And it’s the Catholic publication lifesitenews.com reporting it, with more bitterness than a meal of sour grapes and expired milk:
The Catholic bishops of the nation that pioneered legalized euthanasia for children, prostitution, and “gay marriage” have come to Rome to tell Pope Francis that he is facing a Church that has “drastically secularized” and hemorrhaging members.
One of the Catholic bishops of the Netherlands, who are conducting their official visit with the pope this week, told Vatican Radio they are facing the closure of hundreds of churches and an ongoing exodus of the faithful.
Yes, they sneer at gay marriage and wonder why people are leaving the church. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it might have something to do with feverishly maintaining policies that were dated during the last century, let alone this one.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Willem Jacobus Eĳk Cardinal, Archbishop of Utrecht and chairman of the Dutch bishops’ conference, said that the Catholic Church in the Netherlands is facing a near collapse.
“The number of practicing Catholics is diminishing very quickly,” he said. “In the 1950s 90 percent of Catholics still went to church every Sunday. Now, it’s only five percent.”
This mass exodus has hit the bishops hard in their bank accounts. “The Dutch Church,” the cardinal said, “does not have a subsidy from the state but depends on voluntary contributions of the faithful. Therefore, we are forced to close many churches.”
He quoted figures from the Dutch Office for National Statistics that said in 2010 that just under 16 percent of the population identified themselves as Catholic, adding that this number is expected to drop to about 10 percent by 2020. The same office estimates that Islam will become the second largest religion in the Netherlands by the same year, with only about four or five percent expected to be Protestant Christians.
Cardinal Eijk said that the visiting bishops had given this report to the pope, who replied, “You must not give up. You must keep courage and above all the hope that Christ has given us. This hope never disappoints.”
Now as for you starving children who are hoping god will send them food in nations where the Catholic Church is fighting condom use and sending religious resources…
L’Osservatore Romano published a report by a group called “The Future of Religious Heritage,” that estimates 600-700 Catholic churches in the Netherlands will be decommissioned by 2018. In 2010, the group published a report that said two churches a week are closing due to lack of congregations.
According to data collected in 2008, the report said, “it is to be expected that in the near future 1,000 to 1,200 Roman Catholic and Protestant churches will be closed. Of the 170 monasteries which are still in use for religious purposes, approximately 150 will close in the next 10 years.”
Asked what is being done to repair the damage, the cardinal said that they are mostly concentrating on downsizing. In his own diocese of Utrecht 326 parishes are being “melted” into 49 “very large” territorial amalgamations in each of which one church is to be designated as a “Eucharistic centre.”
The damage? The buildings are becoming shadows because of the damage plotted from within their walls. The damage extends back to before the Dark Ages, to before Galileo. The damage is in every bible that was sent to a destitute nation instead of food. The damage is the spread of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa on account of the Church’s policies/lies on condoms. The damage is in every dear love between two men or two women who couldn’t be by their loved one’s side as they died due to laws supported by the Catholic Church. The damage is in the shame religious people must live with for engaging in the non-sin of sex out of wedlock.
You ask what can be done to repair the damage? This is it. Abandon the church in favor of all the things that make humanity great. Walk away, and give no more consideration to the threats of hell for doing so than for the empty chapels. Walk to the future and let the Church die – smiling all the way.