We won! We won! We're losing slowly!
The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria, wants us to know that "the constant harping about a Church crisis" is overblown. Here's his evidence:
Archdiocese spokesman Erich Leitenberger cited a recent survey showing that more than 4 in 10 of Austria's 8.2 million people attend Mass at least once a month, and 33% pack pews for Christmas, Easter and other major religious holidays.
With the pews so "packed," maybe you felt crowded at Christmas Mass in Vienna. If so, don't worry; you should have more room next year.
Across the overwhelmingly Catholic country, 36,645 people formally withdrew from the church last year, a nearly 18% drop from the 44,609 believers who canceled their memberships in 2005, the archdiocese said.
The whole happy story restores our confidence that the patient is healthy, since he's bleeding much less freely now.
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Posted by: -
Jan. 10, 2007 4:56 PM ET USA
Most Austrians, I'm sure, thought they were paying Kirchgeld for churches, rather than Zen, yoga, or meditative dance centers, and fled once they found out the truth. So many of the beautifully ornate structures formerly used as places of worship in the Catholic faith have, while retaining their holy names, serve as little more than place one can "self-actualize" while contributing to international aid organizations, all under an encompassing rainbow.
Posted by: -
Jan. 10, 2007 4:42 PM ET USA
Sundays are holy days, too. And how can an attendance rate of 33 percent be considered "packing pews"? I'd be willing to bet that the regular attendance rate is more like 15 percent and that the majority of those are over the age of 50. Another thing: Probably 80 percent of that 40 percent haven't been to Confession since they received their First Holy Communion.
Posted by: sparch -
Jan. 10, 2007 4:17 PM ET USA
If four in ten people attend mass once a month, (40%), then less than those who attend mass monthly attend at holy days (33%). So some people who attend mass monthly do not attend on holy days. This is a victory?
Posted by: -
Jan. 10, 2007 1:57 PM ET USA
If I attend a Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir once a year, does that make me a Mormon?
Posted by: Gino -
Jan. 10, 2007 1:32 PM ET USA
Another of our self serving bishops; all we hear is that they are doing a great job. The best thing to do would be to clean house and get rid of most of them. It would not be aloss.
Posted by: patriot6908 -
Jan. 10, 2007 11:56 AM ET USA
If Sobieski and his allied forces had not intervened at Vienna in 1683, that's about where the church attendance might have stood in 1684. And soon modern Vienna will resemble a Turkish Vienna, cica 1700, and that is about the same as in present day Turkey. What went around comes around. --John Hetman