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Author Topic: Pew Data: The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants  (Read 3523 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: April 18, 2011, 02:58:39 PM »

Quote
One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic.
Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why.
....
The data shows that disagreement over specific doctrines is not the main reason Catholics become Protestants. We also have lots of survey data showing that many Catholics who stay disagree with specific church teachings. Despite what theologians and bishops think, doctrine is not that important either to those who become Protestant or to those who stay Catholic.

People are not becoming Protestants because they disagree with specific Catholic teachings; people are leaving because the church does not meet their spiritual needs and they find Protestant worship service better.

Nor are the people becoming Protestants lazy or lax Christians. In fact, they attend worship services at a higher rate than those who remain Catholic. While 42 percent of Catholics who stay attend services weekly, 63 percent of Catholics who become Protestants go to church every week. That is a 21 percentage-point difference.
....
[On Catholics who become evangelical Protestant] Ex-Catholics are not flocking to the evangelicals because they think the Catholic church is politically too liberal. They are leaving to get spiritual nourishment from worship services and the Bible
....
[On Catholics who become mainline Protestant] What stands out in the data on Catholics who join mainline churches is that they tend to cite personal or familiar reasons for leaving more frequently than do those who become evangelicals. Forty-four percent of the Catholics who join mainline churches say that they married someone of the faith they joined, a number that trumps all doctrinal issues. Only 22 percent of those who join the evangelicals cite this reason.
....
[One conclusion among several] The Pew data shows that two-thirds of Catholics who become Protestants do so before they reach the age of 24. The church must make a preferential option for teenagers and young adults or it will continue to bleed.
I wonder if any survey has been done on why some Catholics become Orthodox.
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 03:46:30 PM »

Three things, in no order: 1) The Catholic church made a big mistake in the way they handled the priest sex abuse cases; 2) the pernicious effect of secularism; and 3) Vatican II.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 04:07:59 PM »

Three things, in no order: 1) The Catholic church made a big mistake in the way they handled the priest sex abuse cases; 2) the pernicious effect of secularism; and 3) Vatican II.

1) Vatican II 2) The Embracing of Secularism by the Clergy 3) Priest Sex Abuse as Evidence there is no ascesis within the Church.
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 04:16:09 PM »


 2) The Embracing of Secularism by the Clergy
Huh
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 04:20:57 PM »


 2) The Embracing of Secularism by the Clergy
Huh

Mainly 'worldliness'... consumerism.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 04:29:13 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 04:32:17 PM »


 2) The Embracing of Secularism by the Clergy
Huh

Mainly 'worldliness'... consumerism.
Priests are still humans.
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 04:38:49 PM »

Things like this interview with a French former Roman Catholic who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy might help you with your question, Jetavan. It is not a scientific study, but I think it is more interesting for its personal revelations, many of which I would agree with as an ex-RC wishing to become Orthodox. I personally cannot imagine why anyone would willingly become a Protestant of any kind, but I was raised Protestant, so I guess I soured on that whole idea of Christianity rather early on.

The Roman Catholic Church is unlikely to ever do the things that it would have to do to stop this hemorrhage, because it would involve too many changes to the structure of the church, and reversals of positions that it has long held.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 04:43:28 PM »



The Roman Catholic Church is unlikely to ever do the things that it would have to do to stop this hemorrhage, because it would involve too many changes to the structure of the church, and reversals of positions that it has long held.

I don't think that is true at all.  If that were the case then we'd have bled out centuries ago.  There is always waxing and waning going on.  

I think Robb has the best point so far.  My sister and daughter, both living in the south, both raising children alone, both headed for the closest Baptist Church because that is where they can get the social support that they crave...there's little if any thought toward doctrinal issues at all.  It appears that my sister will be going back to the Catholic Church.  I don't see that happening with my daughter...ever...unless she were to leave the south.
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 04:59:22 PM »

Elijahmaria,

I should have clarified that I'm not sure that the RC church will ever disappear (it seems unlikely, though also unnecessary if it can just as easily continue to be marginalized and watered down from within and without), but the hemorrhage I was referring to is with regard to the type of statistics quoted in the OP's study. I think these sorts of realities are widely known among RCs. Sometimes they try to keep the youth with "youth masses" and other things that just make it worse...but that does show that they are at least trying, I guess.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 05:02:46 PM »

Elijahmaria,

I should have clarified that I'm not sure that the RC church will ever disappear (it seems unlikely, though also unnecessary if it can just as easily continue to be marginalized and watered down from within and without), but the hemorrhage I was referring to is with regard to the type of statistics quoted in the OP's study. I think these sorts of realities are widely known among RCs. Sometimes they try to keep the youth with "youth masses" and other things that just make it worse...but that does show that they are at least trying, I guess.

