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Old 09-07-2001, 09:20 PM   #1
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I'm not Catholic so I can't comment, but I live in Canada, and my dad once talked to someone who described himself as a lapsed Catholic and then said "we're the largest denomination in Canada," or something like that.



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Old 09-08-2001, 01:10 AM   #2
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I think this is a very interesting question, and I'm looking forward to a well thought out reply.

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Old 09-08-2001, 01:51 AM   #3
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Well, I am a practicing Catholic, and I can't really speak for all Catholics or the Church, but ... What the heck! I will!


First off, let me say that I can't believe that other faiths don't also have this issue of people dropping out (usually at around the late teens, or early twenties).

Perhaps someone here from a Protestant or Non-Christian faith can comment.

As for Catholics, well yes, many of us leave the Church. I certainly did.
Why??? I'm not sure. I guess I can say that I left because having to go to church for one hour every Sunday was a real pain. It was wayyyyyyyyyyyy to much to ask for. I mean, I had things to do, like... sleep off my hangovers, and watch football!!

And it was SO boring!!! Pray the same stuff. Stand; sit; stand; kneel; sit; stand... I mean, come ON!! And... just WHO were these people, anyway!??? First off, this ol' priest... in his usual boring, monotone voice... "Blahhh, blahhhh, blahhhh...Amen."
And whats with the cookie and the wine?? I don't get it!?
And the Church... Fascists!! Why can't I get laid? Hell...Sex was made for pleasure, right?? And all these rules...Its all bull, man!! We're not in the Dark Ages! What about MY rights!? I don't want no kid, you know... "Too many unwanted babies already"... and all that stuff. Sex...YES! Babies..no! Birth control doesnt hurt anyone. Its not like its a "real life" anyway... Is it??? I don't wanna hurt anyone. I just want what I want! Thats ok, to want something for me, and if people get hurt.. Hey too bad!! Life's a bitch!

And all these people sitting around me...Hypocrites!... Kneeling there...with those "holier than thou" looks on their faces...Judging me! Thinking they are better thann me!! SCREW THEM!

Hell, I don't need this crap! God is everywhere, right?? I don't have to get all dressed up and go fake faith for an hour! I can fake...err... I mean, I can pray to God here at home...Ummm, when and IF I ever do get around to praying... I mean, come on. God knows I meant to pray... There's plenty of time to get all religious later in life, when I get old and am afraid to die.. I mean, that IS why you see all those old people in church, right? They are going to die, and they want to make sure they go to heaven. Thats the ONLY reason they are there.. Those hypocrites!

Hell, I'm young! I deserve to party! I don't need all this guilt crap! Life is to have fun while you can! Its about "me"! Satisfying me. Finding pleasure for me! Me, me, me! Hey... I just want what I deserve!
Hell, why is everything fun a sin! That's stupid!
Besides... I don't know... I mean, is there REALLY a "God"??? I don't see Him. I don't feel Him. Look at all the bad things that happen in the world! Why does God let it happen! I suffer a lot, you know! Where's God for me?? ... What if God doesnt care? What if there is NO God!?...Ahhhhh! I dont wanna think about it! I have way too many important things going on in my life! School, career, bills, and of course, the girlfriend... Well, I need to find one. Hell, I need to get laid!! Sex, my friend... THAT's what its all about! Getting laid... Gettin' high! Havin' fun!
God knows I believe in him...If He really does exist, that is. I pray in "my own way", ok!!!??? Get off my back!!
I don't need it! It's a crutch, man! "God" is for the weak! Those that cant handle life, and need to beleive in something to make them feel better. The "opium of the people", right!??...Who said that? Ghandi, right? Some smart dude!
Hypocrites! All of you! I don't need your guilt trip... get off my back!
It's MY life!!!


.

.


I was wrong. I found it out the hard way... I WAS wrong!
Like I said, I am practicing again. "Practice makes perfect", right?

I AM "the Prodigal Son."

You know, a kindley elderly nun once told us during a lecture that one time a concerned couple came up to her. They were concerned about their teenage son. "Sister! We're afraid that he is losing his faith!", they said.
"No.", Said Sister St. John, "He's not losing his faith... He's losing YOUR faith!"
She explained that that boy, like most all of us, had this "faith" BECAUSE of his parents. It was what he was taught since a very young boy. He was told to believe this.
It was, in fact, his parent's faith... Not his.
He had to find his own, IF at all. Some do. Many don't. ( "Many are invited...")

"Free will", right?

Peace

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Old 09-08-2001, 01:53 AM   #4
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For me, going to a Catholic school drove me a way from the Catholic church. There is so much hypocrisy and clicks. But I guess it's probably like that in all religions.

I have left the Catholic religion behind as of late. I don't think it matters what religion you are or what you believe as long as you treat others well and do something to help the world become a better place.
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Old 09-08-2001, 03:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikal:
For me, going to a Catholic school drove me a way from the Catholic church. There is so much hypocrisy and clicks. But I guess it's probably like that in all religions.

