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The changing RCC habits of Poles


Harry
19 Aug 2013  #1
There are two interesting trends in the Polish Catholic church over the past couple of decades. According to data from the RCC, the number of eligible Poles who go to mass on a given Sunday (i.e. the Sunday on which the RCC takes a detailed count of attendance) has fallen from 57.0% in 1982 to 40.0% in 2012. The word eligible is used there (for want of a better word) because the RCC calculates its percentages based on only "82% of the faithful" as it estimates that 18% of Poles are either too young, too old or too sick to attend mass and so are not expected to attend. If one wishes to factor in that 18%, the percentage of Poles who actually go to mass on a given Sunday is 32.8%. Even if one uses the RCC's own figures, we still see a 45% fall in church attendance in just two decades. Interestingly, the figure of 40.0% was precisely the same as the figure from 2011

However, this trend is completely opposite to the number of Poles who attend mass on a given Sunday and receive holy communion. In 1982 that figure was 9.6% (which in itself was statistically interesting, given that the figures for 1981 and 1983 were 8.1% and 8.6% respectively; as compared to 52.7% and 51.2% respectively for church attendance). But by 2012 it had risen to 16.2%. That's a rise of some 69%.

Please note that those figures are percentage of 'eligible' Poles rather than the percentage of Poles who actually attended mass on the given Sunday.

Does anybody have any thoughts why there are so many fewer of 'the faithful' but the faithful which there are seem to be becoming much more 'faithful'?

BTW: all data above can be found here: iskk.pl/kosciolnaswiecie/64-dominicantes.html info about methodology used.

Here's a graph showing those two trends:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Dominicantes_and_Communicantes_in_years_1980-2011.svg

Here is the percentage of churchgoers broken down by region as a map pf Poland:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Dominicantes2010.svg

And here is the percentage of communion takers broken down by region as a map pf Poland:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Communicantes2010.svg

Sorry but svg files can't be attached to posts here or linked to as images.
f stop 25 | 2,513
19 Aug 2013  #2
Does anybody have any thoughts why there are so many fewer of 'the faithful' but the faithful which there are seem to be becoming much more 'faithful'?

Could be that some the faithful today do not know that they have to go to confession before they take the communion?
Or, maybe, the church attendance today is more for the "show" than the "spiritual growth"?
poland_
20 Aug 2013  #3
the Sunday on which the RCC takes a detailed count of attendance

H,please inform when the RCC actually does this detailed head count?

During the mass is there an alter boy with a clicker?

Sorry to have to **** on your fireworks re: 1981-83, it was martial law bud practisng any form of faith was not really encouraged.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Aug 2013  #4
I wonder how Harry would respond to a thread centered around the moral hypocrisy of Jews.
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #5
H,please inform when the RCC actually does this detailed head count?

The Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church are the people who organise it and they do so one Sunday in October or November. Last year it was 21 October.

You can read about the methodology here:
iskk.pl/kosciolnaswiecie/63-dominicantes.html

During the mass is there an alter boy with a clicker?

Apparently pretty much so. The form for churches to fill in last year can be seen here:
iskk.pl/images/stories/Instytut/dane/FormularzPraktyki_2012.pdf

Sorry to have to **** on your fireworks re: 1981-83, it was martial law bud practising any form of faith was not really encouraged.

Not sure what your point is there; anyway, feel free to have a look at the data for 1980 to 1999:
iskk.pl/kosciolnaswiecie/64-dominicantes.html

I wonder how Harry would respond to a thread centered around the moral hypocrisy of Jews.

a) Do feel very free to start one if you really want to find out that I couldn't give a shiit about any such thread.

b) Could you point out any moral hypocrisy of Catholics which I have referred to above? It rather seems that your knowledge of what is required from Catholics is somewhat patchy at best.
smurf 39 | 1,981
20 Aug 2013  #6
do not know that they have to go to confession

You don't, the RCC moved the goalposts on that a few years ago.

At the beginning of mass there's a 'confessional' prayer, I don't know the name in Polish for it, but in English it starts along the lines of "I confess to almighty god......"

If you say this prayer (and mean it) then you are confessing to the bearded one upstairs.
In some countries, the act of confession is so out of date that confession boxes have been removed from Churches.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Aug 2013  #7
the faithful which there are seem to be becoming much more 'faithful'?

