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Declining practice

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 Contents - Nov 2006AD2000 November 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: EWTN and the secular media: fighting fire with fire
Education: The Spirit of Generation Y: the challenge for Catholic schools - Cardinal George Pell
Living the Faith: What distinguishes a practising Catholic? - Bishop Luc Matthys
News: The Church Around the World
England: British Catholicism's dark night of the soul
Books: Is the Catholic Church in Australia 'lost'? - Michael Gilchrist
Brisbane Archdiocese: inclusive language in the liturgy continues - Michael Apthorp
Liturgy: US bishop sets out clear guidelines on celebrations of the Mass - AD2000 REPORT
Television: EWTN: now affordable and accessible in Australia - Moira Kirkwood
Letters: Missal translation - Pat Hurley
Letters: Translation hang-up - Fran Swindale
Letters: Accuracy needed - Carol V. Phillips
Letters: Faith and reason - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Narrow - Norm Yodgee
Letters: Infallible teaching - Don Ford
Letters: Education needed - Judy O'Reilly
Letters: Early baptism - John Schmid
Letters: Declining practice - Gerard J. Keane
Letters: Chavagnes College scholarship applications - Ferdi McDermott
Letters: Conversion by violence - Gregory F.J. O'Regan
Letters: Generation 'Y' - Kevin Cains
Letters: Common sense and married clergy - Errol Duke
Letters: Poem's author - Valerie J.Staunton
Letters: Anonymity - Michael Apthorp
Letters: EWTN by broadband - Bren Scheiner
Poetry: Sometimes Gladness: Collected Poems 1954 to 2005, by Bruce Dawe - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: St John Bosco, St Dominic and the Rosary, St Thérèe of Lisieux - Siobhan B. Reeves (reviewer)
DVD: A Family Retreat, by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen - Daniel Tobin (reviewer)
Events: The teachings of the Catholic Church: an exploration
Events: Second Annual Victorian Catholic Students Association Conference 25-26 Nov 2006
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Catholic schools must proclaim the total love of Christ - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM

The October AD2000 contains another timely reminder by Michael Gilchrist about the ever-dwindling number of practising Catholics in Australia, and the inability of the Church to arrest the slide of young Catholics away from Catholicism once they leave school. Survey after survey shows the downward trend.

Much of modern society is now more or less pagan and the lingering impact of Christian morality is eroding away as each year passes. What will things be like in ten years time when most of the now grey-haired practising Catholics will not be alive? If the malaise afflicting Catholicism is not diagnosed correctly then many well-intentioned suggestions for improvement will fail.

The Catholic Church does not have to dwindle down numerically to a shadow of its former self. When St Paul preached to the Greeks, he realised that they had little understanding of the Creator God, so what did he do? He taught creation!

I suggest that not much is going to change in modern-day Catholicism unless the arena known as Origins is taken much more seriously on all sides, in the search for restoration of the Church founded by Jesus Christ. For too long, too many Catholic scholars have unjustly ridiculed opponents of evolution as simplistic advocates of fundamentalism.

The concept of Special Creation thus has not been tried and found wanting; it's been thought irrelevant and not given a fair hearing. In reality, the best of modern science shows beyond doubt that our gracious Creator/Redeemer chose to create life forms only within kind, and that evolution correctly defined is outmoded science and cannot occur.

The dissenting revolution which erupted in the 1960s was the inevitable bitter fruit of years spent imbibing nonsense such as the ‘demythologisation of Scripture’. Instead of teaching mythology such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, we should instead teach the truth about the global Flood of Noah, which Christ and St Paul obviously believed had occurred.

Teach and preach what the Church Fathers believed and what Catholic Tradition has long proclaimed about Origins. Teach also the genuine discoveries of modern science. Above all, let us pray for guidance. As the Litany of the Blessed Virgin proclaims, ‘Mother of our Creator, pray for us!’

Lower Templestowe, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 10 (November 2006), p. 14

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