By just about any metric, the Church in Europe and United States is in decline. From Church attendance to denominational affiliation, people are coming to Church less and no longer identifying with organized religion.
What do we do about this? Naturally, the answer to this question would take months to answer in a video, if an answer can even be given. Rather than offering a comprehensive response to the issue, i want to focus on one thing in this video: reframing our goals.
As much as the common metrics seem dire, quantitative data may not be all that helpful to us. Why? Because in years past, many people came to Church because they had to. It didn’t mean that they were true disciples, it just meant that there was social pressure to show up to church on Sunday. Now that that is simply not the case, we can see that “church attendance” may not be the end goal of our faith. Rather, we need to get to the core of what it means to be a Christian, and focus our attention on what really matters.
I thought Br. Casey’s comments were well said up to one point. The end. I thought you would go on and talk about the essence of the faith. Maybe you might follow up on that next time.. let’s talk about the faulty ideas of organized religion, in contrast to true living the faith, even if that means outside church walls. Some of us Franciscans live our living faith outside of the jurisdiction and walls of organized religion which does have some redeeming aspects Tobit, as well as Sunday Mass. But Sunday Mass is not the best or only precept of the Church to be considered, when evaluating the true essence of living the gospel. Mass is good, but not the only thing to consider. Christianity should return to a way of life to be loved, and stay away if a religion trying to be organized non order to control the faithful.
Well said! Excellent presentation of the challenges we face.