That is a normal development wherever mass religiosity is encountered. The mass follower tends to be more lax in his practices even though he declares hismelf to be a Cathoilic. On the other hand such laxity may be what inspires a small but growing number of true beleivers to try and to have a richer sacramental life and live their faith on a daily basis. In Polish a distinction is made between wierzący (believer) and głęboko wierzący (deep believer).

Even in highly secularised countries such as France there is a niche group of extremely devout and active Catholics.
One wonders, however, why someone like you is so obsessed about a religion he does not believe in, belong to or espouse in a foreign country whose ethnicity he does not share???

do not know that they have to go to confession before they take the communion

That is a fallacy. A Catholic is required to go to confession before recieivng the Eucharist only if he's got a grave (mortal) sin on his conscience. If his offences are only venial, the collective confession that precedes every Holy Mass is sufficient.

I'm sure nto all Polish Catholcis are aware of that fact.
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #8
You don't, the RCC moved the goalposts on that a few years ago.

The RCC still requires the faithful to go to confession at least once a year.

I wonder if the Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church keep any records as to the number of people who go to confession. I might just drop them an email to ask. Do you really think that the removal of the need to go to confession would send the number of people who take communion up by more than two thirds? Does anybody know of any Catholic statistical institutes in other countries? Might be interesting to compare data with Poland.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Aug 2013  #9
Could you point out any moral hypocrisy of Catholics which I have referred to above?

I'm sure you've done it some where and may even have been right in doing so. My point is that you seem content to attack other groups but never any group you identify with.

rather seems that your knowledge of what is required from Catholics is somewhat patchy at best.

Required by whom? Required in what circumstances? Jesus H. Christ boy, make yourself clear!
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #10
I'm sure you've done it some where

In that case, you'll have no problem in pointing it out, as you have already been asked to do.

My point is that you seem content to attack other groups but never any group you identify with.

Oh dear, we're back with the 'Harry must be a Jew' bollocks yet again. OK, I'll humour you: kindly quote from a single post in which I say I'm Jewish or that I identify with Jewish people any more than people in general; do that or withdraw and apologise for your lie.

Required by whom? Required in what circumstances?

Required by the RCC.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Aug 2013  #11
Might be interesting to compare data with Poland.

One wonders, however, why someone like you is so obsessed about a religion he does not believe in, belong to or espouse in a foreign country whose ethnicity he does not share??? Are you perhaps preparing a doctoral dissertation in comparative religion or philosophy?
poland_
20 Aug 2013  #12
Does anybody have any thoughts why there are so many fewer of 'the faithful' but the faithful which there are seem to be becoming much more 'faithful'?

According to this source
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claims_to_be_the_fastest-growing_religion

Atheism is in decline as more and more people move towards religion. my thoughts on this would be the increase in global poverty and rising population figures.
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #13
One wonders, however, why someone like you is so obsessed about a religion he does not believe in, belong to or espouse in a foreign country whose ethnicity he does not share???

One might also wonder why you are so obsessed with Poland and Poles, given that you do not have Polish blood, refuse to become a naturalised Pole, lack basic knowledge of the Polish constitution and want to destroy the RP III. But if one did wonder that, one would be as off topic as your post is.

Are you perhaps preparing a doctoral dissertation in comparative religion or philosophy?

Nope, just wondering why there are fewer of 'the faithful' every year but those which there are are becoming more 'faithful'.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Aug 2013  #14
you do not have Polish blood,

Hitting the bottle this early in the day!? Methinks my accuser fits that description, not the accused!
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Aug 2013  #15
Required by the RCC.

Required by the RCC to do what?
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #16
For example:
you shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor;
you shall confess your sins at least once a year;
you shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season;
you shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church;
you shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

I'd much like to know what percentage of Poles meet what the RCC calls "the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort".
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Aug 2013  #17
I'd much like to know what percentage of Poles meet what the RCC calls

Why this unusual and downright obsessive interest in someone else's religion? Planning to convert to Catholicism are you?
So far you have been enaged in Church-bashing pure and simple. Now there seems to have been a change of heart. Or are you simply looking for more ammunition, trying to find out what makes Catholics tick so you can bash them with more of your Christophobia? That would be more true to character.
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #18
Why this unusual and downright obsessive interest in someone else's religion?

