View of Westminster Cathedral (1895 - 1903) - mother church of Catholic community in England and Wales and Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of Archbishop of Westminster.

View of Westminster Cathedral (1895 – 1903) – mother church of Catholic community in England and Wales and Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of Archbishop of Westminster. Kiev.Victor">Photo courtesy of Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The number of Roman Catholic adherents in England and Wales fell by more than 90,000 in 2012, despite a wave of immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries with historically Catholic backgrounds.

Prominent Catholics say the recent wave of sex abuse scandals involving priests and children is responsible for the decline.

According to research by the Pastoral Research Centre Trust, an independent research organization, population increases, baptisms and the reception of newly confirmed and older people into the church should have added 31,873 people to the Catholic rolls in 2012.

At the end of 2011, there were 4.1 million Catholics in England and Wales, but in the next 12 months it fell back to 4 million.

The number of Catholics attending Mass has fallen to 858,000 in 2012,  from 985,000 in 2001, suggesting that only one-fifth of the Catholic population now goes to Mass.

Meanwhile, there is growing anger here that middle-class parents have their children baptized as Catholics so they can enroll them in well-run Catholic primary (ages 5-11) and secondary (ages 11-18) schools.

Last year, the Sutton Trust — a charity that aims to improve educational opportunities for young people from nonprivileged backgrounds — conducted a survey of 10,000 parents and found that one in 10 lied or greatly exaggerated their newfound Catholic faith to secure entry to religious schools for their offspring.

“The faith admissions system is being abused toward serving the affluent, when most church schools were originally established to provide education for the poor,” sad Rabbi Jonathan Romain, chair of the Accord Coalition, which advocates for open admissions to all state–funded schools.

YS/MG END GRUNDY

36 Comments

  1. I am not a believer, but I am a moral human. If I were a believer, and Catholic, and had the same morals as I have now, which I feel are obviously better than those who run the Catholic Church, I would not be able to support a Church that is so immoral as this one. I don’t understand how anyone who is moral, and thinks that child rape is wrong, can still support this criminal organization. They should be screaming in unison at the top of their lungs until those at the top of their religious hierarchical pyramid start doing something about this.

    • How do you know you are moral. Against what externals frame of reference? I can say there are many bad Catholics and many bad humans un general. I judge that by a Christian moral framework. Sexual abuse of children is a very serious sin that merits hell. Before Christianity is was fairly normal…just a custom that one did or didn’t do. Your moral outrage comes from a latent set of values you still hold onto but come from Christianity. Mt moral man what do you do in your life that is a vice.. those things you chose not to see. Tell me so I can write you off as you do Catholics who take it seriously examine their consciences and try with God’s help to purify their inner selves.

  2. Rabbi Romain should stick to his own religion––or at least get his facts straight. The Catholic parochial school system was founded, not for the children of “poor families”, but to teach children the true Catholic faith.
    Unfortunately, since the Second Vatican Council the bishops have all but abandoned teaching the faith so the Catholic school systems around the world are now in “competition” with the public school systems for warm bodies.
    The bishops will learn that Modernism does not have a good ending. They will; learn that either in this life or the next. God will demand an accounting.

    • Here in the states the decline since the council is also markedly bad. Although I wasnt born until after the council, my studies have shown bishops who lack the zeal of Fulton Sheen are more the norm. We have some great bishops (+Paprocki, +Morlino) but this is sadly the exception.
      The homosexual priests are still here, but they are leftovers from the seventies and eighties, and the younger priests and bishop are more orthodox and likely to offer the traditional Latin mass also. You folks in Europe, and the Church is always in my prayers. Especially with the “last gasp” currently going on by the “spirit” of Vatican two crowd.
      Dominus vobiscum!

      • william gilbert

        Do your homework. Fulton J. Sheen not only participated in, but was a great supporter of the Second Vatican Council. I heard him preach in person many times and he was very careful to separate the bad behavior of individual priests from the Magisterium of the church.

        You like to throw the Latin around and it would seem to be an integral part of what you consider to be important in Catholicism. It is not. I can assure you that Our Lord doesn’t care whether the Mass is said in Latin or any other language on earth. You are typical of a breed of Catholic more concerned with externals of the Church than the essence Christianity.

        Priests and bishops have been both good and bad for centuries and all will all be judged by the Lord, but the Church is constant and always renewed by the grace of God for “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” You sound like a Sedevacantists .

  3. The Second Vatican Council teaches that Latin should be sung by the people in honour of Almighty God at all Sunday Masses.
    The Council does not teach that lay people are permitted to touch the Blessed Sacrament.
    The Council does not teach that alter rails should be ripped out.
    I could go on, but if like me you are having a developing enlightenment as to the lies told us mere peasant Catholics by the hierarchies and our priests, then you too will begin to see that the devil has indeed entered the Church as His Holiness Pope Paul VI said after the Second Vatican Council.

    • William Gilbert

      Not so. The devil has not entered the Church because Christ has said he would not.

      “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
      And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

      Either you believe Matthew 16-18 or you do not, but don’t call yourself a Catholic if you don’t – call yourself something more appropriate like a Protestant. The phrase “Gates of hell shall not prevail against it” suggests the Church is protected from the devil. The phrase “Bind and Loose” gives the Church the authority to use Latin or not, and remove altar rails or not, and to allow the laity to touch the the Blessed Sacrament or not, etc. (Touching the Blessed Sacrament does not imply disrespect for it – that is in your mind.)

