- Published on Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:14
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1958
Are all Catholics the same? Do all Catholics believe what they are told to believe by the pope and the priests on Sundays? Or is a Catholic someone who believes selectively? If you’ve ever talked to several Catholics, you know the answer – there are many who believe what they choose. If they believed the Catholic teaching literally, they would all go to Mass every Sunday, they would never use “artificial” birth control (condoms, IUDs, pills). This of course makes them not truly Catholics yet they still say they are and they go to Church from time to time. They would still want a priest on their death bed. They are basically “having their cake and eating it”.
Do they just cling to some of the stuff they were told when young because it keeps them “warm and fuzzy”? As Hitchens said to a Catholic like this in Australia (video here), “People who take their religion a la carte don’t impress me very much with their conviction”. So are they then mostly really “Cultural Catholics” like the many Jews who are cultural Jews?
If you are not a Catholic, you have to assume that the definition of being Catholic is a common set of beliefs that are at least mostly set by the pope. Yet this is not true! So “Catholic” really means people who call themselves Catholic. The majority of people in many countries – notably Ireland, South America, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and more – call themselves Catholic yet their attendance at weekly mass is down in the 20-30% range. So what are they? And how can the pope claim there are 1.2 billion Catholics (see this article)? Maybe the number is more like 250 million and the rest are people who say “I feel better calling myself a Catholic”? And now with the scandals in Ireland, Germany, US, Brazil, Canada and more, fewer will even want to say that.
So what will they do? I would predict they’ll just drift into agnosticism except at Christmas and Easter when the services feel best.
In the meantime, many will continue to be Catholics in name only. Don’t they feel like frauds doing that? Don’t they have any of the honesty that their Church teaches?
Catholic condom ban not causing population boom - U.N.
The Catholic Church's ban on the use of contraception is not to blame for the population boom that is about to tip the world over the seven billion mark because most Catholics ignore it, a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) official said October 26, 2011.
"In Catholic countries like Italy, Spain or Malta people are still using contraceptives like condoms, so the Church ban is not having an impact," Safiye Cagar, director of the information and external relations division at UNFPA, told a news briefing.
"Besides, the population growth in Catholic countries is limited compared to other parts of world," said Cagar.
Some 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church, according a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit sexual health research organisation.
The U.N. expects the world's population to reach seven billion by October 31, and global resources are being stretched thin to meet the growing demand.
The U.N. projects the world population will reach 9.3 billion in 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100.
Much of that growth will come from Africa, where the population is growing at 2.3 percent a year -- more than double Asia's 1 percent growth rate. If that rate stays consistent, which is not certain, Africa's population will more than triple to 3.6 billion by 2100 from the current 1 billion.