Sunday, July 27, 2008

Where have all the Catholics gone?...

I was just thinking today at Mass how beautiful the Creed is, and all of the prayers we collectively pray at Mass. It struck me that it is such a beautiful collection of thoughts, aspiration and belief. Then I came across this just now, and had to share it. Father Hemrick is right as rain. We are fighting a culture "hellbent" on "living as I darn well please" and it also effects the Catholic Church, with dissidents of every type, trying to ordain women, change the Mass to be more politically correct with nonsensical inclusive language, etc. and of course in other faith persuasions in go where I can "worship as I darn well please." "I don't need an authority! I have my bible and that's all I need!" Thanks Father Hemrick. You've hit the nail on the head with this one. And I found the below post here, in a post by Fr. Rick at Mary's Anawim.

By Father Eugene Hemrick: found at The Tablet

“If everyone raised Catholic stayed (with their religious affiliation), Catholics would be one-third of the population.”

This observation was made by John Green, a senior research fellow and a principal author of the “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” recently conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

With Catholic adults presently comprising 25% of the American population when they should be 33% of it, we need to ask: Why are so many Catholics leaving?

Researchers found that the one reason the Catholic Church was so strong was because of the creed. Our clear-cut understanding of and commitment to what we believe not only attracts people to Catholicism, but keeps Catholics in the Church.

As much as we sometimes resisted being a dogmatic Church, our dogma was and is the ballast that keeps us balanced and strong.

If we focus on this finding alone, it gives us several reasons why we might be losing Catholics.

Could it be, as the last two popes have pointed out, our present age is becoming increasingly resistant to absolute truths and is moving toward greater relativism?
Applying this question to our Church, do we believe in the one true Catholic Church? Does this truth hold strong appeal for us? If not, why remain a Catholic since it then becomes relative to how a religion is seen?

Could it be our truths are watered-down and have weakened the beauty and strength of the Church? In the apostolic exhortation “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” Pope Paul VI points to the bite that truth must possess to be attractive:

“For the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the word of God and the plan of salvation.”

Here we learn that the truth of the Gospel must be upsetting, challenging people to rethink their present values and what inspires them most.

Could it be our people want to be challenged and it isn’t happening; that we aren’t making people stop, think and rethink; that the presentation of our beliefs don’t have bite, cutting-edge thinking, or that they don’t reveal deep commitment on the part of those presenting them?

No doubt many other reasons exist for the exit of Catholics. Whatever they may be, they come down to one question: “Are those who are leaving doing so because they never experienced the backbone of our creed?”


The Nicene Creed

We believe in God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.


The Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;
I believe in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord,
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into Heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

1 comment:

Smiley said...

Ah the creed. Yes it is the best. Have you heard it in Latin?