British Catholics Turning Away From the Church

The following is a report written by Simon Caldwell of the Catholic News Service:

" London - Catholic families in Britain are turning their backs on going to church because of the strains of modern life, according to a new report.

Drawing on the experiences of 15,000 catholic families who responded to a "Listening 2004" consultation, the report says materialism, financial hardship and modern working practices are placing Catholic families under pressure to stay away from Mass on Sundays.

The 90 page report, titled "Not Easy But Full of Meaning," said many Catholic couples were simply too tired to attend Mass on Sundays after a week spent juggling the demands of their jobs and domestic duties.

Families also felt overwhelmed by a "tide of materialism" and wanted to see more support from the Church in countering it, said the report, written by Auxiliary Bishop John Hine of Southwark and Elizabeth Davies, marriage and family life project officer for the Catholics Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

"All that we have heard suggests that often messy, rushed, stressful and draining," said their report.

A report published in December revealed that Mass attendance, baptisms and marriage rates had plummeted among English and Welch Catholics in the space of 45 years.

Using data collected by Parishes between 1958 and 2002, the report by the Pastoral Research Center showed that the proportion of Catholics attending Mass fell from 1.8 million to fewer than a million, even though the Catholic population increased from 3.5 million to 4.1 million in the same period.

Baptisms fell by nearly 50 percent and the number of marriages dropped by 78 percent - from about 69,000 in 1958 to 15,000 in 2992.

One family from Nottingham, England, attempted to sum up challenges to families as: "Pressure on appearance, consumerism, selfishness, nonpermanent relationships, competition, and Godlessness."

The report was published July 18 by the English and Welch bishops' committee for Marriage and Family Life to help the bishops to understand the problems facing modern British Catholic families and how to respond to them.

Besides economic pressures, the report also highlighted the discomfort many Catholics feel at living in an increasingly secular society. "Practicing the faith makes you distinctly odd," one parishioner said.

The report also focused on the "heartache" of faithful Catholics who see their adult children cohabiting and their grandchildren born out of wedlock, then not baptized or raised in the faith. "

It was also stated in the report that other Catholics complained about a perceived hostility from the Church toward single parents, cohabiting couples, divorcees and homosexuals.

This report from England reflects all the reports we have been getting from Europe for all Christian Churches - not just the Catholics. This report just adds to the comment we wrote on August 10, 2003, "European Indifference". There will have to come a time in Europe when Christianity is too weak to counteract the Anti-Christ, and he will have no problem taking over the Revived Roman Empire.

I'll end this comment, as I ended the "European Indifference" comment. A call to all Christians to pray! Pray for Europe! Pray for the United States, Canada, Mexico and all Christian countries. Pray Acts 16:31 and Psalm 91 over your families. We know the Bible prophecies will come true, but pray that they are delayed long enough to get your families safely home in Heaven before the wrath begins.

By George Konig
October 23, 2005

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