Thursday, November 26, 2015

Search for Authenticity

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.

The 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 come alive.

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.

A 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment