If the Church is Dying …

… It’s Got a Way to Go



Riodejaneiro 7 23 13 s



  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Some dimwit, a few weeks back, posted about “the declining and dying Catholic church.” I felt in the mood to have a little fun, so I said I agreed with him. It’s been going downhill for two thousand years now, and all it’s got to show for itself is more than a billion members… dreadful decline, indeed.

  • DeaconsBench

    “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” — Mark Twain, in a slightly different context.

  • pagansister

    It’s got a long way to go, I think, before it reaches a state of non-existence.

  • FW Ken

    Numerically, Catholics are not in decline worldwide. In the decaying cultures of the northern hemisphere, we are in decline, but we are growing in the south. I think it was Phillip Jenkins who notes that a century from now, the typical Christian will be an African woman. What’s true, however, is that we are just keeping pace with world population. We’ve been about 18% of the population for a generation or more.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      That’s if we don’t assume that in a century or two the global northern libertine won’t have, one,contracepted and aborted himself nearly out of existence, and, two, made the criminalities and contradictions and absurdities of his stance so viciously obvious that even people born, raised and propagandized in that tradition won’t abandon in their millions.

  • Avery Nichols

    God is making a comeback. Hopefully the American church can take a lesson or two from this.

    • pagansister

      You know this how?

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Because He always is. It’s a constant of our history

  • accelerator

    Contrast this with weekly Mass attendance and attitudes towards just about every social and moral issue. A bit of tension there.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Let me tell you something that, as a I historian, I can say with certainty; the Church has ALWAYS been in crisis. There has never been a time in all church history in which devoted priests and laymen did not feel like they were fighting with their backs to the wall. I imagine that most historians would say that the height of spiritual and political influence for the Catholic Church was in the time of Innocent III, on the cusp of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Now think about this: when Pope Innocent was finally asked to adjudicated between Francis of Assisi’s new beggar movement and its many opponents, he had a strange dream where he saw the whole Church as a crumbling building about to collapse, and the little preacher from Assisi holding it up on his own. That was the image of the Church that the subconscious of the mightiest of all Popes presented to him – a crumbling ruin held up by a beggar. Think about it.

    • FW Ken

      I was reading the other day (in the National Catholic Reporter of all places) that Mass attendance and Confessions are on the upswing. Fabio’s point is, however, true: the Church is always on the verge of collapse; the obituary has been written for 2000 years. Our trust is in the Risen Christ, not in our humanity.