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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kephalos's Avatar
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    Default Twenty-First Century: Will the Catholic Church finally end?

    I think that during the twenty-first century several forces will either change the Catholic Church beyond recognition or completely obliterate it.

    The first I think is demography: even though Christianity began in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, it later spread to Europe and from Europe to all the other continents. But, today the homeland of the Catholic Church -- Europe -- is less Catholic and Christian than ever. In fact, the biggest concentrations of Catholics in the world are outside Europe in some of the former Catholic powers like Spain and Portugal. How will Catholicism look like when most believers (and necessarily an increasing number of the higher-ups in the clergy) will be from America and Africa, and maybe Asia. Not only fewer and fewer Europeans and North Americans are believers, but even those believers are in risk of being outnumbered due to low birthrates. Now, I don't think that Catholicism is the same everywhere. For example, think of the great admiration in which John Newman is held by English-speaking Catholics, but he is virtually unknown to Spanish-speaking Catholics. Catholicism will change, therefore, in this century solely for that reason.

    The second I think is, of course, other religions that will compete with Catholicism. The first battle that Catholicism lost was the battle against Protestantism (or mayby, the battle against Eastern Orthodoxy), which divided European Christianity. But Christianity was never able to attract Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere, who have been visited by European missonaries for many years now, and have been in touch with Western culture even in the days when Christianity was a big part of it. Or, think of the failure of Catholicism to take root in East Asia. In both these places there are rich religious traditions that Catholicism is not able to replace.

    The third is, the possibility of scientific progress in the twenty-first century. Looking back to the discoveries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one can only imagine what this century will bring. So, not only Catholicism may be undermined by other religions, but all religion may be undermined by discoveries that give naturalistic and godless answers to important questions. Religion can of course try to adapt to a naturalistic point of view, but there is only so much naturalism that religion can accept.

    Finally, I think the weight of the criminal failures of the Catholic clergy will tend to discredit them. How can an institution -- indeed, how can a single man like the Pope -- claim to be infallible in matters of morality when not only their clergy abuse children, but cover it up as much as they can? When you claim such moral knowledge you must be held to a higher standard. But, maybe now in the twenty-first century people will no longer look the other way at the moral failures of the Catholic priests.

    What do you think? Will the Catholic Church survive the twenty-first century? Whatever happens, would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    I think that during the twenty-first century several forces will either change the Catholic Church beyond recognition or completely obliterate it.
    again?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    how can a single man like the Pope -- claim to be infallible in matters of morality when not only their clergy abuse children, but cover it up as much as they can?

    What do you think?
    Perhaps a parent of an abused child will try to send him to heaven before his time.

  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    What do you think? Will the Catholic Church survive the twenty-first century? Whatever happens, would that be a good thing or a bad thing?
    The Roman Catholic Church like other Churches, Synagoges and Mosques, movies, TV, the internet and motor cars, books and the spoken word, is a trance monger.

    The Roman Catholic Church has been mongering trance for millenia. They understand how to induce trance and suspend disbelief. And they know how to end a trance and return the faithful to the world, relaxed and refreshed.

    Of course as we notice, the Roman Catholic Church is now in competition with other trance mongers.

    The competition though will hone their skills and allow them to find their place as an electronic tribe in the global village.

    And the Roman Catholic Church even has an advantage. For most of its existence it has been a spoken culture and only with the invention of the printing press in 1440 did the Church start to loose to the literate culture.

    But the literate culture is coming to an end to be replaced by the electronic culture which is very much like to old traditional spoken culture.

    So the Roman Catholic Church will not only survive in 21st century, but the Catholic Church will thrive in the new electonic culture, so much like the old spoken culture of the 11th century, when the Roman Catholic Church was at its height.

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem (AMDG).

  5. #5
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    Finally, I think the weight of the criminal failures of the Catholic clergy will tend to discredit them. How can an institution -- indeed, how can a single man like the Pope -- claim to be infallible in matters of morality when not only their clergy abuse children, but cover it up as much as they can? When you claim such moral knowledge you must be held to a higher standard. But, maybe now in the twenty-first century people will no longer look the other way at the moral failures of the Catholic priests.
    People and the church have stood by watching immoral behavior by the their followers and the clergy for centuries. Child abuse is one more thing in a long, long line of terrible things. Every religion has atrocities but we aren't talking about them. Unfortunately, I doubt this will signal the beginning of the end for the Catholic church.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    People and the church have stood by watching immoral behavior by the their followers and the clergy for centuries. Child abuse is one more thing in a long, long line of terrible things. Every religion has atrocities but we aren't talking about them. Unfortunately, I doubt this will signal the beginning of the end for the Catholic church.
    Unfortunately? I believe I will think differently about you after this post.

    How easy it is to discount all the good that religion has done, how hard it is to remember and acknowledge.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    The Catholic church has faced many crises.. within and without. And instances of corruption it's recovered from. More than most institutions. I'm not good at predicting anything, but I doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I cant understand why people still hate one Roman Catholicism, its been a long time since Luther freed up people to hate but the baton seems to have been safely passed on from believers to non-believers.

    I dont know how anyone could suggest that the Roman Catholic church lost the battle to protestantism, the RCC stands today as a closer approximation to what it always was than any of the reformed churches do to their original founders or creeds, if any of the reformed churches did exist unchanged I suspect that many of their modern supporters would flock to the RCC as the less bigoted alternative.

    Likewise I dont understand the sort of mindset which condemns religion and specifically the RCC and wishes to see its demise, perhaps when I was younger I was more secularist than I am today and I'm sure that locking horns with a lot of haters has probably consolidated my faith and support for the RCC in a manner which may not have otherwise taken place. Although the relentless attacks upon an institution which isnt really fighting back and instead constantly adopts positions of conciliation and moderation with quietism are really and truly unimpressive. I cant be convinced of the good or value of that sort of behaviour. It does not spring from anything other than hatred and the target is objectively less important than satisfying that drive.

    Its a little like saying my parents who have loved and cared for me and sacrificed much that I could even be here are going to die some day, is it a good or bad thing? And the whole tone and pace of the preceeding remarks suggesting that its believed to be a very good thing.

    I would ask, what do you see as changed beyond all recognition? And why would you consider it unrecognisable? If you consider demographic shifts, scientific research and child abuse combining to cause the decline and disappearence of the RCC what do you think those things could do to other institutions? Whatever happens to the RCC will next happen to those institutions, which have nothing like the pedigree or history of the RCC, each of those things existed before and exist independently of the RCC with great social consequences.

    Although perhaps atheist publishing, celebrity culture and homosexuality will fill the void, as it seems to have done for many who hate Roman Catholicism already.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    How easy it is to discount all the good that religion has done, how hard it is to remember and acknowledge.
    I'm with you. It's sad to see that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    I'm with you. It's sad to see that.
    Its pretty Orwellian, what communism, fascism and Nazism could not achieve by force is being achieve by capitalism and permissiveness by subtlety.

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