The Pew Research Center just released its latest study on “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” The subtitle tells the story: “Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow.”
For our purposes, I want to focus on the Catholic numbers.
Anyone who has been paying attention, either to these studies or at the local parish, will not be surprised by the results of the report. It is an unavoidable fact that the Catholic Church in America is in decline. I wrote about this a few months back (“How Great We Aren’t: The Catholic Church in America Today”), and this report only further confirms that decline. Let’s look at a few important findings from the report (although I encourage you to read it in its entirety).
Catholics declined from 23.9% of the American population to 20.8% between 2007-2014, and in that time “unaffiliateds” (i.e. those who do not affiliate with any religious group) increased from 16.1% of the population to 22.8%. According to the report, that means that there are roughly 3 million fewer Catholics today than less than a decade ago, even factoring in immigration and births.
The really interesting data comes when we look more closely at “religious switchers.” These are the people who grew up in one faith tradition (or perhaps no faith tradition), but then later in life left that tradition for another. Although, historically, changing one’s faith is rare, in modern America it is not uncommon. Here are the top-level results:
In a nutshell, Americans are leaving mainline Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church in droves, and most are becoming “unaffiliated.” Specifically, 31.7% of Americans grew up Catholic, but only 20.8% are Catholic now – the trickle of people entering the Church is overwhelmed by the tsunami of those leaving it.
Or, to put it another way: for every 1 person who left the ranks of the “unaffiliateds,” another 4.2 people joined. However, for every 1 person who joined the Catholic Church, 6.5 people left. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to see where those numbers are trending and what the end result will be.
What Does This Mean?
The first, and most important, take-away should be this: what we are currently doing isn’t working. I realize this might come across as blindingly obvious, but for many Catholic leaders it doesn’t appear to be. If you attend a typical Catholic event today, most of the talk will be about how great everything is: our schools, our parishes, our youth groups, etc. Nary any mention of the reality that our pews are emptying.
Another take-away should also be clear: this is not a simple problem with a simple solution. Millions upon millions of people are leaving the Catholic Church, and to assume it is for one reason alone would be terribly naïve and simplistic. Any attempt to stem the tide of fallen-away Catholics will need to be multi-faceted and address problems in every aspect of Catholic life.
What Can We Do?
The complexity of the problem doesn’t mean we just throw up our hands and give up. I think there is something buried in the Pew numbers that is revealing, and points to a possible solution. When you look at the “religious switchers,” it is clear that the mainline Protestants and Catholics are the worst at attracting new members, and the best at repelling existing members. Yet look at other faith traditions, such as Evangelical Protestants, Mormons, and Muslims: you see that they were able to maintain their numbers in an era of religious decline– the Evangelicals actually added more members than they lost.
Is there anything they hold in common, as opposed to mainline Protestants and Catholics?
I would argue that they take their faith seriously. There are no felt banners, content-free catechesis, or silly songs to endure. More importantly, there are no apologies given for what they believe: they are robust in their practice of the faith, or to use the politically-incorrect term, manly. Such cannot be said of the typical mainline Protestant congregation or Catholic parish.
Until we take our Faith seriously, no one else will either, and many will realize it is better to just leave instead of waste their time with people who, for all intents and purposes, appear to be just going through the motions. This applies across the board: liturgically, doctrinally, and socially. Once Catholics decide that the Faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Athanasius, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Therese of Avila and Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a Faith worth living – and a Faith worth dying for – then perhaps it will again become the attractive force it has been for centuries.
Eric Sammons is the Executive Director of Crisis Publications.
Why is this so painfully obvious to some of us but those in charge don’t see it at all?
Those in charge are interested in protecting their power and prestige. They want to be feted by the rich and powerful in their spheres of influence. They crave the places of honor at local sporting events, charity functions and ecumenical gatherings. They love to be patted on the head and told what good boys they are and congratulated on how they’ve managed to overcome their Church’s unfortunate clericalist and medieval mindset. In short, they consider the praise of the world to be more important than preaching the sometimes hard truths of the Faith. And if one of their own dares to step out of line and place the salvation of souls ahead of worldly pursuits, well…..we have Bishop Finn as a shining example of what happens to those who don’t tow the line.
A smaller Church will be a more Catholic, Church. May we all remain faithful.
“A smaller Church will be a more Catholic, Church.”
I don’t intend to pick on Vox here, but to me this type of answer is one of the reasons we are losing folks or not even gettting “up to bat”. It may, for some, be comforting to be in the “big club” but the consequences to lost souls is dire.
