Wednesday, July 22, 2015

authentic christian church struggling to hold onto millenials..., (tards gotta go!)


religiondispatches |  Pope Francis is popular among young Catholics, with only two percent having a negative view of him. But the American church hierarchy is not looked on so kindly, and there is an increasing emphasis on a separation between politics and religion. A full 80 percent of respondents said they felt no need to follow the bishops’ advice when it comes time to vote, and 77 percent said Catholic politicians were under no obligation to follow the bishops either.

They are also opposed by a wide margin to bishops withholding communion to the divorced and remarried, those who support legal abortion, and those who support marriage equality.

What’s missing from this survey, however, is the question of church attendance. How much are these Catholics who disagree with and question church teaching are actually showing up? Christian Smith, the head of the National Study of Youth and Religion at Notre Dame, says the situation with Catholic millennials participating in church culture is “in fact, grim.” Only 16% of millennials self-identify as Catholic according to Pew. That 16% is the group the church is struggling to hold on to.

So if they are increasingly choosing the liberal side in the culture wars, are they really still Catholic?
Canon Law 204.1 states that a Catholic not only has to be baptized, but also “share the profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical governance” to be “considered in communion with the Church.” Canon Law 208-223 has more specific rules for acting out the obligation of the laity, but some of those rules are ambiguously stated, including 209.1, which tells us that “the Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church,” or 210, which says that Christians should try to lead a “holy life” but “according to their own condition.”

The linguistic ambiguity of Canon Law, along with the fact that very few Catholics bother to read it, means that belonging to the church is ill defined.

For most Catholics—and especially for younger ones whose Boomer and Gen X parents may themselves have drifted from the church, slipped in their catechesis, or willfully ignored some of its teachings on sexual issues (the increasingly smaller number of children born to Catholic families is empirical evidence of that)—their Catholicism may have always been a self-defined identity rather than a strident one.