Monday, June 6, 2011
Survey of the Parish Council Leaders in Seoul Diocese
The survey was taken among the heads of the parish councils in the Seoul Diocese and the pastoral head of the diocese comments on its importance.
31.7 percent of the parish heads consider the approach to the tepid as the number one concern of the parish councils. Catholics come in one door and go out the back door was how the situation was described. This is like greeting foreign guests and is a serious problem that the Church faces.The second important issue was recovering a Catholic sense of identity (27.6 percent). 20.3 percent desired unity among the different lay groups in the church.
To the questions about the relationship to the North, the work in society, and welfare work, there were few responses. For the parish heads the focus was less on the problems in society and more within the parishes.
To the question on what they thought about the small Christian communities, 52.6 percent thought it was a good way for fellowship to grow. This was more so for men than for women.
68 percent of the men attend the small group meetings; 26 percent attend when something important comes up; and 6 percent rarely attend, though they attend more so than the average Catholic but it is still less than ideal.
Those who have read the Old Testament completely was 2.4 percent; those who have read the New Testament, 10 percent; those who have not read anything, less than 1 percent.
27 percent are now reading the Catholic Catechism; 10 percent have read it completely; 62 percent have not read any of it. 59 percent are slightly familiar with the documents from the Second Vatican Council; 32 percent are not familiar with the documents; those who are well acquainted was 7 percent.
74 percent of the parish councils leaders thought that devotion and service was an important qualification for the work. Those who thought it was respect and support of the Catholics was 11 percent; 9.5 percent thought it was a strong spirituality; 2.4 percent thought that money and social standing was important.
Only 17 percent of the parish councils had over half of their members as women. Over half of the parish councils had from 20 to 40 percent women. This is a area in which we should improve, said the pastoral head of the diocese.
The article ended with a wish that the parish council heads spend more time with the Scriptures and reading the Church Documents.