Marginalized?.... Smiley 
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 05:10:02 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 05:41:31 PM »


Marginalized?.... Smiley 

Yes. I don't think anyone actually defers to the Vatican anymore...not even the majority of Catholics, if you believe the statistics on the use of contraception, support for abortion "rights", etc. I'm not saying it's a good thing (although I do personally see an upside in not living by "Roma locuta, finita est"), but it is the reality of the situation. Most RCs are culturally RC just like Christians of other denominations are often culturally whatever they are. The marginalization I'm talking about doesn't preclude a rise in numbers in any given place or time. Like the woman who converted to Orthodoxy says in the interview I linked, numbers don't mean a thing.
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 06:02:03 PM »


Marginalized?.... Smiley 

Yes. I don't think anyone actually defers to the Vatican anymore...

You can substantiate this?...is "anyone" hyperbole?
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 06:02:30 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.
The only people I know of who are under the Vatican are a handful of Popes. Oh yeah, and of course St. Peter.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2011, 06:31:27 PM »


You can substantiate this?...is "anyone" hyperbole?

Hyperbole, but not by much. It seems to me that the Vatican's opinion is sought by many due to the sheer size of the flock, regardless of whether or not that flock actually follow what the Vatican says.
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2011, 06:36:16 PM »


You can substantiate this?...is "anyone" hyperbole?

Hyperbole, but not by much. It seems to me that the Vatican's opinion is sought by many due to the sheer size of the flock, regardless of whether or not that flock actually follow what the Vatican says.

Well it is good to know that I am then one of the faithful remnant.   I have a large number of fellow believers as friends though, and that is a good thing for me  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2011, 06:40:27 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.
The only people I know of who are under the Vatican are a handful of Popes. Oh yeah, and of course St. Peter.
Your supreme pontiffs are over the Vatican. That's what makes it the Vatican, and not the See of St. Peter.

Btw, the numbers are 2% by the revolution, 16% by 1900, and 25% by 2000.
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2011, 07:14:16 PM »


You can substantiate this?...is "anyone" hyperbole?

Hyperbole, but not by much. It seems to me that the Vatican's opinion is sought by many due to the sheer size of the flock, regardless of whether or not that flock actually follow what the Vatican says.

Well it is good to know that I am then one of the faithful remnant.   I have a large number of fellow believers as friends though, and that is a good thing for me  Smiley

Yes. Now please evangelize your Roman brothers and sisters. They need you! (I speak from experience, as I was up until about 2 years ago one of them.)
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 07:14:35 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.
The only people I know of who are under the Vatican are a handful of Popes. Oh yeah, and of course St. Peter.
Your supreme pontiffs are over the Vatican. That's what makes it the Vatican, and not the See of St. Peter.

Btw, the numbers are 2% by the revolution, 16% by 1900, and 25% by 2000.
Part of that is due not to non-Catholic conversions or Catholics coming to the U.S., but the U.S. expanding and incorporating Catholic-occupied territories.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 07:15:10 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2011, 09:20:29 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.
The only people I know of who are under the Vatican are a handful of Popes. Oh yeah, and of course St. Peter.
Your supreme pontiffs are over the Vatican. That's what makes it the Vatican, and not the See of St. Peter.

Btw, the numbers are 2% by the revolution, 16% by 1900, and 25% by 2000.
Part of that is due not to non-Catholic conversions or Catholics coming to the U.S., but the U.S. expanding and incorporating Catholic-occupied territories.
Extremely little. Not one such action-the LA Purchase, the FL Adams–Onís Treaty, the Texas annexation, the CA annexation, the Mexican cession, the Gadesen Purchase-had more than the number of Orthodox who became subjects of the US with the AK purchase.
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2011, 10:49:16 PM »

Elijahmaria,

I should have clarified that I'm not sure that the RC church will ever disappear (it seems unlikely, though also unnecessary if it can just as easily continue to be marginalized and watered down from within and without), but the hemorrhage I was referring to is with regard to the type of statistics quoted in the OP's study. I think these sorts of realities are widely known among RCs. Sometimes they try to keep the youth with "youth masses" and other things that just make it worse...but that does show that they are at least trying, I guess.

