Friday, April 12, 2013

Church attendance ‘on the increase’

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From the Website of CBCP Life
links:  http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=10738



Church attendance ‘on the increase’


MANILA, April 11, 2013— As far as bishops and priests are concerned, the number of Catholics is increasing, refuting a survey that one of 11 faithful sometimes considers leaving the Church.Pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) also claimed that there is a decline of Catholics attending Masses from 64 percent to 36 percent.
But Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said the survey is contrary to what is actually happening because they even have to allow Masses to be held in shopping malls to accommodate more churchgoers.
“I think a scientific study should be made to validate such observation,” Ongtioco said.
“In the diocese, I do not see this observation and in fact the number of churchgoers increased because we have mall Masses,” he said.

In Quiapo Church, officials noted a significant increase of churchgoers and devotees of the revered Black Nazarene.

That is why Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, Quiapo Church rector, could not believe the result of the survey, supposedly conducted in February or two weeks before Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his post.

The survey, however, was only released on Monday, the same day that the Church’s biggest lay groups announced its move to combine forces to muster millions of votes for senatorial candidates who opposed a contraceptives law.

Bro. Mike Velarde’s El Shaddai group along with other lay organizations have launched the “White Vote Movement” to campaign against those who supported the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) law.

“I don’t have that kind of observation (decreasing Church attendance) because churchgoers in Quiapo are increasing,” Ignacio said.

In Visayas, church attendance in Iloilo province’s 93 parishes is also doing well, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said.

“It’s a matter of minus and plus. There are those who no longer go to Sunday Mass but there are also new Catholics who started to go to Sunday Mass,” Lagdameo said.

“The nine Masses in Jaro cathedral are still filled to capacity. Priests maintain their Masses in towns and barrios. This is the observation in our 93 parishes,” he added.

In Mindanao, the Diocese of Marbel in South Cotabato had just erected a new parish last December 30 to accommodate the spiritual needs of people in the area.

In fact, according to Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, they will inaugurate another new parish in June.

“In our 26 parishes, church attendance is going up. I have visited 17 parishes (recently) and the findings showed vibrancy,” he said. “All have integrated parish pastoral action plans based on the diocesan strategic plan.” (Roy Lagarde)







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