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Detroit archbishop vows action to revive 'shrinking community'

Catholic World News - May 30, 2014

The Archdiocese of Detroit is a “shrinking community,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron has acknowledged.

Reporting on a survey of Detroit parishioners, Archbishop Vigneron called attention to a 50% decline in the number of baptisms and marriages performed within the archdiocese in the past 13 years. In 2001, about 24,000 people were baptized or married in the archdiocese; last year the figure was 11,689.

“We are not going to be passive” in response to the decline, Archbishop Vigneron vowed. Likening himself to a corporate leader, he said: “I have to change the culture of our operation.”

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - May. 30, 2014 7:12 PM ET USA

    The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. But unionism? Could that be the Church's kryptonite?

  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - May. 30, 2014 6:03 PM ET USA

    shrink: Sure there's something +Vigneron can do -- evangelize. Detroit may be a dying city, but if the Catholic Detroiters get out there and start preaching the Gospel, that will bring people into the churches and that will help to turn the city around. Imagine an evangelized city -- lower crime, better industry, more children, etc.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - May. 30, 2014 5:39 PM ET USA

    Defender is right, Bishops are not CEO's. If we know that conversions and spiritual life come from God, wouldn't prayer and witnessing the Gospels be better solutions than talking corporate?

  • Posted by: shrink - May. 30, 2014 1:47 PM ET USA

    The overriding problem is the birth rate. It's down throughout all dioceses. Diocese with pop. increases are experiencing migration (e.g., DC) or illegal immigration (e.g., LA, Denver). Vigneron has a tough row to hoe. Detroit is a dying city; the Democrat politicians killed it. Not much V can do about that or any other another factor.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 30, 2014 12:32 PM ET USA

    That is precisely the problem, "likening himself to a corporate leader!" Bishops seem to be more interested in their corporation and its profits than in the saving of souls. Their properties, stocks and bonds seem all important, as they jet around the country and overseas. I would suggest that losing 50% of the marriages and baptisms didn't occur overnight - and who is responsible for that?

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