If you read the article in the OP, you will see that the liberal dissenting author (the ubiquitous--in the NY Times, etc.---Thomas Reese) prescribes that "youth mass" crap as the medicine for the Catholic Church's ills.
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2011, 11:00:07 PM »

Catholics have been slowly but surely moving to the Protestants since the founding of America.  I remember reading that, in the 19Th century a Catholic bishop estimated that some two million Catholics had defected from the RCC to Protestantism (Mostly in the South).  I highly doubt that you could blame Vatican II for this supposed mass exodus when Catholic Americans were leaving in great numbers way before that Council ever occurred.

America is unfortunately a Protestant country and the whole ethos of our society is based on that creed(s).  Their is a strong pull amongst Catholics (As well as Orthodox Christians) who are largely the scion of immigrants, to convert to the Protestant churches, maybe in order to make themselves more Americanized?  
The percentage of Americans under the Vatican keeps increasing.  I don't believe it was in the 19th century the quarter or more it is today.

But doesn't that have to do with the large mass immigration from Latin America, rather than American Protestants becoming Catholic?
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 10:34:49 AM »

Is it really a "hidden exodus" as Protestants are all the children of the Latin church?
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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2011, 12:56:47 PM »

Is it really a "hidden exodus" as Protestants are all the children of the Latin church?

Isn't rebellion more the child of sin? If the Latin Church has sinned... it would be more so one of pride. Whereas the sin of rebellion more so the sin of the Protestants. Neither can claim a lack of responsibility of their own actions but perhaps we can have sympathy for us on this journey.
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2011, 01:19:15 PM »

If you read the article in the OP, you will see that the liberal dissenting author (the ubiquitous--in the NY Times, etc.---Thomas Reese) prescribes that "youth mass" crap as the medicine for the Catholic Church's ills.

We get that line from a (thankfully) very small group in Orthodoxy, too (and some others who want youth choirs).  The answer for them is likely the answer y'all give to your own "youth mass" types: what works best is parents integrating their own kids into the ONE LITURGY (mass, etc.) of the Church.
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2011, 01:34:39 PM »

That's kind of the problem though, Father: The RC church doesn't always have that response. It seems to both approve of and disapprove of such things, depending on their popularity in a given place. I was unaware how conservative my home parish had been about such things (while being innovators in other areas) until I moved away for a few years and was forced to attend a very different kind of Mass in my new city, with guitars and drums (it was a jazz combo, instead of a choir), all kinds of happy-clappy "songs" (can't really call them hymns), and a general frivolous atmosphere much of the time. I don't know if this was a "youth Mass" (it wasn't advertised that way, though the majority of attendees were youth; I figured that was because it was a college town), but it was very depressing. And a while later, after I had made a few Catholic friends, one invited me to his church in a different part of town, which was much more traditional and didn't have any of those things. Youth still showed up to this one, but it was clear they weren't being catered to as some sort of special, separate group.
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2011, 01:38:43 PM »

If you read the article in the OP, you will see that the liberal dissenting author (the ubiquitous--in the NY Times, etc.---Thomas Reese) prescribes that "youth mass" crap as the medicine for the Catholic Church's ills.

We get that line from a (thankfully) very small group in Orthodoxy, too (and some others who want youth choirs).  The answer for them is likely the answer y'all give to your own "youth mass" types: what works best is parents integrating their own kids into the ONE LITURGY (mass, etc.) of the Church.

I agree with you...as far as is possible.  

There is another set of data where it is determined that the children follow the father when it comes to fidelity to the faith and continuing attendance at liturgy and regular reception of the sacraments.

In Catholic parishes where there are 2-3-4-5 thousand families, there are also a statistically larger percentage of children whose fathers are absent from the family.  In these cases, youth masses are quite a God-send and the pastor and deacons take on the role that the father should be bearing for the family.