It's actually an interest in my country, that is why I'm asking about Poles.

So far you have been enaged in Church-bashing pure and simple.

Care to quote any of that? Or is this just another of your lies described to take a thread off topic?

Or are you simply looking for more ammunition, trying to find out what makes Catholics tick so you can bash them with more of your Christophobia?

I'm neither afraid of nor hate followers of Jesus, so your lie about my alleged Christophobia is just another of your lies.
I'm simply wondering about how the RCC in Poland got where it is now and where it is heading in the future. Is its future dominated by the self appointed 'guardian angels' in their mohair berets (unlikely given the rate at which they are dying off) or by the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth? I very much hope that those who shout the loudest will not for much longer be prominent in the church in Poland.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,648
20 Aug 2013  #19
I'd much like to know what percentage of Poles meet what the RCC calls "the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort".

That quote I found from the fronda.pl journalist would probably ring true - less than 2 in 10.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Aug 2013  #20
I very much hope that those who shout the loudest will not for much longer be prominent in the church in Poland.

Why should you hope or care who is or who is not prominent in an organisation you deride, discredit and despise? Get a life. There msut be other things you can take an interest in. Bungee jumping? The Canary Breeders' Assocation? A Masonic lodge? How about the Atheist League or Palikot Movement?

BTW since you're so much in favour of paper patriotism despite your alien blood and ethnicity, have you yourself applied for Polish citizenship and are already queueing? Or do you only urge others to do to have soimething to bicker and banter about?

That quote I found from the fronda.pl journalist would probably ring true - less than 2 in 10.

Joining the Church-bashing tag team, eh? Another one with a strange and obsessive interest in an alien organisation of a foreign land.
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #21
That quote I found from the fronda.pl journalist would probably ring true - less than 2 in 10.

It's a real pity that the Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church haven't made more of the annual survey that they carry out. It would be very interesting to see the demographics of the Poles who go to church and the Poles who take communion, look at the way the age structure of both have changed over the decades.

Why should you hope or care who is or who is not prominent in an organisation you deride, discredit and despise?

I've always said that some parts of the RCC do a great amount of good; however, other parts (smaller parts and parts with fewer believers) do a great deal of harm, in part because they shout the loudest and so are one of the most visible faces of the church.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Aug 2013  #22
In that case, you'll have no problem in pointing it out, as you have already been asked to do.

I'm not going to go through all your posts on this forum just to prove a point.

you shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

You and I both know that in Poland this is what is really important to the clergy and "provide for the needs of the Church" translates to "give the clergy money to keep living their lavish lifestyle."

This isn't news to anyone though, is it? The same is true for nearly every organized religion -the leaders are usually the most corrupt and the biggest hypocrites.

You could just as easily start a thread entitled "Water is also wet in Poland."

Required by the RCC to do what?

I should have phrased that better to help you understand.
You told me my understand of what the RCC in Poland requires of its members to do is spotty (or something to that effect). I'm asking you to clarify that, requires of its members to do what? e.g. to get to heaven? to find Christ? to do what?
OP Harry
20 Aug 2013  #23
I'm not going to go through all your posts on this forum just to prove a point.

There's an interesting way of saying that you can't quote something (because it doesn't exist).

You and I both know that in Poland this is what is really important to the clergy and "provide for the needs of the Church" translates to "give the clergy money to keep living their lavish lifestyle."

I'd have to disagree with that statement. Most of the clergy in Poland are in the RCC for the right reasons (and the right reasons do not include 'having a lavish lifestyle'). Yes there are elements of the RCC in Poland which care only about money (Maybachs ain't cheap and neither is a Lexus 400h) but the majority of the RCC in Poland does not see money as the most important thing or even close to the most important thing.
poland_
20 Aug 2013  #24
You told me my understand of what the RCC in Poland requires of its members to do is spotty

Your quote

The same is true for nearly every organized religion -the leaders are usually the most corrupt and the biggest hypocrites.

So we can agree as head of the RCC Pope Francis is not usual, therefore the RCC is on the right path with its new Pope. Unless you know something we don't.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Aug 2013  #25
So we can agree as head of the RCC Pope Francis is not usual

He doesn't seem to be, does he?

