportunities to attract and retain those Catholics who currently consider themselves distanced or lapsed from their parish or Church through this web of human relationships. The continued pursuit of a welcoming, friendly, and judgment-free atmosphere in their church may create this human community that so many seek through group worship and therefore bring back those who have lapsed or drifted away."
This study SHOUTS OUT that people are IGNORANT of the teachings of the Faith and yet the Dioceses of Springfield, Ill concludes that the Church must be more “welcoming, friendly and judgement-free” to attract lost and new members.
Basically, they have learned nothing.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner