Saturday, June 10, 2017

Koreans Leaving the Catholic Church

Many are the reasons believers leave their religion. Secularization, a change in one's thinking, weariness with religion are all factors. The rapid changes in society and the gap in time to adapt are all involved.

A writer in Catholic News Here/Now who has made a study of the issue gives us the results made by the Catholic Times. He is not concerned with the theory but solely with the apathy shown by the answers given by the respondents. The survey was of 300 lapsed Catholics spread across the country. 

The survey was made last year. He acknowledges that it is not a scientific study in the strict sense but gives us a good idea of the problems the Church faces.

The main reason expressed for leaving the community of faith was working for a livelihood and study 47.3%. No special reason 33.7%, religion lost its meaning 23.8%, the burden of confession 18.1%,  misc. 12.7%, disappointed with the clergy and religious 9.5%, can't live the life 7.0 %, no intimate friends among the parishioners 6.7%, family tension because of religion 6.3%, Catholic teaching lacks reasonableness and conflict with Catholics both at 4.4%, all religions are the same 4.1%, Church's active participation in society not acceptable 2.2 %, money 1.3%,  Church is too rich 1.0 %, converting to another religion, church not doing its job, baptized in army and doesn't believe, all 0.6 %. 

The respondents were told to only select one of reasons on the list so other reason would also be factors in being tepid. They, for the most part, did not want to leave the community. However, although they were asked often to return to the community by the members, they had no intentions of returning.  The average time of the respondents were a little over 9 years. The majority of those who left did have a lingering connection and a feeling of belonging to the group even though they left.

29.7 % even though they are not practicing considered themselves Catholic, while 36.6 % were fellow travelers who still sympathized with the church. 7.8 % were opposed while 3.3 % were greatly opposed to the church and what it represented.

The following away from the Church continues but fortunately, the alienation is not such that they turn completely against everything that they learned.  There's no desire to return in most cases but the years as a practicing Catholic have changed the persons and they have retained a positive feeling towards the community to which they belonged.

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