Saturday, May 25, 2013

Interpreting the Catholic Korean Statistical Report

The recently published Catholic Korean Statistical Report has shown an increase in the number of Catholics but those going to Mass has dropped to 22.7 percent, the lowest in history, a red light that not all is well.  

The signs have been present for sometime, and efforts have been made to face the problem and do something that will bring about change. One of the parishes in Seoul invited all parish council members, district heads, pan and parish group leaders to gather together for a discussion on solving parish problems. The Peace Weekly starts off its coverage of the gathering with a question that gained a great deal of interest. "Out of necessity, when a person doesn't attend Mass you can substitute with prayer or a good work, but what is a sufficient reason for not attending Mass?
"If there is another way to substitute for not going to Mass," it added, "the burden of having to go to Confession will be lessened, and you will have more attending  Mass."  The pastor read the Korean pastoral guidelines and the bishop's explanation. "When one is not able to attend Mass or go to a mission station liturgy, for a  good reason, one  can substitute with a rosary, reading the Scriptures or a good work."

One parishioner said "There are many reasons that on Sunday one is not able to attend Mass. If you have to go to confession every time that happens, confession becomes a big burden. When there is a clear  alternative to the obligation of Sunday Mass, this will be a great help to those who have to miss the Sunday obligation."

The following thought sums up the thinking often expressed during the discussion: "If one in conscience makes the decision that there is a good reason to miss Mass, and the obligation can be filled by attending a weekday Mass, the numbers of those not going to Church will decrease." There were also some who considered this not a problem. Another thought that the Korean custom of Easter and Christmas Confessions should be dropped to just once a year and make this a serious time for examination; the present system is too superficial, he said.

One person recommended that retired priests be invited to come to the parishes at special times to take care of the confessions on a permanent basis. This would enable more of them to go to confession. Another thought that liturgical music at Mass would increase attendance.

The problems expressed are certainly real and need to be addressed, but perhaps more importantly the understanding of Mass as liturgy is not sufficiently internalized and found fulfilling and necessary for a meaningful life.

Liturgy, a Greek word meaning originally a public duty, a service for the state undertaken by a citizen, is also something we as Christians do publicly. It is Jesus calling us in a public way to do something together. If this could be fully appreciated, it would cause a change in our attitude toward the Sunday Mass.


  1. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover someone who truly knows what they are discussing over the internet.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people ought to read this and understand this side
    of your story. I was surprised you're not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

    Have a look at my web page; Basket Air Jordan

  2. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i
    subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

    Take a look at my web page: Look At This

  3. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

    Also visit my web page ... Gafas De Sol Oakley

  4. Hi mates, how is everything, and what you desire to say regarding
    this post, in my view its truly remarkable designed for

    My site - Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

  5. Do you have any video of that? I'd want to find out more details.

    Feel free to surf to my web site - Oakley Holbrook

  6. I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

    my blog post ... Sac Guess

  7. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am going through
    problems with your RSS. I don't understand the reason why I can't join it.
    Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?

    Here is my web-site Low Nike Blazers

  8. This information is priceless. Where can I find out more?

    Feel free to visit my homepage :: binaural beats

  9. What's Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I've discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help different customers like its helped me. Great job.

    Take a look at my web blog Nike air jordan

  10. Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I will certainly digg
    it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this site.

    Check out my web-site ... Nike Air Max

  11. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your
    blog and look forward to new posts.

    Feel free to surf to my homepage: Nike UK

  12. I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!
    ! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

    My web page: Air Max 1