Monday, February 16, 2009

Old and New Struggles with the Church

Ron Rolheise, OMI, attempts to address the decline in Sunday Mass attendance. It's part of a larger trend.
It is not just church-life and parish-life that are in trouble today. Declining church attendance is paralleled everywhere: Families and neighborhoods are dissipating and breaking down as people guard their privacy and individuality more and more. Civic organizations and clubs are finding it hard to function as they once did and there is simply less of a sense of community everywhere than there once was.

He suggests that the only solution is that offered by "Carlo Carretto, the Italian spiritual writer".
Then too - where would I go? To build another church? But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects.

I've heard many variations on this. There's nothing to be done about the decline in Mass attendance because it would require changing the larger society. If the context is Mass attendance, we are to assume that can't be done.

Change the context to the Church's social justice teaching and it is apparently thought that people will, somehow, assume the opposite.

[November 9, 2008 column,
Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 20, 2008]


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