Studying Time: 4 minutes
The Australian Catholic Mass Attendance Report 2016 provided three conclusions on elevating Mass attendance from the reported 11.8 per cent, and it’s the credibility of those conclusions that will probably be on trial when the outcomes of the 2021 Report are lastly offered.
The primary suggestion to treatment the declining Mass attendance, in response to the 2016 Report, was that “a rare occasion or occasions would wish to happen earlier than we witness a reversal – or perhaps a plateau – of the declining attendance tendencies”.
In different phrases, aside from the second coming, a miraculous occasion, or maybe one other world struggle, the declining pattern would proceed. The affect of COVID, which undoubtedly would fall into the class of “extraordinary occasions” mockingly, nonetheless, seems to have had a reverse impact on Mass attendance, even with Church buildings now reopening.
The second answer: “There would should be a surge in youthful folks attending Mass.” In different phrases, this answer would require a paradigm shift in how our present contracepting tradition views households and kids; but this may take generations to rectify it whether it is even attainable in any respect.
“I can guarantee you; extra evangelisation happens when any of the works of mercy are exercised, when a priest celebrates a very good and correct liturgy, or when a parishioner spends an hour earlier than the Blessed Sacrament than the results of most evangelisation committees.”
The ultimate suggestion to bolster Mass attendance was to extend numbers via the “unanticipated arrival of enormous numbers of Catholics from abroad, to offset the advancing age profile of attenders.” Seeing what COVID has carried out to worldwide journey, this is not going to occur anytime quickly.
The ultimate hope of accelerating Mass attendance which the 2016 Report offers is a wait-and-see strategy to find out if the redoubled evangelisation efforts of varied dioceses will enhance Mass attendance.
Having sat on evangelisation boards and committees, I’m sceptical. I can guarantee you; extra evangelisation happens when any of the works of mercy are exercised, when a priest celebrates a very good and correct liturgy, or when a parishioner spends an hour earlier than the Blessed Sacrament than the results of most evangelisation committees.
Sadly, I think the 2021 Report will present an additional decline in Mass attendance, and a maintain in Mass attendance at 11.8 per cent is the perfect we are able to hope for. Luckily, the laity doesn’t have to attend for the 2021 Report or a neighborhood plenary council to evangelise or invite others to Church.
The Church is loaded with social providers, perhaps even overloaded. Can we are saying the identical about its religious providers? What number of of our Church buildings provide common Eucharistic Adoration or Bible Research, for instance?
At present, there isn’t any simply accessible pre-packaged program that may resolve this drawback, nor ought to there be. The true answer is multifaceted, and it received’t be simple. Just like the cathedrals of previous, generations will cross with out seeing the ultimate fruits of their labours.
Furthermore, no matter adjustments that happen for the higher will probably be refined adjustments over many years, if not centuries, which looks like a very long time from our perspective.
However to the Church, which thinks in millennia and nonetheless considers the Rosary a contemporary devotion, a century just isn’t a very long time. So, anybody promising drastic outcomes by simply altering one or two issues rapidly and instantly will undoubtedly solely go away the native Church pissed off.
“The laity will probably be utilized in many parishes, however provided that they don’t problem the established order of lukewarm Catholicism.”
Moreover, if you’re ready for a top-down answer and strategy, don’t maintain your breath; please don’t, we’d like you at Sunday Mass and on this planet making a distinction greater than you handed out on the ground at residence. Nonetheless, I can not assist questioning from studying the 2007 Analysis Venture on Catholics who’ve Stopped attending Mass and the 2016 Report if the Church will ignore her largest asset in her endeavour to extend Mass attendance: the laity.
The laity will probably be utilized in many parishes, however provided that they don’t problem the established order of lukewarm Catholicism. God forbid that somebody ought to is available in and overturn tables within the temple of God.
When the Apostles went to evangelise, their purpose was to not enhance Mass attendance. They proclaimed the Resurrected Christ as King. It was solely via the proclamation of Jesus as Lord, and the works that give testimony to the preaching, that butts appeared on seats.
If the 2021 Report recommends something aside from a vigorous preaching and proclamation of Jesus as Lord and King from the pulpit, within the residence, in Catholic colleges, within the streets in each phrase and deed, not solely will Mass attendance proceed to say no in Australia, the Church will develop into a remnant, which might not be a foul factor if meaning scraping the lukewarm barnacles from the hull of our Holy Mom Church.