But souls inside the Church who do not have the Faith are similarly lost, newguy40. And those lost/confused souls are handing down confusion to their children and spreading confusion about what Catholic is to those they encounter.
The idea behind, a smaller Church being more Catholic, is that it is well worth going full steam in teaching Catholic doctrine/morals even if in the short term we appear to lose adherents. In the long term, the Church will grow as Catholics witness to the “Truth” of Catholic teaching.
When folks want to leave because of the hard teachings, the Church needs to act as Christ did when He allowed those who couldn’t accept it to go their way. He didn’t “fear” that His numbers were down. We must follow that faith filled and wholly righteous example. For running after folks, while leaving our cross on on Calvary, is not appealing in the least either. It looks and teaches, running away by example.
Lets face it, raised on a steady diet of bland (at best) and heretical (at worst) homilies, and/ or crappy “Catholic” schools from elementary to university, most people who grew up “Catholic” have been innoculated against the living Faith that Catholicism calls us too. They got just enough of the killed virus to think they KNOW what being a follower of Jesus and His Church is all about because they made a felt banner and sat through a decade of masses without understanding WHAT happens at the mass and our participation in it. Add to that the horrendous marriage preparation in most dioceses, and OF COURSE they would rather sleep in on a Sunday since they have been divorced and don’t go to Communion anyway.
Honestly, I feel that types of studies produce little of value. Perhaps what we Catholics should do is stop paying attention to surveys. Perhaps we should finally admit that there are always more confessing Christians than converted ones. Perhaps we should admit our modern experiment a clear failure and start recovering what we’ve thrown away. Let’s focus on the content of our faith and admit how corrupting the errors of the modern world have been on the practice of our faith. Perhaps we should start focusing on quality rather than quantity. The Evangelicals are all about numbers (mega-churches). Catholics might just change the world if we stopped gazing at our navels and started putting our lives on the line for our faith. Let’s be “soldiers for Christ” again. Let’s stop softening the faith to make it more palatable and embrace the faith as Christ and the Apostles taught it – as something demanding, rigorous, and counter-cultural.
I know many Catholics in my area (Diocese of Palm Beach, Fl) who have UnPoped and thrown-in with Christ Fellowship, a very successful Mega”church”. It provides folks with entertainment and emotional well-being and it helps the poor.
So what if it has aught to do with Sanctification and Salvation, those former Catholics never heard one thing about that in their local Parishes anyways, so, it is reasonable to think the have just left for a better faith experience – and that is what we have been reduced to in this most execrable of ecclesiastical epochs.
Now, if I were to quote 2 John 9 to these UnPoped folks, they would be shocked for when have they ever heard such existential truths so crucial to one’s eschatological and soteriological weltanschauung?
Everybody goes to Heaven – that is what the VAST majority of Christians in this area believe; Catholics included.
Another excellent article.
Catechesis and the reasons “why” for the Doctrine of the Faith are not provided by most Parish Priests.
Many Diocese Bishops and Priests do not encourage the Laity to read a Catholic Bible and the Doctrine of the Faith (CCC) at HOME – where they can read on their own schedule.
All Seminaries should be required to use the CCC as a student text.
All Convents should be required to use the CCC as a novice text.
All Catholic High Schools should be required to use the CCC as a student text for the 11th & 12th grades.
All Diocese and Parish web sites should promoted reading of the Bible and the CCC on their home pages (not buried if at all).
All Parish bulletins and Diocese papers should promote the reading of the CCC.
Reading of the Bible and CCC at home should be encouraged in homilies at least 4 times a year.
Why should anyone put themselves out to belong to a Church when they don’t know why ?
Another thing that needs to happen involves perception by the public that the Catholic Church has no principles (as do the Evangelical Protestants, Mormons, and Muslims).
The Pope and all Bishops need to handle SCANDAL quickly, fairly and accurately (Code of Canon Law 915) – and publically excommunicate those politicians and others who create public scandal and remain obstinate in their public mortal sins.
When the Clergy of any rank appear to tolerate or condone mortal sins it teaches that those mortal sins are not really that bad, and everything is a big joke.
Mike! My brother from another mother! You nailed it three posts in a row.
Mr. ‘right-wing’ ~ MIKE actually did not ‘nail’ it. It is not the clergy’s job to change politics. It has been filthy as long as civilization. MIKE would have ‘nailed it’ if he would have mentioned the disgusting perverted acts committed by the men of the cloth. THAT is what the pope should be condemning, and the fact the ‘priests don’t encourage’ lay people to read the Bible. Ha! what a bunch of baloney, but maybe his experience is from pre-Vatican II. Instead MIKE would have ‘nailed it’ if he said, “WHY THE F**K isn’t there Bibles in the pews?” How freakin weird?