Also, Catholic youth are always aware of what their friends are doing and very often their friends are doing some pretty fun things in youth groups that are well funded and well chaperoned by good protestant mothers and fathers.  They draw any number of our Catholic youth away from the Church annually.  Some return, some do not.

In the United States, in large and socially diffuse Catholic parishes, there is an absolute need to set aside as much time, space and opportunity for the youths and young adults as is possible.

Mileage varies, which is a weakness in any evangelical venture.

M.

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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2011, 02:03:22 PM »


In the United States, in large and socially diffuse Catholic parishes, there is an absolute need to set aside as much time, space and opportunity for the youths and young adults as is possible


And this is to be done by setting up a separate, extremely lax and extremely impoverished "Mass" especially for them? I'm sorry, but I'm a young person (28), and I was very much distressed and turned off by what I experienced in that kind of environment (described in my previous post). I got in trouble on the Catholic Answers board for putting it this way, but I still think it's accurate: The problem with "youth masses" isn't that the RC is trying to address the concerns of the youth; the problem is that they are doing so according to what some people who generally are NOT youth think will keep the youth by looking at what goes on at the Protestant services they're losing youth to, and aping that as closely as possible -- which is wrong and awful. Meanwhile, the subset of Catholic youth who would NOT go to Protestant meetings (say, if they knew or had access to Orthodoxy) get doubly harmed: Their Catholic Church gets turned into a grotesque caricature of itself, and they are told that this is what is appropriate for them because they are "youth". It imbues them with the idea that serious, reverent worship is just not appropriate for their age group, no matter if they actually WANT old plainchant (not rock guitars), incense, etc. And from my experience in both California and Oregon (can't speak about other places), most young Catholics DO want these things, because they have relatives or other people in their lives who remember the old ways and it makes them wonder what they're missing out on. But instead of responding their concerns, they get whatever a middle-aged baby boomer's idea of "what the kids will like" is. Will the tyranny of the 1960s mentality ever leave the RC?

God doesn't want "hip", and kids want God. Enough already with pointless and harmful innovations.
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2011, 02:15:08 PM »

Well I beg to differ but I have a very different experience and about 30 years on you to have had them.  As I said, the mileage varies with youth programs,  but you are in a very progressive part of the country and I can assure you that there are parishes whose members do some very good and very faith-filled programming for youths, including liturgies, which are not done to the dulcet tunes of a rock'n roll band.  One of the thing that make it a youth mass, from my experience, is that the youth are permitted to select and provide the music for the liturgy and also have a voice, with the priest in choosing the variable prayers in the liturgy within the limits of the rubrics, and also requesting a topic for the homily, based upon the reading for that day.  If you do not "lead" them, young people choose some remarkably wonderful topics and very reverential music.  In one particular mass that I remember because my son was involved the music was all gregorian chant except for three hymns which were accompanied by a piano, a flute and a harp.  It was magnificent in its solemnity and in its reverence.

So I am very very sorry that you have had bad experiences.  I hope your experiences in Orthodoxy are more predictable and positive.


In the United States, in large and socially diffuse Catholic parishes, there is an absolute need to set aside as much time, space and opportunity for the youths and young adults as is possible


And this is to be done by setting up a separate, extremely lax and extremely impoverished "Mass" especially for them? I'm sorry, but I'm a young person (28), and I was very much distressed and turned off by what I experienced in that kind of environment (described in my previous post).
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 02:34:24 PM »

With all due respect to your experience (I realize we are just describing different experiences, which do not add up to describing the idea of "youth mass" as a whole, but bear with me, please), I do not think that what I witnessed had anything to do with the fact that I am in a very liberal part of the country. As you may or may not know, this idea of "youth mass" has also spread to some places that are not at all comparable to America, in terms of their social histories. I have one such recording of a youth mass held in Antelias, Lebanon, made in the 1970s. I bought it without realizing that it was a youth mass because it features Majida al-Rumi singing and one of the Rahbanis doing the arrangements. How could you go wrong with that? Well, I should've known better, because it is basically a jazz-fusion album, with some Spanish guitar thrown in. Is this your idea of what is appropriate for (for instance) the "Kyrie Eleison"? Especially given the fact that the church it was supposedly conducted for has its own rich Syriac tradition that has been lost in a morass of such innovation for many decades by now? Would it not help the youth more to connect them with their own heritage, rather than substitute Burt Bacharach for St. Ephrem? What then of the spirituality that underlies the lost traditions? Where does it go? I guarantee you that Catholics of ANY location are not helped in any way by such things. How could they be? It destroys their traditions!

