This past Monday and Tuesday I attended a conference called Interactive Connections. The basis of the conference was helping catechist and Church leaders bring more technology into the Church. Whether it is with students in the classroom, the mass or parish programs. The keynote speaker, Father Larry Rice, C.S.P. (you can also follow him on twitter @LRice) did an excellent job at making us aware of technology in the world. One of the things he brought to our attention were 7 Crises of the Catholic Church. He said we need to know what these are before going forward so we know some of the issues that are in the minds of the people! I thought this was an excellent point in understanding your “audience.” Many of these crisis I didn’t know anything about! Since I wasn’t aware of some of them I figured many of my readers probably didn’t so here I am to share them with you.
VOCATIONS CRISIS – There has been a drop in numbers of priests & religious. We are unable to staff schools, parishes, and hospitals. Father Larry mentioned that soon all priests will do is say mass and give sacraments. The problem is that is only half of their job. I also think part of this drop is due to the many scandals they are VERY careful as to who they let into religious life.
CATECHETICAL CRISIS – We have largely failed to pass on our faith. Faith seems irrelevant. Faith seems shallow. We can see this by the many young adults that leave the church. We also have many young people you never see again after confirmation, marriage, or baptism. (We’re not blaming anyone it is just facts)
ATTRITION CRISIS – This crisis is very similar to our Catechetical Crisis. People are LEAVING the church in DROVES! Not because they are angry at the Church but because they are BORED!! [Need to be life-giving to people. (not sure I know what this means it was just written in my notes so I think it was important)]
LEADERSHIP CRISIS:Who’s leading and how? – We’ve had shifting roles for Bishops, Clergy, and Laity (many with no proper training)
DISUNITY CRISIS:We’re no longer one Church! – Who’s “Really” Catholic? Ideology has replaced mission. We have many people arguing about who is more catholic than others. Does it really matter? The only one that cares is God!
VICTIMOLOGY CRISIS – We’re under attack by the media, the liberals, the government, etc. Diminishes our responsibility. Even if it’s true? So What?
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CRISIS (Consolidation and Redistribution) – There are empty urban churches and suburban churches “busting at the seems.” Many churches are encumbered by useless facilities and paying to maintain facilities. Due to where catholics are living this seems to be an issue.
One analogy he did say was CRISIS = DANGER + OPPORTUNITY yet we only see the DANGER! What is the OPPORTUNITY we can take from these Crises? A little food for thought as you start your weekend 🙂
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