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One million ‘faith cards’ arrive in parishes

By on Thursday, 15 March 2012

Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk

Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk

Cards for Catholics are now being distributed throughout 24 dioceses in England and Wales.

The card states that the carrier is Catholic and states six things that Catholics are called to do.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said that the cards are being distributed gradually over the next month in order to make sure the exercise is not too costly.

She said there had been enquiries about the cards from 12 different countries including America, Sweden and Australia who want to imitate the initiative.

Additional cards are also being distributed through the Catholic Education Service, Prison Chaplaincy, Caritas Social Action Network and at the FLAME Youth Congress.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: “We all carry a variety of cards in our purses and wallets which reflect something of our identity and the things that are important to us. The faith card for Catholics aims to offer a daily reminder of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t summarise the whole of our faith in bullet points, but we hope that the card simply inspires people to do, read and learn more.”

  • Anonymous

    Another piece of sticky tape trying to hold up a crumbling edifice. When will they smell the coffee?

  • truthseeker

    To teigitur-The Church is far from a crumbling edivice. Evidence globally eg http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-statistics-show-catholic-growth/
    suggests the opposite. Doomslayers have ben predicting the immanent death of the Church for the last 2000years but don’t hold your breath it will be there at the end of time.

  • ms Catholic state

    Hope these can be delivered to Catholic secondary school children as a priority.  They need them before the Mass-going already converted need them. 

  • John Byrne

    “truthseeker” (aren’t we all?) writes: ” ….The Church is far from a crumbling edivice. Evidence globally eg http://www.catholicnewsagency….suggests the opposite.”

    These figures suggest nothing of the sort. Care must be taken when looking at such figures.

    When a baby is baptised it becomes another Catholic (according to the Church) – it has no choice and can express no personal wish. Additionally, irrespective of what the person might do or come to believe in later life, the Church still counts that person as a Catholic.
    The millions of “Catholics” who have ceased attending Mass or taking the Sacraments, in fairly recent years (in the developed world), are still included.

  • Honeybadger

    Oi!

    It’s the rest of the world that needs to wake up and smell the coffee to what’s going on around them.

    The Church is built on a rock. It has weathered many storms down the centuries.

    What’s another storm? Just another storm.

  • Honeybadger

    As I’ve said on another occasion, the idea is a good one.

    I still think that more effort and thought should have been put into it and hold off the distribution until Whitsun/Pentecost.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, but much of the current storm is of its own making. There are enough attacks from the outside, without weak Bishops, a joke for religious education in our schools ( with 95% leaving, rarely to darken the doors of a Church again), and a central act of worship that would not be out of place in many non-Catholic Churches.

  • truthseeker

    For the Church to be crumbling when do you prepose it was stronger? Yes, many baptised Catholics no longer practice but millions do. How many people came out to see Pope Benedict on his visit to Britain? or go to World youth days? The million faith cards will  be handed out to the practising catholics who go to Church on a Sunday. The secular society in Britain has 6,000 members and you are worried about our Church? wake up and smell the coffee. 

  • believer

    Yes, it’s like being born into a Muslim family – no choice to accept or reject Christ, or Mohammed.

  • Anonymous

    It was stronger, when THE faith was taught in schools. When we had vocations. When the faithful had belief in the real presence. When the Churches were full and people had respect for the Blessed Sacrament. In other words before Vatican 2.

  • John Byrne

    The point I was making is that the number of baptised Catholics is no indication whatsoever of the actual number of practising Catholics.

    No members of the National Secular Society (NSS) were “recruited” as babies (as are most Catholics). According to Wikipedia: “The NSS does not provide public information about its membership. One estimate, based on its income, is that it numbers somewhere between 7000 and 10000″.

    But it is not the matter of numbers which concerns me most about the Catholic Church.

  • Denis van Paassen

    This might sound a bit odd,… but,…. the Vatican and Catholic church are about to dissapear completely from the world scene. This is only a matter of a few years.

  • KB

    Nice for people to grow in their faith and possibly as an evangelisation tool, but i can’t help thinking the money would have been better used to help to poor & needy, especially during this time of Lent.

