The Catholic Church needs fresh blood if it is to survive

The Catholic Church needs fresh blood if it is to survive March 21, 2018

The woman pictured above is American Catholic Katie Prejean McGrady and right now she is in Rome, together with around 300 young people from all over the world who are discussing the future of the Catholic Church with the Pope.
Reporting for the Religion News Service, Thomas Reese wrote:

The pope shows he understands that a bunch of old, celibate bishops are not going to come up with solutions for the Catholic Church’s failure to attract or keep young people.

The meeting this week is in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, which will be held in October. Pope Francis said:

The Church wants to listen to the voices, the sensibilities, the faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people. We must listen to young people.

The Church has a big problem with young people, said Reese, which means that it has a big problem with its future.

While nearly 1-in-3 Americans (31 percent) were raised in the Catholic faith, fewer than 1-in-4 (24 percent) now describe themselves as Catholic, according to the Pew Research Center.
Almost half of Catholics who identify as unaffiliated (48 percent) left Catholicism before reaching age 18. As a result, only 18 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 identify as Catholic. In the United States, twice as many young people are unaffiliated with any religion.

McGrady, a wife, new mother and youth minister from the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, found that young people have a great mistrust of institutions, including the Church.

It does not help that the sex abuse crisis happened when we were all kids.

But the real problem, she said, is that:

For many, many years in our church, what we have done is just teach the facts of the faith – do this, don’t do that; believe this, don’t believe that – instead of engaging young people in trying to help them have a personal relationship with Christ, actually know him, and not just have ideas about him in their heads.

No Ms McGrady, the real problem is that young people recognise superstitious bullshit when they see it in all it’s many guises.

Another delegate in Rome is Sean Deighan, 23, above left, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, who said in this report that young people:

Are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons. They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality.
If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church ­authentically and young people need to see that.
When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive. We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.

The Pope’s little shindig coincides with research that shows increasing number of young people abandoning Christianity in Europe.
A survey of 16- to 29-year-olds found the Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe, with 91 percent of that age group saying they have no religious affiliation. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of young adults in the UK, Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands also categorise themselves as non-religious.

Hat tip: AgentCormac (survey report)

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  • barriejohn

    Good news for Ireland: they’re hosting the Church’s world Meeting of Families later in the year, and the Pope will be attending. This will be three months after the abortion referendum. Cue more dollops of bullshit:

  • L.Long

    St00pid signs as their own book o’BS says a fetish has no value, they did abortions all over the place and life begins at 1st breath. But then how many of the dimwits even read it.

  • 1859

    ‘…We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church…’
    Oh yes you have – the whole thing has always been and remains a charade, a fraud and a cringe-making soap opera with ‘pretences’ so absurd, so false and so insane, it is no wonder young people won’t accept this infantile crap any longer and are heading for the open hills of intellectual freedom! Good for them! And may the trend accelerate until religion – and especially the catlick variety – is no more than an historical aberration.

  • Robster

    Frank the groovy pope, a gaggle or two of those cardinals, lots of robes, silly hats and superstitious nonsense, the young people will no doubt be enthralled. Hope they have music and cartoons.

  • gary

    Another delegate in Rome is Sean Deighan, 23 who said in this report that young people:
    “Are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons. They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality”.
    What a gullible prick.

  • gary

    “The Church wants to listen to the voices, the sensibilities, the faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people. We must listen to young people”. Yes the young people who know the RCC is a Global Crime Syndicate and that all religions are dangerous, divisive, primitive, retarding and untrue. All of them without exception.
    If you want to see what the RCC does to people then go look up Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. The RCC did to him what the Ring did to Smeagol.

  • gary
  • Broga

    If that photo is representative of the new blood they need to attract then the RC racketeers are still on the same train and headed at full speed for the buffers.

  • andym

    ” Life from conception, no exception.” Err. Your own God appears to support the exception of spontaneous miscarriage. If RCC’s future is in these people’s hands, there are fun times ahead.

  • sailor1031

    @andym: one wonders how many abortions (and child murders) were committed under RCC auspices in the Albigensian “crusade” alone.

  • Jobrag

    I cannot understand the Poles, having livid under Nazi and Communist tyranny they now voluntarily submit to the tyranny of the RC church.

  • Lucy

    The sex abuse scandal did not happen when they were kids. It has happened through history. It is happening now.
    And I get so riled by the ‘only I know the REAL lovely snuggly church’ argument. Idiots.

  • Laura Roberts

    That chart gave me serious warm fuzzies; thanks for sharing. Go Czech Republic — kicking ass!

  • Dianne Leonard

    My siblings and I (all 6 of us, born in the early 50s to early 60s) left the rcc for all the (right) reasons. An informal poll, taken at Christmas mass in 1972, indicated strongly that all of us, ranging at that time from 11 to 19 years of age, didn’t believe. The only exception was my youngest brother, then age 9, who said he wasn’t sure. Now, if all of us, working class American kids, who had catholicism shoved down our throats 24/7/365 can disbelieve by age 11, what does that say about the rationality of religion or the ability of the rcc to attract young people? Currently 10% of American people (somewhere around 35 million people) are ex-catholics. Had it not been for immigration from Latin America and the Phillippines, the rcc would be down to 10% or less of the American population. Of the 3 catholic churches near my childhood home, one has 100 or fewer parishoners, all or almost all people over 65 (as of 2009), one was shut down because of the worst child abuse in California, and only one has a viable congregation (mostly Latino and Filipino), with no masses in English. Yes, that’s just a local snapshot, but it’s happening all over. All I (and my siblings–all one or another stripe of atheist) can say is “Hurrah!”

  • AgentCormac

    Surely those signs they’re holding up should read: ‘Life free from deception no exception’.

  • Brian Jordan

    New blood? What’s the problem? I thought they could make it themselves from a bottle of cheap wine: a few words , a wave of the hands and Hey, Presto! (or should that be Priesto?)
    BTW: how come Italy’s missing from that graph? Surely Rome, at least, could rustle up a few Christians?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    The Catholic Church needs fresh blood
    So…. they won’t mind if I call them “bloodthirsty”, then.

  • 1859

    And Count Dracula is sitting, patiently waiting in the rafters of crumbling churches…