The Sunday Telegram ran an article on Easter Sunday (reposted here by Angelqueen) about the state of New England Catholicism. In addition to liberalism in social politics, Worcester Bishop Robert McManus was quoted as saying:
“Sunday morning has become a time when there’s football practice, baseball practice, soccer practice. You name it. It’s going on Sunday morning, when people should be in church, celebrating their faith … I think 50 percent of Massachusetts residents are baptized Catholics. Could you imagine if these people, their faith, came alive again? What a difference it would make in terms of the life of the Catholic Church.”
Really, Your Excellency? Are you really telling your flock that you have to attend Mass every Sunday? Most baptized Catholics are not bothering to show up on Sunday morning because (1) your clergy, for the most part, have not preached about observing the Third Commandment, "Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath Day," (Sunday for Christians) and (2) your Masses are not true Masses. Say the Tridentine Mass and see how many people will start showing up.
Another point is if 50% of Massachusetts residents are really baptized Catholics (approx. 3.5 million people), then only about 10% percent of them actually show up to the Novus Ordo Masses; the true believers are the small numbers who (are able to) go to the Tridentine and Eastern Rite Masses. (You're talking only four figures at best.)
Finally the Bishop is saying something, but it is too late. In the City of Worcester alone (pop. approx. 180,000) there is an approximate of 30,000 baptized Catholics, which only 30% attend Sunday Mass. So only 9,000 Worcester residents attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis (I don't count because I go out of town to a True Mass.) OUCH!
|A photo clipped from The Catholic Free Press|
showing liturgical abuse what the Diocese of
Worcester stands for. (File)
While 30% is higher than the U.S. average, it is still not sustainable. Several parishes in the city have closed, while more are in danger because of empty pews. Worcester is a minority-majority city, and despite an active immigrant Latino population, many of them are not Catholic. The Diocese even has a separate "Hispanic Ministry" to try to keep Catholic Latinos engaged with the Church. It ain't working too well, except that all Masses throughout the Diocese will be in Spanish in ten years.
As far as youth ministry is concerned, they don't promote orthodoxy. Forget about young adults, as they are expected to leave the church after high school graduation. They baptize illegitimate children all the time now, only at the grandparents' insistence.
There will be no Worcester Diocese in ten years or so. There will be no one left.