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.