I’m sure no one actually cares about this statistic except for me, PrissyBitch, and Catholics, but I’m going to write about it anyway. See folks, my family is pretty confused when it comes to religion. None of us are really Catholic, except a few errant cousins. Mostly, we’re “other Christians” ranging from Anglicans, to Congregationalists, to Baptists (Ugh!). Luckily, I don’t think we have any Methodists, because I personally blame them for Evangelicals. I’m technically a Congregationalist — something several friends and boyfriends have failed to understand (meaning, they don’t know what a COngregationalist is)– but I don’t really go to church so it doesn’t matter.
Still, as a good, New England WASP I’ve always been baffled by Catholicism–no matter how many of them have infiltrated my life and become *gasp* loved ones– and so I take a special interest in this statistic. I don’t get why Catholics don’t just become Episcopalian and then they could get divorced, have a big Gay bishop, and some women behind the pulpit. More importantly, I’ve never understood a religion that basically says, “You shouldn’t do this, but if you do just confess, do a few Hail Marys and we’ll call it even.” Whaaaat?
So, you can live your life serving Jesus (and society) in the slums of Kolkata like Mother Teresa, or be a mass murderer and get into Heaven as long as you confess? What happens if I live a good life, but then have some extra-marital sex, and die on my way to confession in a heinous car crash? Then what happens? At least with the other Christians you just have to “accept Jesus” to still be protected in the car-crash scenario.
I digress… Apparently the Catholics are heading to the American Southwest, also known as “McCain Territory.” I just want to take a minute to point out what a drain humans who insist on living in the desert are on the environment, and God probably doesn’t like that.) The Courant wrote:
The difficulty in adhering to Catholic beliefs in a society that regularly affronts the faith — by legitimizing, for example, abortion and gay marriage — might be part of the reason for the decline, said the Rev. John Gatzak, a spokesman for the Hartford Archdiocese.
Can I even express how happy I would be if I no longer had to see “I Vote Pro-Life” stickers on the road? Or how much more relaxed I would be if I didn’t have the urge to punch opponents of Gay marriage in the face at least once a month?
“It has never been easy to live the life of a Catholic,” Gatzak said. “It’s not easy to frequently stand up for what one believes, to practice the faith, to live the faith as a dedicated Catholic, because much of what the church believes and teaches marches against the general trend of society.”
I’m going to have to agree with Gatzak here. It must be incredibly hard to constantly deny others their quality of life, whether it’s in regards to birth control, stem-cell research, Gay marriage, divorce, or aiding and abetting child abuse. In fact, I imagine it’s so exhausting that these hordes of Catholics are simply retiring to Arizona early, because they’re so tuckered out.But slightly less biased analysts told The Courant they saw a different pattern here:
Scholars not affiliated with the study said that a main factor in the drop in so-called self-identifying Catholics is likely due, in part, to lower birthrates among white, non-Hispanic Catholics. For many years, the Catholic church was regenerated by high birthrates, but those numbers started to drop off dramatically 25 to 30 years ago as Catholics began to reach socioeconomic parity with the once-dominant Protestants, said David Roozen, a sociologist of religion at Hartford Seminary.
Let us read between the lines here. This should probably be read as, “Catholics stopped paying attention to the Pope and started using birth control.” Which, of course, calls into question their actual “Catholicism”, at least according this guy:
But Plocharczyk, like Gatzak, also talked about the difficulty in being true to the faith.
“Being a Roman Catholic is not like going through a buffet, where you take what you like,” Plocharczyk said. “The Lord asks us to follow all of those things and not just pick and choose. Jesus does demand and he does challenge us.”
I’d personally like to extend an invitation to the young, modern Catholics who are jumping ship to visit their local Episcopal Church. They’re just like Catholics, only with more women and fewer Popes.