Also, you are Byzantine Catholic. I am confused as to why you consider Gregorian chant, pianos and flutes as something to be commended in the context of a liturgy. Was the template for the youth mass some sort of reconstruction of medieval Latin liturgy? Because that's another problem related to these issues: I know Oriental Catholics whose churches, in trying to regain some of their lost traditions, are instead being "Byzantinized" by people who mistakenly think that anything that isn't Latin is therefore somehow appropriate for them. It seems that not many people at "ground level" in either the RCC or ECCs/OCCs have a sense of the integrity of a particular tradition versus other traditions that may be old, and may be venerable, but nonetheless belong to their own context, and are inappropriate outside of it.

Maybe I'm the problem. Am the only one who cares about the particular ancient traditions of the various churches?!

Well I beg to differ but I have a very different experience and about 30 years on you to have had them.  As I said, the mileage varies with youth programs,  but you are in a very progressive part of the country and I can assure you that there are parishes whose members do some very good and very faith-filled programming for youths, including liturgies, which are not done to the dulcet tunes of a rock'n roll band.  One of the thing that make it a youth mass, from my experience, is that the youth are permitted to select and provide the music for the liturgy and also have a voice, with the priest in choosing the variable prayers in the liturgy within the limits of the rubrics, and also requesting a topic for the homily, based upon the reading for that day.  If you do not "lead" them, young people choose some remarkably wonderful topics and very reverential music.  In one particular mass that I remember because my son was involved the music was all gregorian chant except for three hymns which were accompanied by a piano, a flute and a harp.  It was magnificent in its solemnity and in its reverence.

So I am very very sorry that you have had bad experiences.  I hope your experiences in Orthodoxy are more predictable and positive.
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« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2011, 02:42:44 PM »

I wasn't always a Byzantine Catholic, and I don't think our Latin rite needs to look like or sound like a monastic choir any more than I would approve of a jazz fusion liturgy.  So we are indeed arguing tastes and you are making great leaps that are not at all representative of either the needs or the actual practices in all large Catholic parishes.

You seem to be focused on a narrow band of experiences and I could ask you as you asked me: You are now safely set up in Orthodoxy: why do you care about what goes on in the Latin rite and ritual?

M.

With all due respect to your experience (I realize we are just describing different experiences, which do not add up to describing the idea of "youth mass" as a whole, but bear with me, please), I do not think that what I witnessed had anything to do with the fact that I am in a very liberal part of the country. As you may or may not know, this idea of "youth mass" has also spread to some places that are not at all comparable to America, in terms of their social histories. I have one such recording of a youth mass held in Antelias, Lebanon, made in the 1970s. I bought it without realizing that it was a youth mass because it features Majida al-Rumi singing and one of the Rahbanis doing the arrangements. How could you go wrong with that? Well, I should've known better, because it is basically a jazz-fusion album, with some Spanish guitar thrown in. Is this your idea of what is appropriate for (for instance) the "Kyrie Eleison"? Especially given the fact that the church it was supposedly conducted for has its own rich Syriac tradition that has been lost in a morass of such innovation for many decades by now? Would it not help the youth more to connect them with their own heritage, rather than substitute Burt Bacharach for St. Ephrem? What then of the spirituality that underlies the lost traditions? Where does it go? I guarantee you that Catholics of ANY location are not helped in any way by such things. How could they be? It destroys their traditions!

Also, you are Byzantine Catholic. I am confused as to why you consider Gregorian chant, pianos and flutes as something to be commended in the context of a liturgy. Was the template for the youth mass some sort of reconstruction of medieval Latin liturgy? Because that's another problem related to these issues: I know Oriental Catholics whose churches, in trying to regain some of their lost traditions, are instead being "Byzantinized" by people who mistakenly think that anything that isn't Latin is therefore somehow appropriate for them. It seems that not many people at "ground level" in either the RCC or ECCs/OCCs have a sense of the integrity of a particular tradition versus other traditions that may be old, and may be venerable, but nonetheless belong to their own context, and are inappropriate outside of it.

