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The Pope's (Self Imposed) "Choice" Dilemma – "Cafeteria" Catholics or "Charismatic" Catholics" (Why Not Both?)

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Analyst Opening Statement:  

The article deals with two fundamental questions facing the Catholic Church and its membership drive going forward. "Why choose when you can change?" and specifically "Why not simply change?"   

On the aggregate change aspect, which transcends multiple fronts, the Analyst utilizes the priest sex abuse scandal/situation as a high profile proxy to illustrate the entire need for change argument. 

The Analyst too is a boomer generation Catholic.

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Alternative Title: 

               The Catholic Church - Growth Through Abandonment

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Pope Benedict XVI completes his initial U.S. visit today with a Mass at Yankee Stadium, an event destined for the same legendary status as the Aug. 1965 cross town Beatles Shea Stadium Concert. The Bronx stadium moment will as intended, memorialize his visit in pomp, circumstance and fanfare and forever mask the real goals and objectives of the visit. That being member growth, and to the Vatican’s “surprise”, itself now overshadowed throughout these 5 days by an unexpected onslaught of media and public questions way beyond what the Vatican forecasted (thus its “surprise”) on the clergy sexual abuse scandal and actions to date taken and/or lack thereof.

 

On the surface, this was to be a 5 day meet and greet with his U.S. flock, dedicated as “Mission America”, yet of curious interest in many other ways. Most importantly, is the “mission” to merely show the flag or is it more clandestinely (member) research oriented? Or is it Mission Impossible?

 

The U.S. has the third largest Catholic population of any nation. Only Brazil and Mexico have more. It therefore is a critical cog in the Vatican’s global Catholic membership machine and one it needs to remain strong and growing. That desired growth however, as this article will delve into, is not necessarily balanced across all demographic and/or diversity fronts, and why this visit is much more than a superficial good will welcome aboard.

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While the Catholic Church gets straight A’s in seeking and achieving meritorious ethnic diversity, its grade in achieving or maintaining economic diversity within its member ranks continues to falter and erode, slipping from A to C and now borderline F.

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The cleverest of all, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month - Fyodor Dostoyevsky It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously...Some cause happiness wherever (more...)
 

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