The above quote from the small Irish diocese of Clonfert is very interesting. I don’t know who thye author is but appeared on the Clomfert Facebook and a reader sent to me.
You don’t ever really hear much about Clonfert.
The comment highlights the problem facing Clonferrt and indeed all Irish dioceses at the current time:
- People no longer attend Church in the way they did.
- Most of those who attend are in the upper age bracket.
- Every year the pews get emptier.
- Parish finances are challenging almost evryywhere.
- Some parishes can not be maintained as parishes.
- No / few ordinations in years.
- Priests getting older.
As you can see from the map of Ireland Clonfert only covers a tiny part of the country.
And as Mass attendance is generally better in the rural areas it is quite telling that in the rural area of Clonfert the situation is dire.
What it must be like in the towns and cities?
We are heading for a time when a very tiny minority of “catholics” will be attending church.
Add that to the dwindling and disappearance of people offering themselves for the priesthood.
Add that to the dwindling income of parishes, dioceses and the national church.
If it were happing to any other big “company” the directors would be engaged on a quick process of closing branches and making workers and managers redundant.
In the case of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland “branches” are already closing and the managers and workers will not have to made redundant – they will simply be allowed to die.
The RCC will trundle along for a while on the massive investments they own.
But when these run out there will be massive sale of buildings.
Your parish church will become you new pub or leisure centre or nightclub.
Some RCC churches will be converted into crematoria, mosques, temples and evangelical places of worship.
26 dioceses will be reduced to 3 or 4.
All schools will be run by the state or parents.
There will be as many practising Catholics in the whole country as there are now in a few big parishes.
Some are asking can the RCC in its present form be changed?
I say NO and should not be.
Some are asking if it can be changed.
I SAY no because the managers don’t want to change – and the image of the RCC globally is now one of evil.
The Irish RCC will have been destroyed not by materialism, secularism or lack of faith.
It will have been destroyed by bishops and priests – who have been arrogant, cruel, materialistic, lazy and sexually promiscuous and scandalous.
Of course, Christianity will survive.