Aparecida 100fg: Losses Within Catholicism

Our experience with nones is not exclusively a North American lament:

f) In recent decades we are concerned to see that on the one hand, many people are losing the transcendent sense of their lives and are giving up religious practices, and on the other hand, significant numbers of Catholics are abandoning the Church and going over to other religious groups. While this is a real problem in all Latin American and Caribbean countires, its magnitude and diversity varies.

There used to be more concern about evangelical “sheep stealing.” But I suspect the shift to disbelief, skepticism, and outright rejection of God has gained momentum in recent years. I had a conversation yesterday with a person who reported a non-churchgoing friend “didn’t want to be preached at.” I think that’s about something deeper than people who don’t want to be told what to do. It speaks to the lack of an invitation to come and see. Non-believers, skeptics, and others in that boat don’t hear the Lord’s invitation of John 1:39.  They hear from us, “Come and do.” The “do” part can be confusing. A disciple hears the Lord’s word and we obey from a sense of friendship of a companion and mentor.

More on ecumenism, and on the challenge of antagonism to Catholics:

g) Within the new religious pluralism in our continent, a sufficient distinction has not been made between believers who belong to other churches or ecclesial communities, both by their doctrine and by their attitudes, from those that form part of the great diversity of Christian (including pseudo-Christian) groups that have installed themselves up in our midst, because it is not appropriate to encompass all of them in a single category of analysis. Ecumenical dialogue with Christian groups that persistently attack the Catholic church is often not easy.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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