On the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, I read this:
Dutch bishops give Pope Francis a bleak picture of Catholic Church in decline
Dutch bishops visiting Rome this week have given Pope Francis a dramatic snapshot of the steep decline of Roman Catholicism in its European heartland.
Both Catholic and Protestant Christian ranks have shrunk dramatically across Europe in recent decades, and hundreds of churches have been sold off to be turned into apartments, shops, bars or warehouses.
In the Netherlands, churches have been closing at a rate of one or two a week. The bishops told the pope in Rome on Monday that about two-thirds of all Roman Catholic churches in the Netherlands would have to be shut or sold by 2025, and many parishes merged, because congregations and finances were “in a long-term shrinking process”.
Their five-yearly report blamed a “drastic secularization” of society, although a critical group of Dutch lay Catholics said the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by priests, which has afflicted many Catholic dioceses around the world, had also driven many people away, as had the closures themselves. [Could there be other reasons?]
The only bright spot for the Dutch church was the finding that the election of the popular Pope Francis in March appeared to have slowed the exodus this year.
Uh huh. That’ll make a difference.
Here is a question.
Has anyone considered “active participation” in light of the fact that only about 5% of French or Belgian Catholics go to Mass?
Is that “active participation”?