There's an interesting way of saying that you can't quote something (because it doesn't exist).

Whatever you want to believe there sport, but if you really believe in all your pf posts, you've never once criticized the moral direction or ethics of church leaders in Poland then I'll let you believe that.

Most of the clergy in Poland are in the RCC for the right reasons (and the right reasons do not include 'having a lavish lifestyle').

It sounds like you've bought more than a few bridges in your time: )
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Aug 2013  #26
For example:

And what? Are you saying that if people don't go to church every Sunday and don't take the Eucharist every Sunday or they don't fast they stop being Catholics in the eyes of the Church?

Where is it stated by the Church?
I attended religion classes and many masses in my life and somehow we've never been told by a catechist or a priest or a monk that if we don't attend mass every Sunday or fast, then we aren't considered Catholics.

I'd much like to know what percentage of Poles meet what the RCC calls "the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort".

And why would you want to know that? Are you also so terribly interested in how many Poles like to do it doggy style or how many Poles have hemorroides? o_O

It's actually an interest in my country

It looks more like an obsession, Harry.

Why didn't you answer Foreigner4's question, Harry?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,648
20 Aug 2013  #27
And what? Are you saying that if people don't go to church every Sunday and don't take the Eucharist every Sunday or they don't fast they stop being Catholics in the eyes of the Church?

I think it's more the point that these are the expectations that the Church has of Catholics - if someone doesn't do them, then they can hardly call themselves practising Catholics. I suspect that much of what we talk about is muddled by the difference between being baptised Catholic (and thus answering Catholic to the question : what religion are you?) and actually being an active Catholic.

And why would you want to know that?

Why not? It would certainly help with understanding Poland more - I would be very interested in detailed statistics too, particularly if they proved that the RCC in Poland is not dominated by the type of people that Polonius and other extremists claim it is.
f stop 25 | 2,513
20 Aug 2013  #28
f stop: do not know that they have to go to confession
You don't, the RCC moved the goalposts on that a few years ago.

well, then, here is your answer Harry, as to why the communion participation went up so much.

I'm sure nto all Polish Catholcis are aware of that fact.

That would be great, Polonius, if RCC gave better indication what a "mortal" sin is.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Aug 2013  #29
I think it's more the point that these are the expectations that the Church has of Catholics - if someone doesn't do them, then they can hardly call themselves practising Catholics.

And when a Catholic stops being a practising Catholic? When he/she doesn't go to church every single Sunday? And what if one goes to church when he/she has time or strength to do so? What if someone is attending mass once a month or only now and then? Or what if someone goes to church only on Christmas, Easter, weddings and funerals? Where is this line which one has to cross to stop being a practising Catholic? Is a person who doesn't go to church every Sunday, but observes Christmas and Easter, prays, fasts and supports the Church still a practising Catholic or not? And what if a person does go to Church every Sunday but doesn't fast, doesn't go to confession and doesn't support the Church? A practising Catholic or not?

There are all kins of levels of practising and Polonius3 was right when he wrote that in Polish there's a distinction between "wierzący" (believer) and "głęboko wierzący" (deep believer or a devout person in English, I guess?).

Delph, if someone has Catholic parents and was baptised but later on doesn't consider himself/herself a Catholic then he/she will answer that he/she isn't a Catholic. Believe me, Poles have no problems with doing so :) That's how I would understand such question and that's how other Poles would understand it, I think. People in Poland don't say they are Catholics only because they were baptised.

Of course, there's also probably this strange type of a Catholic, who doesn't really believe in God but consider himself/herself a Catholic and maybe even follows some traditions because, well, that's the Polish tradition in his/her mind and that's that. But I don't know what survey would reveal their numbers :) Maybe there should be two questions: "What religion are you?" and "Do you believe in God?"

Why not? It would certainly help with understanding Poland more

Sure, right :) That's not why Harry made this thread.

I would be very interested in detailed statistics too, particularly if they proved that the RCC in Poland is not dominated by the type of people that Polonius and other extremists claim it is.

And what is this type of people and how such surveys would prove that?
4 eigner 2 | 831
20 Aug 2013  #30
And when a Catholic stops being a practising Catholic? When he/she doesn't go to church every single Sunday? (...)

all valid points, Paulina.


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