A few updates about the Catholic Church…

“…in many European places where Catholicism remained all-powerful until say, 1960, the church is losing whatever remains of its grip on society at an accelerating pace.”

In Ireland: “..a nine-year investigation found that thousands of children had been maltreated at church-run industrial schools and orphanages. Five Irish bishops offered to step down; the pope has accepted three resignations and is considering the others.”

In Belgium: “…police raided the home of a retired archbishop, drilled holes in the tomb of at least one cardinal (looking for hidden papers) and took away 450 documents from the office of a church committee that was probing clerical abuse.”

“… all over Europe the child-abuse scandal has made secular powers keener to reassert their authority, and less willing to accept the Catholic church as a semi-autonomous power. In almost every country, therefore, the church is in decline as an institution…”

In Italy: “… (a study by Eurispes) asserted that the share of Italians calling themselves Catholic had risen by eight percentage points over 15 years, to 88%. It also found that 37% of Catholics claimed to be regular mass-goers… only 18% of people actually went to church, although 30% said they did… 66% backed liberal divorce laws and 38% supported euthanasia. Only 19% favoured abortion on demand, but 65% could accept the practice in cases of rape. Strikingly, more Catholics than non-Catholics supported cohabitation by unmarried couples…”

“… (The Vatican) has failed to see that since the 1960s, there has been “a huge anthropological change in favour of…freedom of choice. People are no longer prepared to obey instructions.”

In Spain: “… Some 28% of people in Spain call themselves practising Catholics, and another 46% non-practising Catholics; as many as 38% profess devotion to a particular saint or image of Christ or the Virgin Mary…”

In Poland;  “the country played host this summer to a European gay pride march, and this year’s musical hits include a song by a famous crooner, Olga Jackowska, in which she discloses that she was abused by a priest as a child…”

“… a survey of Polish priests found that 54% said they would like to have a wife and family, and 12% said they already had a stable relationship with a woman.”

“Poland’s tradition is one place to which the Vatican might look if it wants to shake off the habit of arrogance that has bedevilled its responses to the child-abuse scandal…”

To read the complete article “The Fate of Catholic Europe” published by The Economist on Aug 5th 2010, click here:

http://www.economist.com/node/16740795?story_id=16740795&fsrc=scn/tw/te/rss/pe

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Mexican blogger living abroad and writing about experiences of traveling around México, Italy, India and Spain.

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