  • Anonymous

    In a way, but there is still some truth in the saying “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic”

  • m francis

    Complacency like that led to the fall of another empire in Rome.  It seems that you are trying to comfort yourself that by doing nothing proactive to support our faith(ie protest at the gates of Parliament to the Anti Christ Cameron) that somehow everything will be alright. It wont.The law and even the Human rights commission have been shown in a recent report by a parliamentary committee to have an Anti Christian bias. God will only help up us if we are brave enough to put our heads above the parapet and help ourselves.  The first disciples who knew all about advancing our faith, took risks in a far more dangerous environment than we know today when spreading the word. Those that sacrificed themselves to the lions for their faith would laugh at our leaders inability to protest properly in the streets. Catholics should be told the difference between calling yourself a Catholic and being one. Catholics promoting homosexuality should be ex communicated from our church. We cant just pick and choose what we want to believe and thats what these cards should be making abundantly clear. Unfortunately I think our hierarchy have no strategy and dont realise that the best form of defence in these scenarios is attack, because I guarantee that our atheist friends in Strasbourg will rule against our rights to wear a cross and we’ll end up hiding in the basement of country houses, waiting for a priest to arrive.  If that is the type of Catholicism you want to go back to, then go ahead, do nothing. 

  • m francis

    The church has faced many challenges in the past, but none such as these where our enemies work in every town hall,every court,the media, parliament, every freemasonry meeting (where incidentally all real decisions are made by the elite), and the human rights commission which a parliamentary report recently stated had an anti Christian bias. Our biggest enemy is complacency and with respect to the Jews in Europe, and other religious minorities that were persecuted by Atheist authorities, always starts with small incremental erosions of freedom and liberty. These are then built  upon over time as the courts aid government to marginalise religion and make it less relevant to the point where our faiths enemies feel safe about ridiculing it and joking about it in ways  they would not dare to do against gays etc.  Once we become less relevant we become less powerful and less able to organise and so the cycle continues until it becomes acceptable to persecute our religion without any repercussions.  Try to remember the last positive message about Christianity given out by our media. Instead they disassociate religion from any good news event that happens, and marginalise it. Christianity is only allowed to be to associated with war and discourse and if Muslims blow up our churches,then that message has to be diluted and replaced with a message that ” There have been tensions between the Christian and Muslim communities that may have led to this ” as if to justify these heinous acts as understandable. This is a far more subtle and insidious attack on our religion than has ever happened in the past, and it requires a very concerted and equally aggressive response. Those that ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

  • m francis

    Only if the world is about to end.

  • Anonymous

    The Church still seems to be in the grip of a trendy liberal mindset and until we get rid of it and get back to traditional catholicism, i.e. Tridentine catholicism, we will get absolutely nowhere. The card gimmiick will not work because the wording is so awful. Similarly, last week every parish Church was supposed to read out  Archbishop Nichols’ letter. Disobedience, however, is rife, another feature of post  Vatican II catholicism. The said letter was NOT read out at my parish church, St. Bede’s in Widnes, Merseyside. A printout of the speech was merely handed out to parishoners with the rest of Church info news. When I asked the parish priest, after mass, why the speech was not read out and the parishoners clearly informed of the nature of the struggle that is before us he was adamant that the speech had not been read out because, to quote him; “We have had a lot of letters to read out recently and we wanted to concentrate on the gospel instead.” When I replied that Archibishop Nichols’ letter was hardly just another letter among many, that the issue before us was, in its implications and possible further developments, one of the greatest challenges the Catholic Church in England has faced since the reformation, he replied “Oh absolutely!” and quickly scuttled off to talk to other parishoners who – presumably – would not have the temerity to question him on this issue.

