Monday, November 19, 2007

Come Home for Christmas

On December 9th the new initiative of the bishops of England and Wales to draw lapsed Catholics back to the practice of their faith will be launched in all our parishes. The accompanying leaflet interested me. It lists some of the reasons why Catholics may have lapsed. It reads:

People drift away from the practice of their faith and
perhaps attend Church infrequently, for all kinds of reasons.

Some never really started, because they were
baptised or made their first Holy Communion and
then no one in their family went at other times.

For others, teenage years may have marked a turning
point because the Mass seemed boring and irrelevant.

Sadly, others may have been hurt by something
said or done by someone at Church. You may
still feel very angry about this.

Maybe some failure or experience in life made
you feel unworthy or ashamed. It may have been
that deep down you felt that you were doing
wrong or that the Church disapproved.

Many suffer the trauma of a marriage breakdown. They
may have married again or are in a new relationship.

Some disagree with the Church's teaching,
on contraception, sex outside marriage,
homosexuality and married / women priests.

Perhaps you just gradually stopped coming
for no particular reason and that’s that.

Whatever your reasons or situation, we
would like to invite you to take a fresh
look and give it another go. You are a
vital part of God’s family and would be
made very welcome.

I`m sure all these are important reasons why people stop practising their faith. I also suppose it is asking too much for experiences of awful liturgy to be added to the list of why people stop going to church. It could come under being `hurt by something said or done by someone at church`. It certainly drives me to distraction at times. At least it seems the liturgy is a priority for Pope Benedict. The post from Irish Independent is more evidence of this.


Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

A most interesting post.

If the heirarchy is wondering where all the people went, then it need look no further than the Sunday liturgy which was imposed so many years ago.

After several years of it, people, I know, began to stay away in droves.

Were they wrong to do so ?
I can only say I cannot condemn them.

In the intervening years, something went very wrong with religious education in our schools.

The result is an entire generation which has grown up with, to say the least, a warped and inadequate knowledge of the Catholic faith, the Church, the place of the Church in our lives.

I suppose I am about to say "Summorum Pontificum" should have been issued twenty years ago !

"Quattuor abhinc annos" and "Liturgicam authenticam" both seems to have been treated in many places with disdain.

The result (in my opinion) is the state of lapsation we see now, and it is only confusing, not to say self deluding, to talk of sociological changes, demographic shifts, etc.

And I wish people would stop blaming "Humanae vitae" !

I would say to the lapsed : come back, return to the fold, see what joys the Gospel holds for you !

No doubt all will be well one day.

But in the meantime, God help us all.

Alnwickian said...

This is a hilarious spoof.

But even the English bishops aren't *quite* as hypocrtical and stupid as this...

Fr Michael Brown said...

Alnwickian, it`s not a spoof. I should have provided a link. Here`s one for the suggestions for a `welcome evening for returners`