Monday, August 21, 2017

WHERE THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH

Posted by Tim


I'm not sure what to make of this article as the facts do not appear to support the title. My comments in red:

Twenty-four percent had a decrease in faith while 13 percent had an increase in faith.

Hmmm, not bad. That's only a net 11% decrease - and in a diocese which, per capita, the clergy sex abuse crisis is the worst in the world!

“The survey notes this is nearly a 2:1 loss to gain ratio. This is an unusual decline in the overall concept of religious faith in Guam,” the poll states.

Compared to what? I don't recall any recent poll which would give credence to the description of "an unusual decline." In fact, Catholics have been leaving the pews for years, long before these scandals broke. In 1986 when Apuron became Archbishop, there were about five non-Catholic denominations of any consequence. Today there are over 60, almost all of which are populated by former Catholics.

The loss in trust also contributed to a significant drop in church attendance...About 30 percent of those surveyed, reported church attendance has dropped in the last year while 12 percent reported attendance had increased.

It depends where you go. According to Fr. Mike Crisostomo this morning on K57, attendance is up at his parish. While much can be credited to Fr. Mike simply being Fr. Mike, probably the lion's share of the increase is due to parishioners getting fed up with years of the neo-fication of the neighboring parish of Barrigada. The same is true at other neo-fied parishes from which there is an ongoing exodus of parishioners to other non-neo-fied parishes. 

The survey indicates that the survey was conducted in the month following Lent and Easter and should have been a peak attendance season for the island’s Catholic faithful.

Says who? True, there are many who attend Mass only for those high holy days, but not necessarily the "following" Sundays. In fact, if anything, it immediately drops off. 

Twenty percent of participants reported donating less to the church in the last year while 10 percent stated they donated more.

Still only a net 10% loss, and primarily this was due to our call on JungleWatch to STOP THE MONEY back when we had no other weapon, and BEFORE the sex abuse revelations. 

The surveyors reported that people do not donate or give money to those whom they don’t trust and the decline in faith is likely a factor in the corresponding drop in contributions to the church.

Maybe. But this appears to be mere speculation by the "surveyors." Was this a question which was actually asked of the participants? Apparently not or the "surveyors" wouldn't have to speculate. 

Participants were asked if they believe the current allegations of sexual abuse of children by church officials...Nearly two-thirds of the those surveyed said they believed the allegations of sexual abuse were true while less than 10 percent said they did not believe the allegations.

Now, HERE is the only number of consequence. That's 66% versus 10%. 


*****

Note: For those whose faith has decreased, we must ask "faith in what?" Faith in a priest? Faith in a bishop? Faith in a man? Bad priests started with Judas, and Jesus picked him! But do we leave Jesus because of Judas? Yes you might, but take care, for it may very well be that Christ has sent us this test in order to "weed out his kingdom:"
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. "(Mt. 13)
And why should we be surprised at evil in our holy places? In fact, that's exactly where Jesus said to look for it:
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’a spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand..." (Mt. 24)

7 comments:

  1. I think it is important to know which firm or organization conducted the survey, instead of just "a private entity" conducted the survey. It seem to allude that the survey was scientifically done but it was not confirmed, other than the +/- 3 percentage points margin of error. I wonder why that was not mentioned in the article? The article should have started out with some detail of how the 300 individuals surveyed were selected; what list was used: voter registration; telephone directory; list of parishioners from all the villages; etc. The article also seemed to gather its information for the article from the executive summary. This is not enough to give the general public confidence in the survey. Also, there probably were not that many questions being asked aside from the standard "lead-in" questions to make sure that the person being surveyed has met all the requisite characteristics, in order to continue to the real questions of faith and trust. The actual questions should have been stated verbatim, as it is very important to ask the questions in the correct context, so as not to mislead the person being surveyed to answer a certain way.

    I think the survey may be valid, but my criticism is more to the content of the story.

    Also, I am assuming that the people being asked (the 300 sample population) were all Catholic. I wonder if any were asked if they were Neocats or "walked in the Way"? They probably would have lied anyway if they were Neocats to try and skew the results of the survey.

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    Replies
    1. It's also a curious matter as why Lujan would go to the press with the survey results as it appears that the results, and the publicity about them, essentially hands the "trained lawyer" the opportunity to claim that her client cannot get a fair trial, or at least gives her a basis to control much more of the jury selection process. I dunno. SMH.

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    2. Good point; which begs the question: How would this survey help Lujan's clients? That was not stated in the news story either. Maybe the finding that 2/3rds believe sexual abuse by the clergy is true is what Lujan can use to support the claims of his clients.

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    3. While the belief of 2/3 sounds good to us, publishing such a stat actually arms Apuron's side. They now can claim that he can't get a fair trial on Guam which is already 2/3 prejudiced against him. The trained lawyer may now have more control of the jury selection, and we already know how she'll select. Have no idea why Lujan wanted these numbers known.

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    4. Right, Tim. Having watched hundreds of US abuse cases decided in the plaintiffs' favor, Lujan's tactics never inspired confidence. He's in way over his head on this one and his clients will get the short end of the stick.

      Apuron can request a change of venue, but even if it's granted, he's dead in the water wherever he goes. The Church is hated on general principles and, on top of that, no jury will sympathize with a pedophile archbishop who is also a fugitive from Justice.

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  2. As clearly shown by empty pews, empty collection baskets, closed Catholic churches and closed Catholic schools, there's a huge decline in faith in developed countries.

    Vocations went down the drain as well, especially among women. We have a few fantastic Sisters locally, but the youngest ones are well into their 50's and overworked. Many of the older ones did heavy social service work until age 80+. Sadly, all of the highly educated Sisters left teaching long ago.

    Nearly all of the disasters were caused by bishop-enabled pedophile priests who did irreparable damage worldwide. Our diocese took a near-fatal hit from which it is not recovering. Even staunch, practicing Catholics no longer trust the institutional Church. A wonderful Papal Knight I know won't have anything to do with the treacherous Vatican or the lousy local bishop.

    No doubt about it. The devil won this round. I'm definitely not a fundamentalist, but everything the Bible says comes true. Serious attention should be paid to protective Scripture.

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  3. All that and a new parish was created and booming in Yigo.

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