From: <CEvans1950@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 08:39:49 EDT


Here we see a good thing... Catholic attendence at Sunday's pointless rituals is down and staying down.

Its hard to imagine what sort of dimwit imagines that there are actually a billion Catholics in the world. They include every unthinking child who's ever been baptised in their population figures.

(Reference 1997 Information Please Alamanac: actual Catholic figure per the church is about 960 million, so even the "billion" has been rounded up considerably) Only about 10% of them participate in its rituals so it seems 90% of them have given up on the church. (Even that 10% is high since it includes those unwilling minors dragged to church on Sunday.)

So the actual figure of practicing Catholics is only 96million worldwide. They lie like rugs when it come to statistics, presumably hoping to pretend to political influence they don't really have.

There's a huge difference between the claim of 20% of the world being Catholic and the real figure of less than 2%, isn't there?

This is not clerical error, it is clerical lying.


Fredric Rice comments:

Even as membership in the Catholic brand of Christianity continues to decline and, in fact, membership in so-called "mainstream" Christianity continues to decline across the board, membership in the more destructive brands of the Christian religion are on the rise.

The United States, in fact, is struggleing in the grips of an overwhelming tide of Christianity, inflicted by religious occultism in numbers never before attained by any civilized nation.

There's no cause for those few of us who can still reason to consider this report grounds for encouragement. There's still a long way to go before religious occultism is finally educated out of the populace.

Keep Sundays holy, healthy and happy, Pope says

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, July 7 (Reuters) - Pope John Paul, in a letter to the world's one billion Catholics, urged them on Tuesday to rediscover Sundays as not just part of the weekend but a day dedicated to God, the family and healthy entertainment.

In the 100-page Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini" (The Day of the Lord), the Pope also sought to deal with the problem of strikingly low attendance at Sunday mass in many countries.

He reaffirmed Catholic law that it was a "grave sin" if Catholics skipped mass on Sundays deliberately and without a legitimate reason.

In Austria, which the Pope visited last month, only around 17 percent of Catholics attend Sunday mass. In Rome, the Pope's own backyard, the figure is about 28 percent, according to the Vatican, while it is below 10 percent in other countries.

In many parts of the world, particularly in developed nations, "the percentage of those attending the Sunday liturgy is strikingly low," the Pontiff lamented.

The Pope struck a paternalistic rather than authoritarian tone in the letter, saying he realised the pressures of modern society often made it difficult to keep Sundays religious.

But he urged Catholics to strive do so even if it meant swimming upstream. "Changes in socio-economic conditions have often led to profound modifications of social behaviour and hence of the character of Sunday," the 78-year-old Polish pontiff said.

But while weekends of cultural, political or sporting activities were "by no means without positive aspects," Catholics had to keep God in Sundays first and foremost.

"Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a 'weekend', it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see the heavens," he said.

The Pope made no reference to a debate in soccer-mad Italy, home to hundreds of thousands of "Sunday soccer widows," over whether matches should be moved to Saturday in order to give families more time to spend Sunday together.

But Bishop Geraldo Agnelo, secretary of the Vatican department for worship, deftly fielded a question on the debate at a news conference presenting the papal document.

"Sport is also part of that letting off of steam on Sundays. There is no harm in sports," said Agnelo, who also hails from a soccer-mad country, Brazil.

"What the letter says is that there should be no impediments to Christians to take part in Sunday worship and make holy the day of the lord," the bishop said.

The Pope said Sundays should be a time to bring the family together because God often emerged in life's simple events.

"For example, the relaxed gathering of parents and children can be an opportunity not only to listen to one another but also to share a few formative and more reflective moments," he said.

Catholics should not use their Sundays "frivolously" and should avoid being enticed by "morally questionable forms of entertainment."

By keeping God in Sunday, the day could become "a moment when people can look anew upon the wonders of nature, allowing themselves to be caught up in the marvellous and mysterious harmony (of the universe)...."

The letter noted that the Church's Universal Catechism held that those who deliberately fail to meet their Sunday obligation to attend mass "commit a grave sin."

Archbishop Piero Marini, a Vatican official presenting the document to reporters, said bishops and priests were perhaps partly responsible for the low attendance.

"In a sense we are all responsible...bishops and priests have to prepare people for the liturgy spiritually and culturally and (are responsible) for the way masses are held."

07:20 07-07-98
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.


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