Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mass Attendance in Scranton Drops to 36%

The Diocese of Scanton has discovered that their Church attendance rate is an anemic 36%. In 1950 it was 75%. Personally, given the scandals they have weathered these last few years I was impressed. But then it's so easy to forget that low attendance is especially of concern when it corresponds with diminishing donations. Which may be the case here. The whole article is here.

J. Brian Benestad, Ph.D., a theology professor explains:

The decline, in part, is linked to the saturation of secular culture and an ignorance about Catholicism among its practitioners, said J. Brian



“I really don’t think Catholics have a very good understanding of their faith,” he said. “You have to keep some of the essential doctrines of the faith before your mind and your heart, or you’re not going to remain a very dedicated Christian.”


[emphasis mine]

Some, meaning the really important ones I suppose, like loving everyone unconditionally.


Sexual abuse scandals among clergy members may have also played a role, albeit a small one, Benestad said.


You mean like this one.

There’s probably less trust of bishops and clergy because of that,” he said.


Change that "probably" to certainly and I'm right there with ya.

The Bishop indicates that is an obligation for Catholics to attend Mass. An obligation they may be unaware of.

Though I see no mention of it do you think the deplorable state of Religious Education could possibly have played a role here? Instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinner used to be known as the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

What it should come down to is a question of salvation. That is the purpose of the transmitting the Faith. But you can see from the Mission Statement of the Diocese of Scranton
they are committed:

"to celebrate the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, for the salvation of all"

Seems like the salvation of all is being taken care and nothing is required of us. Cool.

1 comment:

Thomas Shawn said...

They used to have a Latin Mass - friendly Bishop there named Bishop Timlin.