A recent symposium with the theme of Crisis in the Church considered the reasons why people are leaving. Representatives from the German and United States Church gave examples and compared their own problems with the Korean Church's problems. Parents are not able to hand down their faith life to the children. People are thirsting for authenticity; one of the participants believes it is this lack of authenticity that people are looking for and not finding.
failure of the Korean Church to grab the attention of the Catholics
is not unique to Korea. A professor from Germany explains that the
secularization of the population has led to the turning of their backs
to the Church. In 2010 there were more people leaving the Church in
Germany than entering.
Germany is emphasizing the role
of the laypeople. The Church is discovering the value of the lay person
and working to get them involved. The future of the Church is with the
layperson and not the clergy. He further stressed that the Church is the
people of God and in this they are not disconnected from the clergy. We
need to put down our authoritarianism and make the joy of the Gospel
The professor from the States reminds those
present that women are not taking their rightful place within the
Church. In the States those that approved of women priests within the
Church in 1987 was 35% in 2011 it rose to 55%. Within Protestantism over half
of the Churches allow women clergy within the ranks. In Lutheranism
and Anglicanism they are accepted as bishops. This is not
the direction we should go, he makes clear, but we should see what the
laypeople are telling the Church about women's role within the Church.
Korean seminary professor says we need to find a way of having the
women participate in the workings of the Church in an enthusiastic way.
We have to find ways of being more persuasive in our teaching and in
communicating with our Christians.
In the discussion that followed there was a question about the new religions that are appearing on the scene.This
is a sign the the Church is not fulfilling the role that it should have
in society. People are not interested in what is the oldest and most
original of the religions but one that serves them the best. It
is not the teaching that attracts but how it is received by the hearts
of the people.
We have to find ways of being more authentic and closer to the Gospels if we are not to follow the ways of the West.