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The pope condemns personal relationship with Christ
Observing how our relationship with God “is personal but not private,” he stated that our journey of faith “is born of and enriched by the communion of the Church.”
“Whoever says they believe in God but not in the Church, has a direct relation with Christ outside of her, falls into an absurd dichotomy,” he noted, stating that “God has confided his saving message to human persons, to witnesses, and it is known to us through our brothers and sisters.”
However, to walk our path in the Church is not always easy, because “at times we encounter human weakness, limitations and even scandal in the life of the Church,” the Holy Father said.
But even so, “God has called us to know him and to love him precisely by loving our brothers and sisters, by persevering in the fellowship of the Church and by seeking in all things to grow in faith and holiness as members of the one body of Christ.”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis encouraged those present to keep in mind that, “as Christians, we cannot disregard the other, the Church; we cannot save ourselves on our own.”
How severe is the crisis?
It’s “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history,” says the National Catholic Reporter. Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church now has 1.1 billion members, compared with 1.5 billion Muslims and 593 million Protestants. In the U.S., all the major denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. “Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin.
What about in Europe?
The situation there is even more dire, especially in the most historically devout countries. In 1991, 84 percent of the Irish population attended Mass at least once a week. Today the weekly attendance figure is less than 50 percent. In Spain, 81 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic, but two-thirds say they seldom or never attend services. And the priest shortage is acute—in England and Wales, the church ordained only 16 clergy members in all of 2009.
originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
"Audience of 33 thousand." Mean anything? Idk.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure this is how the Catholic church has always felt.
Its scary so many have accepted this guy, he sounds like a wolf in sheeps clothing
That shadow is coming from the guy in the red robes and hat...lol.