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The overall decline in Holy Mass attendance in Australia is accentuated by the fact that the average age of those attending is increasing.
AD2000 (April, 2004) reported: "Data obtained by ACU [Australian Catholic University] researchers in Sydney found that 97 per cent of young Catholics abandoned the practice of their faith within 12 months of completing high school".
It is not surprising therefore that this same journal also reported on the "recent research of Professor Denis McLaughlin of Australian Catholic University (McAuley Campus, Brisbane), who found that most ACU students (including student teachers) did not accept Church teaching on such areas as abortion, contraception, the Eucharist and women's ordination."
Regarding Catholic teachers, AD2000 quoted Professor McLaughlin's belief that "the vast majority ... have reservations about the contemporary Catholic Church, their employer."
As well, The Age newspaper (Melbourne, 23 September 2013) published a graph which showed that in 1947, 63% of Catholics regularly attended Mass as compared with 12.2% in 2011.
Now, of course, one may not therefore claim that the current condition of Catholic education is the problem behind the dramatic loss of practising Catholics, but one must recognise that Catholic education must accept at least some of the responsibility.
It is the opinion of many that the Catholic education system's religion programs do not fully teach children the truths of the Catholic faith and hence any improvement in this area would most likely result in more students embracing the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.
Accordingly, the following petition has been organised through CitizenGo:
Please return the Catholic character to Catholic education i.e., adoration of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, devotion to Mary, Mother of God, obedience to the Pope.
Please sign this petition at: http://www.citizengo.org/en/13363-return-catholic-character-catholic-education
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 28 No 1 (February 2015), p. 15
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