Maybe I'm the problem. Am the only one who cares about the particular ancient traditions of the various churches?!

Well I beg to differ but I have a very different experience and about 30 years on you to have had them.  As I said, the mileage varies with youth programs,  but you are in a very progressive part of the country and I can assure you that there are parishes whose members do some very good and very faith-filled programming for youths, including liturgies, which are not done to the dulcet tunes of a rock'n roll band.  One of the thing that make it a youth mass, from my experience, is that the youth are permitted to select and provide the music for the liturgy and also have a voice, with the priest in choosing the variable prayers in the liturgy within the limits of the rubrics, and also requesting a topic for the homily, based upon the reading for that day.  If you do not "lead" them, young people choose some remarkably wonderful topics and very reverential music.  In one particular mass that I remember because my son was involved the music was all gregorian chant except for three hymns which were accompanied by a piano, a flute and a harp.  It was magnificent in its solemnity and in its reverence.

So I am very very sorry that you have had bad experiences.  I hope your experiences in Orthodoxy are more predictable and positive.
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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2011, 02:58:47 PM »

Quote
I wasn't always a Byzantine Catholic, and I don't think our Latin rite needs to look like or sound like a monastic choir any more than I would approve of a jazz fusion liturgy.
 

I never wrote that it did. I only wrote that just as there are youth who want a Protestant-like emotional experience in their church, there are also youth who want something more traditional. Gregorian chant or other stuff may be just what the doctor ordered, as far as they are concerned. If it is appropriate within their tradition, I don't see why not they shouldn't have it. By the same token, since there is no similar context in which Protestant-style worship would be appropriate for Catholic youth, I see every reason why they shouldn't have it.

Quote
You seem to be focused on a narrow band of experiences and I could ask you as you asked me: You are now safely set up in Orthodoxy: why do you care about what goes on in the Latin rite and ritual?

I am not "set up" in Orthodoxy, safely or otherwise. I care about what goes on in the Latin Rite and the rest of the Roman Catholic Church because I've been there up until relatively recently, and I developed a great love and respect for certain aspects of that church and many, many of the people in it. I think it can do better for itself, and its youth, and (to tie it back in with the OP) unless you want many, many more people to leave it, it will have to do better than it is doing. You can brush my comments off as those of an ex-Catholic sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, but it is far more difficult to ignore the reality of the RC communion as it is today, wherein substantial problems are addressed with all sorts of  inventions which lead Rome further down the drain of modernism, secularism, and irrelevance.  
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2011, 03:17:22 PM »

Quote
I wasn't always a Byzantine Catholic, and I don't think our Latin rite needs to look like or sound like a monastic choir any more than I would approve of a jazz fusion liturgy.
 

I never wrote that it did. I only wrote that just as there are youth who want a Protestant-like emotional experience in their church, there are also youth who want something more traditional. Gregorian chant or other stuff may be just what the doctor ordered, as far as they are concerned. If it is appropriate within their tradition, I don't see why not they shouldn't have it. By the same token, since there is no similar context in which Protestant-style worship would be appropriate for Catholic youth, I see every reason why they shouldn't have it.

Quote
You seem to be focused on a narrow band of experiences and I could ask you as you asked me: You are now safely set up in Orthodoxy: why do you care about what goes on in the Latin rite and ritual?

I am not "set up" in Orthodoxy, safely or otherwise. I care about what goes on in the Latin Rite and the rest of the Roman Catholic Church because I've been there up until relatively recently, and I developed a great love and respect for certain aspects of that church and many, many of the people in it. I think it can do better for itself, and its youth, and (to tie it back in with the OP) unless you want many, many more people to leave it, it will have to do better than it is doing. You can brush my comments off as those of an ex-Catholic sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, but it is far more difficult to ignore the reality of the RC communion as it is today, wherein substantial problems are addressed with all sorts of  inventions which lead Rome further down the drain of modernism, secularism, and irrelevance.  

I don't do any of the things you've written here.  I have simply defended what I believe to be several truths.

One is that there is a need in large Catholic parishes to target the youth and young adult for special attention both in terms of parish activities and in terms of liturgical practice.