  • mary

    If you resent having been Baptised as a baby, why not look into that faith again as a youth or adult? Whether your parents requested Baptism for you because of their own deep faith and knowledge or by intuitive or instinctive urging, they did it for some real purpose. Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue ‘Honour your father and mother (in the things that are of God)’. If you continually harbour negative thoughts of the Church you become cynical and kill off hope and optimism. When you continually sin by refusing to develop a moral conscience or against the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, God still loves you and will accept your conversion and return but you are struggling to receive grace to do so. Your free will becomes controlled and hidebound.
    As for the Church growth – there is increasing evidence of new seminarians in all countries; increasing parents for reasons they understand wanting their children in Catholic schools, receiving sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation and the healing sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation). Inner suburbs around capital cities are often bogged down in intellectual argument but in the outer suburbs where more children abound some very large sacramental celebrations are taking place. In order to prepare both parents and children must complete specific and comparable programs of renewed synthesis of doctrine and social teaching at suitable age levels.
    Its the Christian lenten season, perhaps you could try a view of the Church broadly rather than complaining and trying to refute statements by people who are experiencing new growth.

  • Mary

    In Australia the Census has a question on Religion. These statistics are used by the Catholic Church education offices and diocesan offices to plan for the future. The number of developments under these jurisdictions are growing fairly steadily. People do have the option to choose to answer this question separate from the Baptism Registers kept by parishes with Index in Diocesan Archives.
    It is not only Baptism that brings child or adult into the Church. It requires full Initiation of sacraments. RCIA or Rite of Catholic Initiaion of Adults or RCIC of children over primary age require a very full program for 2 years and every parish has a few going through each year or combines with adjoining parishes for teaching resources.
    Any nation that Pope Benedict XVI has visited and then sent Emissaries to encourage the enthusiasm (en-theos=in God) these visits generated is growing in their wholehearted participation in their faith formation and in evangelisation, to name UK and Germany.
    Perhaps while you are sitting back observing from a distance you are missing out.

  • Mary

    The chicken or the egg. The poor and needy will be better served as the communities of faith are strengthened and increase.
    But then all people who have received Intiation Sacraments are disciples of Jesus Christ and therefore have a responsibility to accept the strength we receive from Sacraments to love all people in whatever way is necessary.
    How do any of us become disciples? If the 12 year olds I teach programs involving God’s love, gathering of God’s people, their Soul etc along with the scripture and traditions of the Church can write an insightful article on ‘Why I want to be a disciple of Jesus’, then those who are afraid to embrace the teaching and tradition of the Church are not on track. The 1970-1990 years was a period of pussyfooting and often erroneous teaching in many Church areas. God’s love and the Holy Spirit haven’t permitted this to go on and changes have been made. St Thomas Aquinas said that God is ‘challenge and motion’. How about being challenged and set yourself in motion to find out the real Church, rather than the superficial notion and the critical ideas of secularism.
    Dr Pell wrote at the beginning of Lent on Consciences. It was so true – relativism brought about the psychologies of the 1970s onwards has misused philosophies in a way that has produced only a popular misinterpretation. Why?
     
     

  • John Byrne

    Perhaps your parish Priest knows you from previous encounters. Perhaps he knows well that you are not, as you rather unkindly put it, “in the grip of a trendy liberal mindset” and are a “traditional” Catholic, quite impervious to any ideas that are not already in your head.

  • Mary

    Jesus said, ‘I will be with you even to the consumation of the world.’ Jesus has never told lies. The Vatican is the HQ of the Catholic Church (Roman Rite). The Church has endured, resisted, renewed through many human, geographical, and sociological storms in 2,000 years and from my viewpoint I cannot see it disappearing. You see, the Church is the People of God, that is all Baptised people and those who have completed their Initiation whether practising or not. As many converts as adults have written over centuries, God is always there and Jesus is constantly knocking at the door waiting for us to open to him.
    The Church of the People of God is not a political or economic entity, although it embraces these aspects of humanity.
    Have you ever tried reading or listening to a good edition of the History of the Catholic Church or of the particular country or region you live. While studying Politics I found it astonishing how distinctly the Church had influenced the intellectual development of this motley collection of early Australians.
    We are however reminded of Jesus’ words; if you follow me you will be persecuted. The Sacraments are meant to make us strong to withstand this persecution.

  • John Byrne

    The UK census also has a question about religion (although the recent census was probably the last we will have in the UK for a very long time – if ever).
    The numbers of declared believers has shown progressive falls from census to census.
    However the apparent fall in believers is thought to be the tip of the proverbial iceberg, since many describing themselves as such simply say (on questioning) that they only try to be good people. They carry none of the baggage of “traditional” Christian or Catholic belief.
     