This is why the public dislikes Catholics, not because we are soft in the preaching area, but because we are soft in the unrighteousness area.
True but other turn offs to Christianity is mixing Christianity with politics. Esp. politicians and talk show host using Jesus to get votes and preachers on television. As for your picture of the late Pres. Reagan he and his wife set their calendar by horrorscopes. Astrology is a big bible no no??!
I agree. That picture was chosen to get under the skin of lefties. At any rate, I’d still vote for a pagan Reagan over Islamist Obama any day of the week.
All Catholic High Schools must be required to use the CCC as a student text for the 11th & 12th grades.
Frankly, I’d urge the Baltimore Catechism, which can actually be *used* as a Catechism.
The Baltimore Catechism is for children. It should be used grades K-10.
With only 2 years of Catholic School left,
11th & 12th grades may be the last times to actually “teach” the Catholic Faith for most students.
Before graduation and going out into the world: they need to know Church teaching and “why” for:
contraception, in-vitro fertilization, euthanasia, organ donation, voluntary sterilization ; about divorce and civilly remarried, etc. and other teachings meant for adults.
I’d be willing to bet I’d learn an enormous amount from the Baltimore Catechism if I went through it cover to cover, and I have a college degree in Catholic theology.
It *was* for children. But when they stopped teaching it to children, we all became as lacking in knowledge as a little one.
I grew up on the Baltimore – required for children at that time including memorization before first Holy Communion.
And I will never forget:
“Why did make you ?
To know, love and serve him in this world, and to be happy with him in Heaven.”
Recommend that all Catholic parents get the Baltimore. And those parents who were poorly catechized themselves will learn from it while teaching their children.
I teach First Communion Catechism to 3-5 year old children and I am forever struck by the profound simplicity of the teachings therein, things we tend to overlook and/or take for granted as we advance theologically.
Even my 16 year old son has commented in passing that one could create entire sermons on, “We must know, love, and serve God.” That and the simple reality that, “God made us to show forth His goodness and to make us happy with Him forever in Heaven.”
If nothing else, these kernels of simple truth provide much for contemplation.
Then try the Penny Catechism.
Steve, I gave my grandchildren a complete set of the Baltimore 4 or 5 years ago.
I highly recommend it – starting about age 4 or 5.
Parents should use it to teach the Faith to their children.
Mike, as you probably know, the entire Baltimore Catechism is four volumes, which progressively build on each other and were designed for catechesis from elementary to the end of high school. Most people only have volume one in mind when they refer “the Baltimore Catechism,” and that seems to be your assumption when you say it is for kids. IIRC, volume three is close to three hundred pages and volume four is around four hundred. In any case, I’m sure that the kids who “knew their Baltimore” would run circles around the average Carholic adult and not a few catechists in our day. 😉
Kids today are smart enough to study the CCC.
I agree that the Baltimore should be used from pre-school through 10th grade (age 15).
I have been using the CCC as my primary text in RCIA catechesis for 11 years. Spreading it out over the last 2 years of high school sounds fine to me.
Happy to hear this.
Most RCIA classes use the USCCB’s “United States Catholic Catechism for Adults” with the reddish/brown cover.
I don’t know why they don’t use the CCC 2nd Ed (with the dark green cover).
Parents should use the Baltimore Catechism for elementary school students.
By the time they reach High School they should already know (almost by heart) what is in the Baltimore Catechism.
Parents have the first responsibility to teach their children the Faith.
The ‘new Mass’ has become nothing but a watered down ‘entertainment hour’ which truthfully most priests are not that good at to begin with. Truth is attractive, but they steer clear of truth out of fear and sometimes lack of faith themselves.
There is far too much adlibbing and violation of GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) by many Priests, and by many of the Laity.
GIRM can be found on the USCCB and Vatican web sites.
V II Doc – Sacrosanctum Consilium” 22.3 “Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.”
When witnessed – abuses of the Liturgy should be reported to the appropriate Diocese Bishop.
The problem is that the GIRM itself is rife with huge loopholes, countless options, and erstwhile norms reduced to squishy guidelines. While this or that abuse may not be approved, the problem with the entire Novus Ordo gambit is that the capacity for abuse is endemic to its deregulatory revisions. For example, traditionalist Catholics prefer EP1, and often refer to it as the Roman Canon, but, aside from deviations from the traditional Roman Canon itself, you can’t speak of “the” Roman “Canon” (lit. “Rule”) when it is just one option among others. Maybe we should just call it the Roman Canonoid Option?
