Catholicism has for the last 25 years compared to other religions, the greatest amount of trust among citizens in the surveys that are made by different groups in Korean society. In an article in Now/Here (Catholic-news) the writer reviews the contents of the surveys for readers and gives us his opinion.
He mentions some red lights that are seen and
one of them would be in comparison to other religions Catholicism does
have more trust but not in comparison to other organizations in society.
Citizen organizations have 27.8 percent public confidence, second is
the press with 10.6 percent, and religion is 3rd, with
9.2 percent, and the writer says this is continuing to fall.
had a higher rate of confidence in Catholicism than men. Those in their
50s had the highest index of confidence when comparing ages, and 32.7
percent of unbelievers had the highest rate of confidence, and the more
education the higher the level of confidence in Catholicism.
writer mentions the confidence level will not change in the near future
but he gives five reasons why this confidence in Catholicism in
comparison to the other religions in society could change overnight.
he doesn't believe the confidence is directed to
Catholicism but rather a lack of confidence in the other religions. Once
the other religions make some positive changes and portray a different image the relative ascendency of Catholicism will change.
the Church can continue to weaken its strong points. Unity has been one
of the images of the Church. Protestantism is seen with their many
divisions, and Buddhism with their religious factions fighting with
each other, something the Koreans did not see in Catholicism. On the
other hand with the democratic movement in society, and the Church's
authoritarianism, we see a negative
response by some.
Unity as a strong point is no longer what it
was. When we have dissent being expressed within the institution,
the unity becomes weakened.Within the conference of bishops we have
agreement and some bishops speaking,and behaving
differently from what was decided. We have groups like the Patriotic
Catholics for Korea which don't care for some of the directions the
Church is taking. We have the Justice and Peace Priests not always
understood, and some devotional groups that speak differently on
traditional teaching. All these will be seen as disunity and lower
the confidence of the public in the Church.
that became known in the States was a great problem. We have some
Catholics who with some Protestants have an unfriendly attitude to
other religions. Sex scandals and financial corruption in works of
welfare given to the Church by the government, and bankruptcy will all
lower the trust in the Church.
Thirdly we have the
possibility of seeing the Church as overly strong and pushing its might
on society. Fourthly, not continuing their work of service for society
as in the past. Our religious are getting older and retiring from their
work and they are not being replaced which will make a difference in the
way society looks upon the Church. Fifthly, we have the way society
looks upon the Vatican: at present it is very positive but like Europe it
As was mentioned in the beginning the
confidence that religion has in society is 10 percent points lower than citizens' groups. The Gallup poll that was
made in 2014 mentioned that religions over the last 30 years continue to
get criticized and the writer reminds the Church to be humble and
keep a low profile.