The declining and surviving of 21st century Catholic Faith




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The declining and surviving of 21st century Catholic Faith

The Catholic faith is today filled with numerous scandals such as sexual abuse, Pedophile abuse, abuse of authority, double standard attitudes, and many other problems within the Catholic Church and faith. There has been various changes that since the beginning of the 20th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, the number of priests in the United States was rising steadily but the number suddenly began falling by 1965. It is also estimated that the number of individuals willing to become priests will ever keep on declining due to various reasons, among which loss of the Catholic faith is the key. The number of parishes without at least one priest is increasing in the US and the problem could be associated to the declining Catholic faith since by the start of the 21st century, the number of US Catholic Churches without a perish amount to over 15 percent of all Catholic Churches in the country. These trends indicate a falling faith within the Catholic Church. The trend is more serious in the 21st century than ever before. This paper will be based on the declining Catholic Church faith and its survival in the 21st century.

The fall f 21st century comes with many adjustments in technology, social values, and religious beliefs. The effect is immense in the Catholic faith as seen in the many scandals in the church. The failure and survival case of the church faith is highly seen in various regions around the globe. Sexual abuse, marriage of priests, and the abuse of authority is among the many problems associated with the Catholic faith (Julius, pp564). Recently, the pope has gone through a resignation process under what is claimed to be initiated by old age. The custom in this church is that pope reigns until his death comes around but the resignation of the pope could be initiated by issues that may hardly come into clarity with ease. Besides, there was yet another resignation. The British Arch Bishop had just resigned prior to the new pope’s secret meeting in Vatican. Furthermore, more is being witnessed as the same church keeps on losing its followers as seen in countries in the European countries (Susannah, CNN News).

The pope’s resignation is also explained in “The Guardian” (Friday 22 February 2013), as initiated by his discovery of a gay prelates networks specifically in the Vatican. The report in this case reveals that some of the gay members were being blackmailed by some outsiders (Hooper). The Italian newspaper, La Prepubblica carried the reports but the Pope’s spokesperson declined the report. The report indicated that the pope had made his decision on December 17 2012 after receiving a dossier compiled by three of the Church cardinals. These cardinals were delegated to look into the “Vatileaks” affair (Hooper).

The issue of homosexual seems to be the most severe but there are other key reasons why the Catholic faith has been declining since the beginning of the 21st century. The priest hardly preaches what they practice. There is an aspect of erroneous attitude towards the truth by some followers of the doctrine. The preachers may hardly be willing to test what they teach openly but do evil things in the backs of their followers. It is hardly a new occasion to find children fathered by priests in the church and nuns going through abortion (Riggs). It is certain that the church repels against the use of contraceptives including condoms and is totally against abortion. The opposite of this is done by them since sexual relationships by some priests and nuns would be perfect with the use of these birth control methods and in case of conception, then abortion is the only option as a way of hiding the bad image about the church. (Riggs)

Research is increasingly trying to bring out the issues within the catholic community. Various researches have a special focus on the Vatican City since it is the headquarters of the church. All these problems within the church and its faith are linked to the available literatures that bring out the way the church was born. The recent issues could be linked with the mid 20th century and the many problems such as wars, the Great Depression, and lately the Tsunami disaster (Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard). These many problems are related to the Catholic Church to some extend since many historical events are viewed as demarcating some distinct Catholic generations in relation to the Second Vatican Council. Some events act as distinctive events between the three Sections of the Vatican generations that include pre-Vatican II, the Vatican II, and the Post-Vatican III. The differences in this case are seen to create varying beliefs between generations as far as the catholic faith is concerned (Julius, pp501). The 21st century is faced with bad or undesirable practices and bad attitude toward the Catholic faith.

A survey done in 2005 indicated evidence of a new generation arrival known as the millennial and barely took a percentage of 9 by 2005 and 23 percent by 2011. They apparently identify themselves with the poor taking the footsteps of John Paul II. They have concern for the poor, for the environment, as well as concern for the common good (Julius, Anthony, pp378). There bad deeds hardly meant that John Paul II was immoral but they do these moral activities to conceal their evil deeds. These people are characterized by their urge to decide for themselves. They have spread the gospel of homosexuality, and irresponsible sexual behavior in general.

It is argued that the digital technology has played a significant part of in spreading evil. They transmit information about their evil views through these digital technologies that include iPods, BlackBerry phone technology, globalization, and mobile texting. The September 11 incidence affected this generation, including the various wars with the major one being the Iraq Wars and the War in Afghanistan, and recently the 2008 economic recession. These problems came in with the Catholics having a world full of sex abuse scandal (Holland, pp 400 ). Sex abuse became prominent in 2002 but kept on affecting the constitutional church.

In the olden days, women hardly took important roles in the church. The status of the church and the Catholic faith today could be viewed from two perspectives. There are those individuals who view the increasing role of women in the Catholic Church as a bad omen to its future failure especially considering that women hardly took part in church roles in the 19th centuries and earlier times (Holland, pp 404 ). Women have increased their roles in the Catholic Church in contrast to this. The United States leads this trend because of the increased equality advocacy between men and women in all spheres of life. The church has some strong restriction of women ordination thus making the church hierarchy male. This trend is quickly changing as seen from increased women participation in the church. The feminists find this useful in reshaping the church image while the male dominant are against the role played by women in the church (Holland, pp 404 ).

The increased role of women is done due to several reasons. These reasons could be the survival case for the Catholic Church in the 21st century. The current century and millennium came with a strong way of cultural changes. The shift in cultural attitudes plays a key role in leading to a significant acceptance of women as leaders (Holland J., pp 417 ). Women are less affected by the increasing cases of sexual abuse given that homosexuality and sexual harassment of young girls by some priests is prominent. There are only a few or no cases of the church female leaders engaging into sexual immoralities such as lesbianism or sexual harassment of young boys by women in the Catholic Church leadership. This trend of increasing women participation in the church leadership brings a new and brighter image in the Catholic Church (Riggs).

Women participation in the church leadership is also amplified by increased outreach ministries that whose targets include the groups that have traditionally valued women activities thus allowing women to work within them. Besides, women are always ready to accept lower benefits or work as volunteers against men whose main aim to work in any organization including the church is driven by the high benefits and salaries. Men in the today’s Catholic Church are driven by worldly gains (Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard). It comes in that the need of women participation is a key aspect of the church development and advancement in terms of spiritual matters. In most cases, the church offers lower salaries than the salaries offered in the secular world. Women are ready to accept this lower salary at any given time.

The resignation of the pope, Benedict XVI, is viewed as holy deed by the Catholic community as it was a completion of what is known as the “Year of Faith”. This action is shows that the fight or struggle for power is less serious in the Catholic Church than in any other religious community (Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard). While others could force the existing tradition that the pope should remain in his seat until his death, Benedict XVI showed that the Catholic community is a revived community with leaders who are not led by earthly demands for power and wealth.

Works Cited

Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard. “HE IS RISEN !: HOLLANDE – BENEDICT XVI ON THE SAME SIDE.” Jan 2013. The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century. 7 Mar 2013 <>.

Holland J., pp 404 . Modern Catholic Social Teaching: The Popes Confront the Industrial Age 1740-1958. Rome: Paulist Press , 2003.

Hooper, John. “Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper.” Friday 22 Feb 2013. The Guardian. 7 Mar 2013 <>.

Julius, Anthony, pp564. Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2010.

Riggs, David. Why I left the Roman Catholic Faith. 2013. 7 Mar 2013 <>.

Susannah Cullinane, CNN. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation explained. 28 Feb 2013. 7 Mar 2013 <>.

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