The bottom line is, the Novus Ordo Missae is like a box o’ chocolates…. This endless capacity for abuse and variety–which of course seriously undermines the Church’s holiness AND unity, and on a NORMATIVE level–is endemic to the Mass of Paul VI, and no amount of phone calls or letters to the ordinary can change that.
…it’s the “capacity” for abuse that is wreaking havoc. For those who desire “change” in what the Church teaches will use and have used every means at their disposal to change what folks believe the Church teaches.
Somewhat like grammar effects the meaning of a sentence. The words can stay the same, but “how” one says them lends an entirely different meaning:
Let’s eat, Grandma!
Let’s eat Grandma!
Little things mean a lot. And in time, they mean very big things.
I realize this is 6 months later, but I love your grammar example! 🙂 Going to save that one for a time when I might need one….. 😀
Feel free, Tony. I picked it up some years ago, not sure where.
Another one is the British Grammar book:
Eats, shoots, and leaves.
The dust jacket features a panda with a gun with a sidebar of bamboo shoots and leaves. Little things mean a lot.
Eric, you are correct about Catholics not taking their faith seriously. And, I assume you to mean that what we can do to stem the outgoing tide is reform the Church from the bottom up, instead of sitting back and waiting for Christ to put into power Servants of God. Because, He has given us these Servants and Saints and still we walk away.
Historically, the assaults from the outside: early Jewish, and then Roman persecution, Attila the Hun, the rise of Islam and the dogma of death or conversion that besieged North Africa, the Holy Land, and Europe itself, Cromwell’s evil onslaught of Ireland and Elizabethan butchery, the French Revolution, which is still fought for and taught today in academia, socialism, communism, fascism, seem to me only to have strengthened the faith of our fathers. Early heresies, especially Arianism, the protestation of Luther, and the betrayal of King Henry VIII, were inside attacks that were much more threatening. Today, I think, we face both an outside attack and an inside infiltration. This has been going on more or less for the past century, but the culmination of these assaults on us and our Church are coming to fruition.
Our Pope recommended to reporters to read a novel entitled “Lord of the World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. I did read it (it’s in the public domain and you can read it online for free) and it is truly prophetic because we are rapidly approaching the times the author writes about in our world today. Still, I am reticent and ambiguous about where we are headed as a people of faith, what our leadership hopes to accomplish, and, like you, Eric, whether we must fend for ourselves. Perhaps, it is my poor faith. Yet, just maybe, we are at the cusp of the new beginning St. John Paul the Great foresaw not so many years ago.
The Ancient Mass is the solution. The Novus Ordo irreverence is a death sentence.
It would have been best if they left the Mass, exactly as the 1962 Missal, but in the vernacular language for any of those who don’t understand the Latin.
(Remember the old days, when many prayed the Rosary during Mass because they could not understand the Latin language prayers ?)
In the meantime, it would be most helpful if Seminaries taught both the OF and EF Masses to all Priests – to best serve ALL the people of God.
I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that it “would have been best.” People didn’t suddenly become illiterate in the 20th century. Quite to the contrary. The universality of the Latin language as the Church’s language, and the fact that it was the language of no particular nation, and also “dead” — and thus unchanging — made it particularly well suited for Catholic theology and liturgy.
Sadly at least 15 centuries of practice wasn’t good enough. Postmodern man always knows better.
I fully agree with you Steve – the unchanging is critical.
My statement about resistance is based upon talking to Mass attending OF Catholics in a rather large group all who strongly objected to the Mass being in Latin. I was surprised.
Last month my B-I-L who was an Altar Boy as a child in the late 50s, went to a beautiful Latin Mass with us.
We provided him with a Missal, but he did not like the Mass in Latin.
We have to be aware of this language issue.
And the suggestion about having all Diocese Priests trained in both forms is because it takes me over an hour and 15 min to get to an EF Mass (while passing 4 Catholic Parishes on the way).
I agree with you about training in both forms. It should be mandatory. They’ll never do it, though. Most of the priests would switch.
Quoth Mike: “Remember the old days, when many prayed the Rosary during Mass because they could not understand the Latin language prayers ?”
Maybe–but they could always have looked at the other page (the English one) if they wanted to know what the Latin was saying.
