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)

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