One of the dioceses in Korea recently finished evaluating a questionnaire that was sent to 140 parishes as work on their synod continued. Participants were divided into three groups: (A) believers' awareness, (B) (tepid) nonpracticing Catholics, (C) examination of parish life. An overall conclusion of the diocesan family was a desire for change in the way religious life was lived. Catholic Times Weekly gave much space to the results of the questionnaire.
The feeling of belonging and satisfaction within Catholicism was high, however, interest in diocesan plans and parish life was relatively low. Concern for this world's goods was more important than religious concerns and personal concerns over community interests.This was also the condition found in other religious groups, an area where the Catholic Church of Korea needs to work.
Although parishes have shown concern for evangelization the believers are passive. Pastoral workers have not shown an interest in getting the laypeople involved in the concerns of the parish. Priests among themselves have shown a high degree of communication but this has not been extended to the laity.
Interest in small community meetings in the parish is present but the young show no interest. Other age groups are more concerned with fellowship than with religious concerns, and a sense of obligation is the motivation of many.
Priests and the lay people were asked what they wanted the diocese and the parishes to do. The priests thought the most important issue for the diocese was the renewal of priests 25%, education of the parishioners 24%, concern for the tepid 14%, establish a vision for the diocese. The laity were concerned mostly with the tepid 45%, educational programs 17%, priests' renewal 8%, programs for the young 7%.
On the parish level: priests wanted renewal programs for the laity 25%, interest in the youth 26%, concern for those who have left the community 17%, training of volunteers for service 14%. The Laity considered work with the tepid important 27%, liturgical education 14%, evangelization 14%, education for service 14%.
Laity's areas of concern was lack of interest in parish life 23%, lack of community concern 20%, separation of faith life and daily living 19% and a mature religious life 13%.
Desires of the laity in regards to the clergy: to see a humble clergy who would listen to what others had to say to the very end 37%. Living a simple life and not concerned with material goods and careful with Church funds 16%. Not to come across as self-righteous and to work together with the laity in the running of the parish 11 % and priests who prayed 10%.