On August 14, 2018, a grand jury report stated that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more than 300 “predator priests” have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims. The report reads that “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted.” Not only is this a massive problem for the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, this scandal will likely impact the Catholic Church on both the national and global scale.
Large in Numbers
Currently, the Catholic Church of the United States is the largest religious denomination in the United States with over 70.4 million members. However, over the last few years, there has been a steady decline in Catholic membership in the United States according to the Pew Research Center. This scandal will certainly not help the Church gain followers as this is a moral catastrophe that has plagued the church for hundreds of years now. Further, the Church has had a problem with the Mass being “too boring” for some people, specifically the younger generations. In another study conducted by the Pew Research Center, it was found that 21 percent of young Catholics who left the Church responded that they are now “born again” or evangelical Christians.
The “Boring” Mass
As a practicing Catholic, I can attest to the “boredom” that these young people face at Mass. I have been with friends to several “evangelical” churches and it is no surprise why these churches are vastly growing in numbers. The music, message, and atmosphere trump those found in the Catholic Church as everything appears more lively and more relevant to our lives. In fact, when younger people are asked why they still go to Catholic Mass the typical response is “because my parents make me.”
The problem of “boredom” during the Catholic Mass is one the Church has faced for several years now. However, now the Church has an even bigger problem on its hands: a moral dilemma which has the potential to shake the Catholic Church to its very core if not handled properly. In my opinion, the Church needs a deep cleanse. A cleanse that can restore the sanctity of both the Church and the Eucharist. Catholic political journalist Matt Walsh believes this is a necessity as well. Whatever it is, it must happen fast or else the Catholic Church could face serious consequences in membership over the next few years.