Monday, April 03, 2006

Mormonism thriving in heavily Catholic US Northeast

This Reuters report quotes people saying that the Catholic clergy scandal is driving them to become Mormon. Stupid them. Obviously the scandal is but one symptom of a very serious problem in the Northeast -- a lack of true formation.

Get this line: "But doctrinal similarities with Catholicism could account for some of the expansion, Shipps said."

Ah yes, I remember those doctrinal similarities -- they're so similar that Rome recently said that Mormon baptism is completely invalid. This is something certain dioceses in the U.S. had been asking the Vatican to say for years so that annulment processes could be made easier. But more than that, those who live with them know that what they teach and what the Church teaches is diametrically opposed. Just as three small examples -- Mormonism teaches many gods, no hell and salvation by good works. Catholicism teaches one God in Three Divine Persons, heaven and hell, and salvation through the grace of God.

The bishops of the Northeast will need to get their collective acts together and strike back. Not by any kind of harsh rhetoric, but by evangelization. Closing parishes because Catholics are moving out of particular areas is not the brighest move they could make. What is bright is bringing a serious evangelization effort to those areas which the old ethnic Catholics have left so that those who took their place have the chance to hear the Gospel as well. "There is no other name given in heaven or on earth by which we may be saved." So, Excellencies all, evangelize away.


tiodean said...

A few years ago, I was leading a group of youongsters on a tour of the West. Only one was Mormon, but I thought given that the Mormons did much to open the Western US, a visit to the Salt Lake City LDS Visitor Center would be educational.
The potato farmer-docent was very nice and did nothing that could be considered preaching. However, the half of us who were Catholic, and the Mormon teenager, were suprised when told that the LDS and Catholic churches were "almost exactly the same."

Scott said...

As a Catholic convert from Mormonism I can honestly say that I have no idea what Jan Shipps, whose work I respect a great deal, is talking about. Whatever similarities there are between the Catholic Church and the LDS are superficial at best. Any cursory comparative examination between the two would reveal this much. I would be interested in data to support the claim that Catholics are becoming LDS (an organization that has a lot of sexual abuse cover-ups in its own closet) as a result of the recent and on-going scandal.

Mormonism tends to thrive among the unchurched or barely churched. In the case of the Catholics, the poorly catechized and unevangelized. It holds almost no appeal to the theologically knowledgable, even those who might be (rightly) repulsed, especially in the Northeast, at Catholic (lack of) leadership