the rate of the rate of renewal

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 26, 2006

Liberals congratulate themselves on success. From the (UK) Church Times.

FIRST, the bad news from the 2005 English Church Census, published on Monday. Churchgoing in England continues to decline at a rate of 2.3 per cent a year.

But there is good news, too. The rate of decline has slowed from that of the 1990s, when numbers fell by 2.7 per cent a year.

The article is headlined "Faint signs of hope."

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 27, 2006 12:06 PM ET USA

    Actually, words fail me. 'Scandalous', 'Disgusting', all are inadequate to describe the halving of Mass attendance in the space of two decades. Does NO-ONE care, or believe, that the souls of the English Catholics are in danger?

  • Posted by: Brennan - Sep. 26, 2006 9:57 PM ET USA

    RPP is exactly right. One cannot have a mediocre liturgy and expect it to draw people in or get them to stay. One cannot simply preach and expect that to work if one is let down in their soul by a desacralized liturgy. It does make a difference. That's why the plummeting in Mass attendance coincided with the introduction of the New Mass. We need to face facts and give the people in the pews a real and spiritually uplifting solution.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2006 7:57 PM ET USA

    Pinecone nails it. The wholesale retreat from Tradition is a problem, yes, but only secondary to the fact that the churches are filled with nominal Catholics (laity and clergy) that give little indication of actually knowing Jesus. The Pope seems to sense this as well, since he is more concerned with underscoring essential truth than championing every last liturgical detail. The rituals and theology have to spring from and support a living and salvific faith.

  • Posted by: dad2dlj - Sep. 26, 2006 6:22 PM ET USA

    I was in London this past April and visited both Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral -- one needed only step in the doors to realize he was visiting museums, not churches. A very different feeling was apparent at Westminster Cathedral. While nowhere near as artistically pleasing as the now and always Anglican buildings mentioned first, one immediately felt the real presence inside Westminster Cathedral -- happily both in the tabernacle and the congregants.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2006 6:14 PM ET USA

    Sorry, RPP, it's not about the repression of the "Mass of the Ages." It is about the fact that people no longer know who Jesus Christ is and subsequently don't understand the truths of the Faith. Notice that Benedict isn't preaching a return to the old Mass. He is preaching a return to the person of Jesus Christ. Without that, any worship -- Tridentine or Novus Ordo -- is going to be empty and worthless.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 26, 2006 2:26 PM ET USA

    Will the last Anglican in the sanctuary please turn off the lights? (Not that Catholics can gloat. One wonders what the figures for us are in Britain. They may already be too small to count.)

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2006 1:24 PM ET USA

    Images of the Monty Python "Black Knight" routine: Arthur shrugs his shoulders and, with a mighty swing, removes the Black Knight's last limb. The Knight falls to the ground. He looks about, realizing he can't move. Black Knight: Okay, we'll call it a draw. (calling after them) Oh! Had enough, eh? Come back and take what's coming to you! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off! (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2006 12:56 PM ET USA

    As an English Catholic, and former teacher at Catholic schools here, it saddens me that in under two decades the number of church going Catholics has near enough halved. Then again, having seen the slavish way Catholic schools follow political correctness before the Truth, I'm hardly surprised.

  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 26, 2006 12:52 PM ET USA

    Wow! Talk about spin! Rather than face facts, something (or a lot of somethings) is not working, it says "Hey, everything is looking up!" It is distressing to see this decline. It is what you would expect. Ever since the modernists of the Church began to supress the Tridentine Mass, then whole world began a tulmutuous slide into humanism. Until the Mass of the Ages is brought back into the *mainstream* of the Church and again is the main form of worship, the world will suffer.