The Catholic Church and the contemporary world in Visual Studio .NET Print PDF417 in Visual Studio .NET The Catholic Church and the contemporary world

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The Catholic Church and the contemporary world generate, create qr code none on .net projects Microsoft Official Website unparalleled movement of peo qr-codes for .NET ples as migrants, refugees, and other displaced people in response to political turmoil or economic necessity. These vast shifts in populations carry with them enormous challenges for the Catholic Church.

The traditional model of a clearly designated parish marked off as a discrete geographical area within the larger discrete geographical demarcation of a diocese re ected an older situation in which a stable population was envisioned. It assumed that people would be born, raised, spend their adulthood, and end their lives in a wellde ned place. That still happens, but it is less and less the case for large numbers of people.

One feature of big cities in the Christian West is that many churches within the city center no longer cater to the populations for which they were originally built. In the USA, one of the more painful duties of many bishops in not a few places has been the necessity of closing parishes who no longer have enough people to make them viable. In the city where my university is located, the once-thriving parishes catering to German, Irish, Polish, Hungarian, and Lithuanian communities are now either closed or consolidated to minister to the latest in ux of immigrants, mainly, Mexican.

15 These closings are even more painful when the parishes had parochial schools that now serve the largely nonCatholic poor of the area but run such nancial de cits that they become economically non-sustainable to keep open. In such circumstances one can ask: What replaces the image of the village fountain in the new reality of an increasingly urbanized world The answer to that question is all the more pressing when one factors in a shrinking number of ordained clergy, the truly enormous decline in the number of consecrated religious,16 and the constant demographic shifts of the Catholic population. Nobody, one suspects, has a clear answer to that question.

Obviously, the traditional ministries of the Church will continue as they have in the past. The danger comes if the Church is not fully cognizant of the challenges arising from the conditions outlined above. How to react to those challenges will only emerge as the Church, as it has in the past, nds ways of ministry and evangelization.

History teaches us great lessons about. The influx of immigrants fro m Central and Latin America is having a dramatic impact on the contemporary North American Catholic Church; see David Badillo, Latinos and the New Immigrant Church (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). In 1965, in the USA, there were 185,000 religious sisters; in 2005 that number had dropped to just under 70,000 with 60 percent of those over the age of seventy.

Those grim gures are not uniform throughout the Catholic world; some countries (for example, India) still have a vigorous number of religious sisters.. The contemporary Catholic Church rising to new situations. Th e shift from rural to town life in the early Middle Ages brought forth the response of the mendicant orders to ful ll the needs of the newer urban realities. Similarly, new energies were unleashed in the period of the Reformation, both in newer forms of religious life and newer strategies of spirituality and theology.

When, in the late nineteenth century, it was thought that with the loss of the Papal States the Church was nished as a world in uence, a new energy slowly developed freed from the burdens of a temporal papacy. At this moment in time, the Church, bruised by a decline of priests and religious, a loss of con dence in episcopal leadership due to the crisis brought about by the scandals connected to clergy abuse, and internal wrangling between factions, hopes to see the rst signs of another new Pentecost. What would such signs be The ourishing Church in the non-Western parts of the world The impressive growth of new ecclesial movements An increased willingness of lay Catholics to take up the challenges offered to them by the vision of the Second Vatican Council Accepting the fact that the new reality is that of a Church as a minority force of dedicated Catholics in a largely secular and indifferent population If the latter, then it is a new kind of evangelization that will confront the Catholic Church in the new millennium.

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