In the recent Catholic Times, an article featured the results of a Believers' Survey in one of the dioceses, conducted online from May 20 to 27. Over 6,000 parishioners responded and a seminar was held to discuss the results of the survey and the future of the Korean church after the corona 19.
According to the survey, because of the Corona 19, there was the increased use of the 'Internet and smartphone, 84.2%, and 53% of respondents mentioned the discontinuing of the Mass was at first uncomfortable, but gradually improved.
Complicated were the answers to the prospect of a change in religious life after Corona 19. As for the positive outlook, 86.6% of respondents said, they will spend more time with family and 81.6%, will be more devoted to their spiritual life than before. The negative outlook: 69.3% thought there would be a decrease in Mass attendance and 54% thought the apostolic groups will not be the same even if the daily life recovers. Also, 58.7% saw the prospects that non-face-to-face online meetings will be increased.
Based on the results of the investigation, one of the members of the diocesan pastoral council said we should move on to the practice of faith centered on daily life. It is difficult to go back and there is a concern that those who are not able to adapt and give sufficient thought to the situation, will leave the community.
Believers who do come back may show higher loyalty than in the past, but those who were more passive will prefer non-facing methods. Therefore, he emphasized that what we do now is important. The reason for conducting this survey was also to change the pastoral direction and method for the foreseeable future. In particular, he commented that as a representative of the lay faithful, it is necessary to establish and implement countermeasures in line with the primary responsibility of the diocesan council
How do pastors see this phenomenon? The head of the Pastoral Research Institute noted the many responses to the subjective questions. The respondents had a lot to say and had strong opinions. If you accept the opinions of the positive believers, you will have the opportunity to transform into a consensus church again. Otherwise, your understanding of the Catholic Church will be largely turned into disappointment and helplessness.
Another pastor mentioned an American diocese with a long history of democracy and cooperation with the laypeople. At this point, the church should be used as an opportunity for church reformation and renewal in the light of a timely consensus.
The bishop of the diocese was happy to see that the investigation has been conducted with the diocesan pastoral council. According to the findings, it will be difficult to return to the pre-Corona 19 situation. And hopes that the gathering together of the priests and the diocesan council will continue to meet and produce good fruit.
Participants expressed various opinions on the workings of the diocese The opinion that the church should take one step closer to young people and marginalized people was outstanding. The church needs to reach out to the places where young people are and communicate directly.
One participant wondered what the church would look like in 30 years if we don't pay attention to young people.
The article concludes with the head of the diocesan research institute who thought that the young people would join in great numbers because the investigation was conducted online. Instead, it was the parishioners in their 50s and 60s, the zealous workers in the church. We need to help these parishioners to participate more in-depth but also need to make efforts to reach out to the passive and marginalized. At present, the Mass has been reopened, but the marginalization of those who cannot attend the Mass because of age and health is growing. She wants the parish to think of ways the church is to reach those who are marginalized.