The second point I made was that in some cases what you would like to see happen does happen.  When allowed to choose the musical setting for the parish I have seen youth and young adults choose chant and reverential and ancient hymns for their liturgies.  But those things need to be placed in front of them at some point and their value displayed.  One of the things that I witnessed was the courage and initiative of young musicians who took it upon themselves to make ancient music come alive with flute and harp and piano and their arrangements fit beautifully with the Gregorian chant they chose to use with the liturgical prayers of the mass. 

You tossed that off and asked me why I was even interested in a flute and harp and piano as an eastern Catholic...

And yes.  Indeed.  I do think you are safely tucked up in Orthodoxy. 

But there are many young men and women who will remain Catholics and they need guidance and attention that is individual and intensive and based in Scripture and Liturgy and Life!!

M.
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2011, 03:34:06 PM »



The Roman Catholic Church is unlikely to ever do the things that it would have to do to stop this hemorrhage, because it would involve too many changes to the structure of the church, and reversals of positions that it has long held.

I don't think that is true at all.  If that were the case then we'd have bled out centuries ago.  There is always waxing and waning going on.  

I think Robb has the best point so far.  My sister and daughter, both living in the south, both raising children alone, both headed for the closest Baptist Church because that is where they can get the social support that they crave...there's little if any thought toward doctrinal issues at all.  It appears that my sister will be going back to the Catholic Church.  I don't see that happening with my daughter...ever...unless she were to leave the south.

If you reject Jeremy's explanation, then it means the Catholic Church can't act in America to change the process.

Robb's explanation is correct, but the Subjective Element in social processes cannot be denied.

I would like to think that the Roman Catholic leadership could take some steps to stem ore reverse the hemorrhage. If that's true, then the fact it hasn't done this means that the RC leadership has failed to take the steps because of serious shortnesses on its own part.  

The facts that (1)Protestants have some important things in common with U.S. Orthodox, like married priests, allowance of some contraceptives, more democratic governance of parish life, etc., and
(2) Catholics complain about these issues in the RC as an institution
suggests from our Orthodox perspective that a serious part of the problem is due to the R.C. as an institution.

Still, this does not mean that Orthodox are immune from the same social conditions pulling people away from R.Catholicism, like feeling a lack of a need for strong spirituality, and the fact that RCs and Orthodox are a minority.

It could be true that consumerism, competitive capitalism, republican democracy fit best with what we see in the evangelical movement, the idea that each person's conflicting interpretation of the Bible is right. Populist democracy fits in too, because of the movement's simplicity. Probably Agnoticism, the evangelical movement, and moderately-traditional Protestantism, are seen as the most "American".

Fortunately, democracy allows for diversity, so there will always be a few Christians who think outside the box, and immigrants in a few big cities...


To put it another way, at least Alaska will stay Orthodox:

(I hope this is a joke)
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2011, 03:37:21 PM »

One is that there is a need in large Catholic parishes to target the youth and young adult for special attention both in terms of parish activities and in terms of liturgical practice.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on certain points of this. I do not think it is appropriate to have a separate form of the liturgy for the youth. I think they should be integrated into the liturgy already in place, and taught its value from the beginning. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, no?

Quote
The second point I made was that in some cases what you would like to see happen does happen.
 

I don't doubt it. If I were in the position to direct such things (as you've given me the impression that the "youth mass" is one in which the youth make those decisions), that's exactly what would happen.

Quote
You tossed that off and asked me why I was even interested in a flute and harp and piano as an eastern Catholic...

No, I asked you why you felt that such things are appropriate for what I had assumed was a Byzantine liturgy, or at least patterned after one (as you are a Byzantine). I apologize for making such an assumption.

Quote
And yes.  Indeed.  I do think you are safely tucked up in Orthodoxy.

This must be news to the Orthodox...  Smiley

Quote
But there are many young men and women who will remain Catholics and they need guidance and attention that is individual and intensive and based in Scripture and Liturgy and Life!!

I don't disagree with this. I disagree with the way it is addressed.
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2011, 04:07:03 PM »

One is that there is a need in large Catholic parishes to target the youth and young adult for special attention both in terms of parish activities and in terms of liturgical practice.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on certain points of this. I do not think it is appropriate to have a separate form of the liturgy for the youth. I think they should be integrated into the liturgy already in place, and taught its value from the beginning. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, no?


