09 October, 2006

The Political Might of Catholicism

Extremely interesting news regarding the rise and influence of the Catholic church's political might:

By ANNA CLARIDG
05 October 2006

Catholicism will become the most practised denomination in New Zealand within five years – and the Catholic Church is already wielding political power, an expert says.

Peter Lineham, head of Massey University's School of Social and Cultural Studies, says current trends show Catholics will overtake Anglicans as New Zealand's most dominant religious group by 2011, with total numbers reaching 489,000.

The prediction, based on a 20-year trend in census figures, shows the Catholic Church has survived a Christianity crisis that has seen other religions bleeding adherents at a rate of almost 12,000 worshippers a year.

"The number of Catholics isn't really increasing much at all, it's just that the number of Anglicans and Presbyterians is dropping so dramatically," Lineham said.

"(The Catholic) religion instils a social identity.

In Catholicism you live it through schools and social networks. It is very strong and it is almost like once a Catholic, always a Catholic. You always identify with it."

Based on Lineham's predictions, Anglican numbers would have dropped to 452,000 by 2011 and Presbyterians to 357,000. The number of Anglicans has dropped by an average of 66,000 between each census, while the number of Presbyterians has dropped by 30,000 every five years.

Lineham said assuming the position of the most dominant religious order meant the church would naturally become a powerful political force – something that was already being felt.

"It does mean that the Catholic Church will have to be clear about its views because from now on people, politicians and media, will begin approaching them and asking them to speak on issues.

"And the church will have to be careful because its dominant position may mean that they end up speaking on behalf of not just Catholics, but Christianity as a whole."

Lineham said Cardinal Tom Williams, the Archbishop Emeritus of Wellington, was already heavily involved in Government processes and the church would continue to be a significant political force..."


The prophecies in Revelation and the symbolism of Daniel's image (iron & clay) are becoming more and more of a "this is actually happening in our lifetime" reality, especially when one considers the recent Catholic-Lutheran initiatives at developing stronger ties and general decline of other mainstream Christian groups. The Roman Catholic church is swallowing up Christians fast and furious.

4 Comments:

Blogger St. Michael the Archangel said...

What is amusing Jason, something that you fail to see. The Catholic faith has survived for 2000 years, it will continue until the end of the world.. and guess what? Your little church or group that you cling to will die within the next 100 years or it will morph into something else, but it won't stay the same.. why? Because the holy Spirit is with Christ true church "the Catholic one" and not your fake copy of Christianity that you adhere to.

December 15, 2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Christianity has survived for 2000 years, not Catholicism. Tell me, which has changed more often in the past two thousand years: The Bible or the beliefs of the Church?

Your rhetoric is tiring. Instead of spouting off personal opinion, why not attack me where it counts: By using God's Word to prove me wrong. Otherwise you're just another flapping mouth with nothing new to say.

December 15, 2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger St. Michael the Archangel said...

OH is that so? Lets see here.. the church hasn't changed in 2000 years... but the bible has. It took over 400 years after Christ died to write and approve the books for the bible, then in the year 1535 the bible was cruelly ripped apart by a selfish heretic who removed 7 books that weren't his to take... and now there are tons of different and wrong translations... and guess what... the church still hasn't changed... oh but wait, there is over 40,000 different Prot churches that continue to change on a daily basis... I wonder why? Christ said that his holy spirt would be with his church until the end of time... Christ never changes... his Catholic Church never changes... but the protestant one does everytime some new over zealous freak stands up and thinks that he has the answer to every question ever asked and so he starts his own church... I wonder which one actually hold the truth and actually has the holy spirit in it... you tell me.. your the one with the bubbly flapping mouth!

December 20, 2006 11:32 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

The church has never changed? Really? How many Catholic beliefs have been “updated” or “modified” over the past few dozen centuries? Are Catholic beliefs the same today as they were in, say, 500AD? They certainly must if the church hasn’t changed in 2000 years. So let’s see, is the Church stance on purgatory the same as it was three hundred years ago…? Is the Church position on head coverings for women the same today as it was 50 years ago…? Has the Church always believed that anyone who isn’t a Catholic will be condemned to hell…? Has transubstantiation been around since day one…?

This is the problem when beliefs are formulated outside of Scripture. They never stay the same.

December 21, 2006 2:05 AM  

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