Church Decline 25 May 2020
In Europe we see decline of the Catholic church and church community. Is that a problem? Is this a serious issue? Does it shake the roots of our existence?
"I am a parish priest. Yes, we decline for the last 50 years. 50 years ago almost 90% of the people in my country were baptized. Now just a mere 1% is churchgoing. It is not that bad. We are just getting rid of many nasty persons. And we will revive in greater unity and strenght."
"I am a parish board member. We struggle with many old and expensive buildings. Although they do have beauty, they hardly suit our modern needs. They are however state and city monuments and we can not even tear them down. Our financial support declines year by year a little and in 15 years we may be bankrupt."
"I am an ordinary parishioner. The church nowadays offers fewer masses and opportunities to pray. Compared to 20 years ago it is a big difference. Religious instruction for adults has improved somewhat. Unfortunately I do not feel guided by the church to live healthy in this modern time. My local church is not facing the troubles and hardships of today's society. Sometimes it feels as if the church lives in a previous long gone century."
"I have left the church a long time ago. I still miss significant religion. I hardly see how the church lives out the commandment to love your neighbour. Being honest, by times I long for the simplicity of life a century ago."
In this modern time, life changes more rapidly than we like.
Yesterday I remembered Jesus saying in Luke 22:15
"Earnestly have I desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I suffer; because, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again?) until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."
We are on a journey, a passover, until the kingdom of God has been reached.
The Kingdom of God can only come for us if we are willing to pay the full price. Jesus died for us. We may need the willingness to let our 'old self' die.