There was an article on Catholicculture.org which I thought useful in the light of Forward Together In Hope. Phil Lawler speaks about the situation in Boston USA but the responses to their sitauation I thought instructive for us too. He sets out four responses to the current Catholic meltdown. These are:
A) “This is a disaster! Stop everything. Drop what you’re doing. “Business as usual” makes no sense; this is a pastoral emergency. We don’t just need another “renewal” program, offered by the same people who have led us into this debacle. We need to figure out what has gone wrong. More than that. We know that the Gospel has the power to bring people to Christ; therefore it follows that we have failed to proclaim the Gospel. The fault lies with us. We should begin with repentance for our failures.”
B) “Don’t worry. Times change, and we have to change with them. Religion isn’t popular in today’s culture, but the faith will make a comeback sooner or later. We just need to keep plugging away, to have confidence, to remember God’s promise that the Church will endure forever.”
C) “It doesn’t really matter whether or not people go to church on Sunday. As long as we’re all nice people, God in his mercy will bring us all to heaven.”
D) “Don’t bother me with your statistics. Actually the faith is stronger than ever. Our parish/diocese is vibrant! You’re only seeing the negative.Sounds a fair summary of the responses to me. He notes:
Response C) is not Catholic. Response D) is—how shall I put this gently?—not rational. Unfortunately, I hear B), C), and D) much more often than A). Don’t you?