Made a mess of this exchange!  Pardon.

But just as a finisher...I don't think we are so far apart as all that.

None of the youth masses that I can reference personally, or some of the others that I have attended locally were set apart.  They were always one of the regular Sunday liturgies.  I meant to mention that but did not...among other dumb things... Smiley

M.
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2011, 04:18:34 PM »

At my church, the only difference between the "youth" Mass and the "regular" Mass is that it is celebrated at 8pm. Otherwise it is the same---organ or a cappella chants and traditional hymns, NEVER guitars or drums (thank God).
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2011, 04:34:34 PM »

At my church, the only difference between the "youth" Mass and the "regular" Mass is that it is celebrated at 8pm. Otherwise it is the same---organ or a cappella chants and traditional hymns, NEVER guitars or drums (thank God).

The organ is holier than the guitar, is it? Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2011, 04:37:44 PM »

Don't you know there is a hierarchy for these things, Asteriskos? I'm only considering the Coptic Church because the triangle and the cymbal is so much more holy than the organ! Tongue
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2011, 05:14:07 PM »


Marginalized?.... Smiley 

Yes. I don't think anyone actually defers to the Vatican anymore...not even the majority of Catholics, if you believe the statistics on the use of contraception, support for abortion "rights", etc. I'm not saying it's a good thing (although I do personally see an upside in not living by "Roma locuta, finita est"), but it is the reality of the situation. Most RCs are culturally RC just like Christians of other denominations are often culturally whatever they are. The marginalization I'm talking about doesn't preclude a rise in numbers in any given place or time. Like the woman who converted to Orthodoxy says in the interview I linked, numbers don't mean a thing.

According to the statistics I've read, the majority of OC's in America pretty much share the same views as the majority of RC's in regards to social issues.

http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/comparisons-all_social.pdf

 I don't think that this supposed widespread rejection of traditional values in America is solely the domain of Catholics.  It's more a result of the eroding influence of secularism and it effects almost all Churches, except mainly smaller, more homogenized groups like Mormons and JW's who largely remain immune (Partly because they are cults or cult like and can control their members beliefs and practices somewhat better then the looser, sacramental Churches can). 

I'm also more suspicious of people who would use opinion polls like these to prove to us that  1). Religion is eroding in America and 2).  Most religious people no longer pay attention to the core beliefs of their Churches on social issues.  How are we so sure that people in past ages were so on board with what their Churches taught about morality?  I don't think that they took opinion polls years ago, especially not about personal religious subjects.  I suspect that, while the majority of religious faithful may have either publically assented to or gone along with what their Churches taught, they also may have completely ignored these moral restrictions in their own private l;vies.  i believe that the difference from today is that, back then people did not make such a public display of their won immoral conduct and they certainly did not expect their religion to condone these activities.  Today however its completely different and everything is aired out in the open.
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« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2011, 07:56:41 PM »

I agree, Robb. My apologies if my post made it sound like it is only followers of the Vatican who suffer from this. It is a problem in all churches, even the most conservative. I think you're right that it has more to do with the changing nature of society and how now everything is so out in the open. I don't know why that is...it's like the 1960s "let it all hang out" mentality is doomed to stay with us forever in the United States. I really pray I'm wrong. At least the naturists of earlier times (who really followed this ethos!) did their thing in relatively secluded areas, specifically designed to reduce public spectacle. If only every potential behavior and action would not be transformed into an inalienable right with the passage of time!  Undecided
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« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2011, 10:31:20 PM »

Is it really a "hidden exodus" as Protestants are all the children of the Latin church?

Well, if they practice Sola Scriptura consistently, then they're the children of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, etc.

Notice the "if".
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« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2011, 10:32:15 PM »

The only people I know of who are under the Vatican are a handful of Popes. Oh yeah, and of course St. Peter.

Cheesy

Your supreme pontiffs are over the Vatican.

Don't exaggerate, ialmisry, we only have 1 supreme pontiff. Wink
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« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2011, 11:42:06 PM »


The organ is holier than the guitar, is it? Smiley

You bet! I dare you to pry the church organ out of my cold, dead hands  Smiley
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