More likely they simply wanted to participate better in the Mass by uniting themselves to the life of Jesus through meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary. In effect, they were doing ACTIVE PARTICIPATION, exactly as Sacrosanctum Concilium wanted.
Much better than staring out the window and thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch, which can be done quite easily even in an English-language Mass. (I know this because I end up doing that quite a bit, by accident! Maybe I should take up saying the Rosary during Mass to help stay focused….)
You can choose to stare out the window no matter what language is used. That is your choice.
And you can say the Rosary before/or after Mass.
While the participation Pope St. Pius X talked about — praying the Mass by following every word and gesture — is ideal, there’s nothing wrong with praying the Rosary during Mass.
We have to remember that we add nothing to the sacrifice of the priest. His offering is efficacious for all of us. I personally find this to be a tremendous consolation when I’m dealing with fussy small children and can’t read along in my missal, etc. I often pray my Rosary during one part of the Mass (or during particuarly unedifying homilies) while paying closer attention to parts like the Canon.
Admittedly, though, I rarely find myself reading along these days, since I’m usually in the back with a toddler. But there’s something about just watching the priest, even though I can’t hear him, knowing that what he is doing is making present the means of my salvation.
God bless your family. My former toddlers are adults.
…no doubt your “sacrificing” what you think you should be doing because of what Providence has seen fit for you to do, Steve, is most pleasing And, in union with the sacrifice of Christ, most beneficial.
That said, sometimes the words can get in the way. Putting the missal down and just uniting oneself in desire, attention, contemplation when prompted to do so is good, too.
“Fr. Joseph Jungmann’s Christian Prayer Through the Centuries
[gave] particulars especially from modern centuries about the
encroachment of private devotions on the faithful’s attendance of the
Mass. Yet, all those devotions, such as the recitation of the Rosary
during the Mass, were genuine devotions, often vibrant with the best
spiritual intentions. They all served the purpose of prompting a full
commitment to doing God’s will, which actually is the very thing enacted
in a supreme measure when the priest renders Christ present on the
altar. While those customs can rankle the liturgical purist, he cannot
say that they were not full of the sense of the supernatural.” — Stanley
L. Jaki, What is the Mass?, 2009, p. 4.
Unfortunately, a 1962 English/Latin missal is very expensive. Might be worth it to begin mass-production of them again.
A very basic “Latin-English” Booklet Missal, and
Latin-Spanish” Booklet Missal is available through the FSSP for abt $6.00 each.
The “Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal” which can be found on the internet is about $33.
Most Daily Missals are abt $60 – $75.
You can follow the Mass on your phone with divinumofficium.org
Thanks for the tip!
….many pray the Rosary during the mass, not because they do not understand the prayers, but because they are doing that which lends itself to deep union of prayer and contemplation during the Sacrifice of the Mass.
I agree that both should be taught.
I would add that the Latin is easy to learn. I understand probably 75% of the prayers in Latin and I’ve only been going to the EF for two years. If people went their whole lives as they used to, they would easily understand all the Latin. Then they could worship anywhere in the world, whatever the local vernacular language, and truly be joined with the rest of the congregation in prayer.
In One True God and elsewhere, sociologist Rodney Stark puts forward a “market” theory of “competing” religions. The idea is that you join or stay in one because it gives you more than the alternatives. And of course when we say “gives you”, we include non-physical goods like satisfaction, purpose, meaning and so on. What does mainline Protestantism or mainline Catholicism give its worshippers? Crummy services, crummy music, crummy homilies, minimal comradeship, minimal guidance on how to live, minimal MEANING, etc. Not to be too negative but I think most mainline Catholics are one generation (at most) away from leaving. They’re only still going out of habit. But they’re not “getting anything” out of it.
It’s not that Traditionalists are more serious per se. Everyone wants to take SOMETHING seriously. Can this something be church? Traditionalists know that the answer is yes. But many non-Traditionalists are simply unaware of this.
Let’s make them aware. Take a non-Trad friend to Latin Mass. One Sunday a month?
No matter how “crummy” the Church’s externals (music, sermons, decorations) are we shouldn’t forget that there is but one thing neccessary and you can’t get it at any other Church. Jesus in the eucharist.
I should also say, with respect to Vox Cantoris and others. Traditionalists are often caricatured as WANTING to be in a minority, or to be–in the title of the great and pre-eminent Traditionalist news source–a “remnant”.
I think that’s false (for most). I don’t want to be a remnant. I don’t want to be different. I want all Catholics to worship at reverent Masses. I want all Catholics to be faithful Catholics. Heck, I want all people to be Catholics.