I have left the Catholic religion behind as of late. I don't think it matters what religion you are or what you believe as long as you treat others well and do something to help the world become a better place.
You would NOT believe how many Atheists I have met that went to a Catholic School... I mean, the fact that they had to go to one MADE them "know" that there was no God!
Sad, eh?

See, the Catholic Church, and religion is man-made! It is VERY imperfect! Here we are, on this earth, running around like mice in a maze... trying to get it right!
We get it wrong... A LOT!

I'm sorry that you had to endure that "forced feeding".
You now, as an adult, have made your choice... Except, let me offer you this:
See... I came back to the Church... the very imperfect Church, with yes, some lousy people in it, BUT YES some good people in it too! (YEAH!... they ARE there! You have to search them out, but they ARE there!).
See, I was NOT going to let the Catholic Church get in the way of my salvation... Of a personal relationship with Jesus... Of a good life!
I WILL NOT "throw out the baby with the bathwater"! That's TOO EASY. I will not abandon my Church, because there IS good in it! I'M a part of the good!( If I may be so bold... and prideful). I've seen the good. The good has saved my life. The good has shown me that, yes! God is real and He loves me... BECAUSE these church people love me.
And I need these people. I need people. We, the church people, when we gather, we ARE the Church; ARE the "Body of Christ". Not the building. Not the Roman Catholic Church. Not the Vatican.

I agree, I dont think it matters what religion you are. YOU have to make that decision.
But, Mikal.... You're missing out, my friend. You were not meant to be alone in this world, and I believe that we all weren't meant to worship alone, at least not always.
Gathering with a group of people. Singing; praising; worshipping; hearing the Word of God... SUPPORTING one another. In this action, we make God's promise and hope a reality!
Church... believe it or not, does NOT have to be some "pain in the ass thing that I'm forced to go do...Dammit!! "

No one forces me to do a single thing. I dont concern myself with "going to Hell" if I dont do this.
I actually want to go!

I would encourage you to seek out a church. Ask a coworker or friend. "Try out" different churches and services. It does NOT have to be Catholic... It may not even be Christian. It is your search, if you choose.

Peace


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It's in the things I do and say
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Die to myself someday.
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Old 09-08-2001, 03:20 AM   #6
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a question for catholics

quick question:

why are there so many non-practicing catholics? I know a whole bunch of people who were raised catholic, don't go to church, don't really agree w/ the teachings, but continue to call themselves catholic, and even get married in the church and raise their kids in the church. It seems to me to be far more common to see this type of behavior in catholicism than any other religion. It's almost as if being catholic isn't a religion, it's a culture.

thoughts?

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Old 09-08-2001, 04:56 PM   #7
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Hmmm well I'm catholic.. and I went to CCD classes, church every weekend with my parents, the whole bit, for many years. But I dont really go anymore.

I think maybe its because they forced me to go to church and take those classes when I was younger, which made me not really want to go.

I believe in God, Christ and Jesus... all that and I try to go to church on holidays and such.

I guess I suck.



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[This message has been edited by SicilianGoddess (edited 09-08-2001).]
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Old 09-08-2001, 05:58 PM   #8
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I agree with Bonoman. You don't have to go to church to be a good catholic. As long as you live a good life.

Thanks for the words of encouragement Trash Can. I'm not atheist though.
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Old 09-08-2001, 06:11 PM   #9
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I think there are several reasons, and I will list them in order of what I consider to be most important:

1) Protestantism (50% of cases)

This is pretty much true for all the Western world. The United States was founded on Protestant values, and, even though we have freedom of religion, etc., it's very much lodged into our collective subconscious. Then, unfortunately, a lot of Catholics grow up not really knowing Catholicism too well, and when they find out what it is, it is usually different from what they have grown up knowing from society. The most obvious example is from sexual attitudes, which are generally more relaxed than Catholicism's hard-line "no premarital sex, no birth control, sex is for procreation only" stance.

2) Conflict between Vatican and rest of clergy (10% of cases)

Especially since the Reagan era, the Vatican has generally swung right-wing, even though Pope John XXIII and his successor, Pope Paul VI, helped push along some of the most liberal reforms in the Church. Pope John Paul II, while one of the most successful popes in papal history, has led to large divisions in the Church. Liberal Catholics have tended to support the current pope's social activism regarding poverty relief and his more open attitudes towards other religions.

Unfortunately, he has proven to be quite conservative regarding social issues from birth control to homosexuality. The latter has proven to be more of a divisive issue, as Pope Paul VI was the one who was very influential in opening dialogue regarding acceptance. Pope John Paul II, however, went the opposite way, leaning more right-wing on both. While not often publicized, the U.S. bishops have often written scathing letters disagreeing with the Vatican on many social issues.

As a result, you have Catholic theologians with widely differing ideologies, depending on what Pope they were educated under. I, myself, was taught by very liberal Catholics, and I found myself quite disheartened when I realized how conservative the Vatican had swung. The Vatican, unfortunately, is quite out-of-step with it's more liberal Western followers.

