This month the Pew Research Center released these facts about American Catholics. The Catholic Church is larger than any other single religious institution in the US with over 17,000 parishes and roughly 51 million Catholics. The most significant challenges it faces today are decline in membership with only 23% attending mass regularly.
Many Catholics support changes in key church teachings and policies. They feel the Catholic Church should:
- Allow Catholics to use birth control (76%)
- Allow priests to get married (62%)
- Allow divorced Catholics who remarry without getting an annulment to receive communion. (62%).
- Allow cohabiting Catholics to receive communion (61%)
- Allow women to become priests (59%)
- Recognize the marriages of gay/lesbian couples (46%)
It is important to note that support for these changes are lower - though still substantial - among Catholics who attend mass regularly than it is among those who attend Mass less often.
What jumps out at you is that these changes, which many Catholics support, are contrary to basic Catholic teaching and are driven by the values of the secular culture we live in. The world offers us empty promises and the “wide road.” The Church is driven by the teachings of Christ and the authority of his Church on earth. Choose Christ and stay on the “narrow road” to salvation. Where do you stand? Do you stand with the Church or with the world?
No man is an island and what we think, say, and do is interconnected to the big picture. In this case it’s is our parish, our diocese, and the Church throughout the world that is being weakened by the stance we choose to take on these changes. Don’t be the weakest link in the chain of our faith.
For more information from the Pew Research Center, visit their website at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/04/7-facts-about-american-catholics/
Faithfully Yours, Jeanne Leonardi