And I don’t WANT to be some grumpy blogger sniping at the wets at Patheos or whatever. You think I enjoy this? I’d rather be at a bar. 🙂
I can’t possibly agree with you more.
I am on vacation and visiting my family in Cincinnati. This morning, I go to a local parish for daily mass. The Church itself looks like a cheese grater! As I walk inside, the Church is packed with noisy school children and their parents while some woman sings some song from Protestant Christian radio that is NOT appropriate for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! There is so much hustle and bustle and just sheer silly nonsense that I don’t think even the most recollected saint could have prayed in this Church. I just had to leave! Although it does not destroy my faith, I can only imagine a young guy deciding to come back to Church; he walks in one morning to a parish like this, and this is what he sees! He is certainly going to head for the door. FACE IT, VATICAN 2 IS NOT WORKING AND IT CANNOT WORK!!!! I teach college, and I can assure you, young people want God, and they want the sacred! They want what Rudolf Otto speaks about in his book, The Idea of the Holy! They do not want this Protestantized, liberal nonsense! The old mass MUST come back in some form. End this silly novus ordo mass NOW!!!
Your comment reminds me of something I wrote a couple years ago:
The Church does not repel nor does it attract. It just floats around in space. It’s nothing more than an option, like choosing from a dinner menu one thing or another, or which TV show to watch. The Hillaries and Obamas of the world now say openly what would never have been said in the past, because in the past defenders of the Faith would have skewered them, but the Church now boasts weaklings from top to bottom and allows the secular forces to preach on its behalf: that the Church must stop teaching of sin to the world and embrace its new role as an adjunct to government welfare programs. Evangelizing the world was doomed from the start because it never followed Christ’s command to go and preach(teach) all nations.
Hmm. I’m in sales so my job is to call on customers and develop relationships where you end up talking about family, life, religion, politics, etc. Due to the nature of the business, the customers and vendors are 99% white male. Now these are their characteristics. Almost all are political conservatives who hate the President and “libruls”. Almost all of them are pro-2nd Amendment types. Almost all think climate change is a myth being imposed by a socialist one-world government. And most are some type of “Christian”, usually of the conservative baptist or evangelical “mega Church” type with Catholics and Mormons sprinkled in as well.
Now here is what I find hilarious and exposes what hypocrites conservative Christians really are. If I take them out to lunch, they almost always want to go to a place like Hooters. If we are out walking and a scantily dressed well-endowed woman comes by, they always point it out with words like, “Ooh, what I would do to her!”. If they are single, they talk about the great oral sodomy they got last night. If they are married, they talk about how they rarely get oral sodomy anymore. Sometimes with in the very same conversation WHILE sitting at Hooters, they complain about gays and state that homosexuals are sick and twisted. And I just sit back and remember the words of Our Lord:
“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Sounds like the best place for your customers to be is in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church founded by the fellow you quote who came not to call the righteous but sinners.
Everyone should join the Catholic Church; there is every reason in the world to become Catholic. So why isn’t everyone joining the CC? If you are an evangelical Christian and then spend seven years learning about the CC by reading and attending and praying, you know why. One of the reasons is that Catholics in their heart, don’t want the church flooded with new Catholics. They even have a name for themselves; cradle Catholics and new Catholics are not cradle Catholics, they are something else, even if they have been Christians for fifty years.
You must understand that TV is far more powerful than any Catechism. TV now rules our children, and forms their values. Children now spend each day in an ocean of filth. And no one cares or does anything. So, what chance does the eye dropper of the Catechism have against the societal firehose of filth?
Two things hurt Christianity:
Christian television with their focus on money, materialism.
Hate mongering political radio talk show host who align themselves with Christianity doesn’t help at all!
Rev. Wright said God damned America for racism and Pat Robertson said for abortion but they both said America was damned just for opposite things. Both of these statements were a turn off and caused outrage.
Another example is the Mark Levin show. He yells, screams and calls any person or politician awful names then a minute later promotes buying a book on Proverbs in the bible. There is a verse in Proverbs that talks about angry people who incite wrath and he must have never read that.
It just seems to me that the nearly every Sunday we hear about Jesus helping to dirty, the sick, the poor, hookers, gamblers, thieves, and sinners of every ilk. Yet the parish purest treat these people like bastards at a family reunion and drive them out of their congregations.
Pastors turn a blind eye because the purest support the parish and the church shrinks as mainstream middle of the road Catholics fall from grace, often of no fault of their own, and leave by the millions and go where they feel welcome.