3) Too many lies! (5% of cases)

I hate to admit it, but the Church has been an incredible liar throughout it's history. The lies I currently have problems with are some Biblical translations (although far better than KJV derivatives); it's lie that there have never been women priests, even though it's a historical fact they existed until about c. A.D. 500, and were only axed due to the women-hating stoics; and the list does go on. It's almost unfortunate that with Jubilee 2000, they couldn't do a traditional public confession and list all their lies.

4) The nature of Catholicism itself (35% of cases)

Fundamentalism, by nature, makes it quite simple to it's followers by having a hard-line "the Bible is always right" stance. Catholicism, though, does require a lot of intellectualism to decide what to believe and what not to believe. Unfortunately, I hate to say it, but the Church after Vatican II overestimated the intelligence of the majority of it's followers, and, as a result, there is just mass confusion, so a lot of people just see Catholicism as a bunch of "picking and choosing." Very often, people will choose the easy way out, and that generally conflicts with the religion itself, and so they tend to fall out.

Basically, I see these as the four main reasons, although, surely, it's not the only reasons. Feel free to add, subtract, agree, or disagree with my statements.

Melon

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Old 09-08-2001, 06:16 PM   #10
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I couldn't agree with you anymore Melon!
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Old 09-08-2001, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by SicilianGoddess:


I believe in God, Christ and Jesus... all that and I try to go to church on holidays and such.

I guess I suck.


I don't follow your logic here.


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[This message has been edited by martha (edited 09-08-2001).]
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Old 09-09-2001, 01:17 AM   #12
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melon, where'd you get those stats from?

bonoman, I don't think church is meant as a middleman. I too share the opinion that it is not that necessary to attend church in order to be a Christian/Catholic, but I do think church communities help a good deal in encouraging believers as well as nurturing and teaching them. It can be awfully lonely to be a believer in Christ, that's why. Church is a support, a gathering of people with similar goals. If you are thinking that church is a place for believers to be brainwashed, well then I think it is the believer's fault for being gullible or too lazy to think for himself.

Also, in Old Testament times, priests interceded on the people's behalf, meaning he was the only one able to enter the temple of God and pray the people's prayers. Now that's what I call being a middleman, someone without whom you can't establish connection with God. This is not the same case with the church, Protestant churches anyway. One can go to church and still meet with God on one's own without the church.

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Old 09-09-2001, 03:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by popkidu2:


why are there so many non-practicing catholics?
I dont know if you have to go to church to be considered a practiceing Catholic. I think the Church is only there to make money. Personally. But i practice my faith in my home. I can read a Bible and pray to God without going to a trumped up church with gold this and silver that. I know we must support our reiligon but it seems to me that Churchs try to compete with the next faith. Who has the biggest church, newest, nicest, its all a competion and thats what God never intended.

You go to the Vatican they are surrounded with some of the most expensive things in the world. Then they preach to people about the poor in the thrid world counties.

The one thing i did want to say is that just because you dont go to Church on Sundays and and particapate in Church outings doesnt mean you ar'nt a practicing Catholic. I and many people around this world are very involved in Relgion and don't need a middle man to God.

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Old 09-09-2001, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
1) Protestantism (50% of cases)

This is pretty much true for all the Western world. The United States was founded on Protestant values, and, even though we have freedom of religion, etc., it's very much lodged into our collective subconscious.
I agree with you here. My sense of Catholicism is stronger because my family is an immigrant family out of Eastern Europe. I find the same to be generally true of North American immigrants (recent ones anyway) from Latin America, the Philippines and other Catholic "strongholds" where Protestantism isn't really a relevant issue.

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Old 09-10-2001, 11:52 AM   #15
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I agree with a lot of the replies here which focus on why people "fall away" from practicing Catholicism. But I read popkid's question as "why do so many people who aren't practicing Catholicism still label themselves as Catholic?" This is something I've wondered for years. I don't even know if it's true, but it seems to be the case. If I were a sociologist, maybe I'd do a study.
Anyway, I meet a lot of people who were raised in the Catholic church, but don't attend anymore and don't consider the aspects of Catholicism that differentiate it from other Christian sects to be essential. Still these people, if asked what religion they are, say they are Catholic. That's fine, but I find it interesting because I've found far fewer people who were raised in (for example) a baptist church or an episcipalian church or a lutheran church who no longer hold to the specific teachings of that sect/denomination and still claim it as their religion. This has just been my experience, but it seems popkidu2 has noticed the same thing. I don't have an explanation. Maybe it's the "culture of Catholicism", maybe people view their infant baptism as a "permanent, irrevocable induction" into Catholicism. I don't know. Like I said, somebody needs to do a study on this.

Trash Can, there are a lot of people in my church and the church I grew up in (both conservative protestant) who I wish could read what you wrote. I hate the catholic bashing (not always overt) that goes on in a lot of protestant churches. It seems ingrained in a lot of protestant's head's (mine, until I was about 17 yrs old) that all Catholics are just "cultural catholics" and their faith isn't real, and if they do take their faith seriously, it's only about working your way to heaven. Thankfully I've learned that those are unfortunate problems for both protestants and Catholics, and that the Catholic church is full of committed Christians with a deep relationship with God. Awesome.

[This message has been edited by Spiral_Staircase (edited 09-10-2001).]
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