      Charity, faith, humility and forgiveness are far more important than any of these mere externals and traditions that, in the long term, are not that important. I like tradition too, but don’t let us lose sight of the foundations of the faith.

      • William Gilbert
        are you havin a laugh? What document can you cite to promote your non-sense?
        Are you unaware of Pope Paul VI’s statement?
        Christ had Judas at his side, do you really think the bishops are not judas’s?
        Get a grip!

        • William Gilbert

          The Bible.

          What, specifically, is nonsense?

          It is more like the nonsense is coming from you. In the early Church the Mass was said in Greek. there were no altar (not alter) rails and the laity held the Blessed Sacrament. Your sacred traditions were all later additions, like priestly celibacy. You need to know your history. Look it up before you spout off.

          As FJ Sheen used to say . “God love you.”

          PS Judas was not on Christ’s side. Don’t you know the story?

  4. The bible – what a protestant answer!
    The first Mass was not said in Greek as Our Lord did not speak it!
    Are you clergy, cause you have that arrogance about you?
    By the way, they are not my sacred traditions , but in fact Holy Mother Church’s
    PS thankfully Almighty God loves us all.

  5. PPS all the early Church Fathers taught on priestly celibacy, what kinda books are you reading?
    The Eucharist was reserved for those and only those in a state of grace to receive it with utmost reverence cupping their palms and taking the Lord into their mouths which was then seen as lacking in reverence by the Doctors of the Church in the 400’s and no Catholic ever did again till the Dutch Judas bishops spread their drivel in the 1970’s

    • william Gilbert

      No, I am not Clergy just a Catholic who, unlike you, does not spout heresy. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and was taught by the nuns in the 1950s and 1960s.

      By the way, the Eucharist is still reserved for those in the state of grace so there is no change there. If people were capable of holding the Blessed Sacrament with reverence in the 5th Century, they are capable of the same now. To say otherwise is foolishness.

      Celibacy was not practiced until the 4th century and even then, it was not required or universal until later. That’s hundreds of years in case you can’t count.

      Our Lord spoke Aramaic (He didn’t speak Latin either) and I didn’t say the first mass was said in Greek, I said the mass in the early church was in Greek and it was before it was in Latin. The Greek words Eucharistia and the Kyrie Eleison bear witness to the origin.

      I still say that you come across as more concerned with the “externals” (look it up) of the Church than the essence of the Christian Message. I’ll bet I know your opinion of Pope Francis.

      God Love You!

  6. For your further edification :
    all the Popes from Paul VI to Pope Benedict forbade the use of “extraordinary” Eucharistic “ministers” during Mass. Pope John Paul II wrote his Apostolic Exhortation to all the bishops of the world forbidding this in 1997. What was the Judas bishops response? Yes you guessed it – they ignored Christ’s Vicar.

  7. The present Vicar of Christ forbids lay people touching the Blessed Sacrament, the present Pope has sacked more bishops in his first 9+ months than Paul VI and Benedict, What do you think I think of Our Lords Vicar?
    You sound so foolish and full of your own importance. The Truth ie. Our Lord Jesus is the Christ and His Truth does not change.
    The magesterium of the Church does not change.
    What is your point?

  8. William Gilbert

    He has sacked pompous, blowhard “traditionalists” more concerned with their careers and pretty lace vestments than with charity and Christian virtue. And since when is a Pontificate defined as a success by the number of Bishops fired!

    Show me where, specifically, Pope Francis has forbidden the laity from touching the Blessed Sacrament. Point to the exact document or statement.

    I like Pope Francis, but I suspect you don’t or won’t very soon. As far as my own self importance, well all I can say is that is not so and if I come across that way it is intended.

    When you can’t answer the arguments laid out, you attack the person. I am not the one calling every bishop on earth a Judas. By the way, is there a bishop you like?

    • Yes I can see William charity and Christian virtue in your comments. Thank you.. As we belong to Catholic faith like the pope does we look to it and its long history to settle matters. I don’t take a bath because the Pope tells me too and I don’t look to him as the oracle of everything. He is a man and like Peter can be inconsistent. Judas was a bishop, and we have had many like him in 200 years or history. A pope comes… a pope goes what good he does he does but the amplification of papal prerogatives does not extend to many things.

  9. Why wouldn’t i like (or more importantly love and daily pray for the Popes protection from the devil to Almighty God) the Pope in the future?
    What is your agenda? What are you hoping for? Do tell.

  10. The Church has always followed the law of pontificates rulings and His Holiness Pope Francis in his prayer at the statue of St Michael the Arch – angel in the Vatican Garden last summer with Benedict reiterated Pope John Paul the Greats Apostolic Exhortation forbidding extra-ordinary Eucharistict “ministers” during Mass.

  11. You answered not the question. When, specifically, did the Holy Father state that the laity should not be able to reverently hold the Blessed Sacrament and if people were capable of holding the Blessed Sacrament with reverence in the 5th Century, why are they not capable of the same now?

    Me thinks thou doth protest too much!

    Good Night.

    • 5th Century. I think you mean in the early Church during the persecutions. Some wore it as talisman.. which was an abuse. The early Church had abuses too such as stuffing faces with food during the Eucharist and St Paul condemns it.

  12. Pope John Paul the Great in his Apostolic Exhortation to all the worlds bishops in 1997.
    Repetition is a method of education. Extraordinary Eucharistic “ministers” are forbidden to distribute the Blessed Sacrament at Mass. Really straight forward, but alas the judas bishops ignore Christ’s Vicar. What’s new?

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