  • John Byrne

    Yes, I agree.

  • John Byrne

    Yes, spot on.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly all to common. You are right about the Mass!

  • Anonymous

    No, my parish priest doesn’t know me from ‘previous encounters’ as you so coyly put it in that I have perhaps for too long, like many other Catholics, simply got on with my faith without presuming to ask anyone any ‘awkward’ questions. Nor would I consider myself ‘impervious to any ideas that are not already in my head’ as you, I am afraid to say, rather uncharitably put it. On the contrary, I feel the only way forward for the Church is to blend the best of the last 40 years (and there have been many good things) with the best of the previous 1960 years. We have a splendidly rich, intelligent and varied tradition of thought and practice available to us but it requires us to be open minded, not just about the present and the future, but also the past and, where necessary, to have the humility to recognise, as both individuals and a Church, where we have gone astray and lost sight of the overall goal – to draw closer to God and put him first and ourselves second. It is surely only by intelligently blending the best of the past with the present that we can do justice to our faith and our role as witnesses for the same in what has become a society rules by elites – political, social and media elites – who demonstrate all too clearly their hostility to any ideas other than  their own, particularly if those ideas are the fruit of religious faith and enquiry.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    FAITH WOULD BE STRONGER IF THE WORD OF GOD IS GIVEN FOUNDATIONAL

    IMPORTANCE IN THE CHURCH AND IF CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT TO READ AND

    MEDITATE ON THE WORLD OF GOD REGULARLY. 

    GROWTH IN FAITH AND LOVE FOR THE CHURCH DEVELOPS THROUGH

    MEDITATION ON GOD’S WORD. ALL STRAYING  CATHOLICS WOULD THEN

    COME BACK TO THE CHURCH.

     

    THE BULKY SIZE OF THE BIBLE ITSELF IS A  BIG HINDERANCE, APART FROM

    THE PRICING OF THE SAME.
     

    THE SACRAMENTS AND THE REST BECOME EMPTY WITHOUT THE WORD OF

    GOD; AND ESPECIALLY SO WHEN THE WORD IS RITUALISED.

    LET US ALL REMEMBER EVEN THE EUCHARIST IS EUCHARIST BECAUSE OF

    THE WORD OF GOD.

    FREEDOM TO BAPTISE CHILDREN WHEN THEY GROW UP IS DESIRABLE. ONLY

    A MATURE CHURCH CAN GIVE FREEDOM TO PARENTS  TO DO SO. THIS

    MATURITY WILL COME ONLY WHEN THE BISHOPS THEMSELVES BECOME

    APOSTLES. HAVE THEY NOT INHERITED THE OFFICES OF THE APOSTLES?

    WHY ARE THEY THEN NOT APOSTLES IN THEIR OWN PERSONS?

    INFLATED NUMBERS, EVEN COUNTING NON-PRACTISING CATHOLC IS ONLY AN

    EMPTY SHOW.

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    THE SACRAMENTS BECOME EMPTY WITHOUT THE WORD OF GOD. FOR

    INSTANCE TAKE THE CASE OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST. THE BREAD OF WHEAT

    BECOMES THE BODY OF CHRIST BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD

    PRONOUNCED ON IT.

    Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Honeybadger

    Who told you this? Mystic Meg?

  • Honeybadger

    I’m always heartened by the growing amount of people – mostly young – who are baptised, confirmed and receive the Eucharist every Easter Vigil in my parish.

    Also, how young people make up the majority of worshippers at the Extraordinary Form Mass.

    It is up to us to support and encourage them as they journey in faith.

  • Honeybadger

    I agree with you. And it is sick-making, to be honest.

    I was brought up in that sorry generation where RE was a joke, trendy Masses were de rigeur, being taught below-quality religious lite songs which are more suited to the oversized bow-tie-and-fluffy-shirt wearer of a club singer with adenoids.

    One of the biggest mistakes was making the sacrament of confirmation a matter of choice!

    No wonder we lose our kids from the practise of the faith because, truth be told, high schools have failed to harness the very age-group that NEEDS to learn about the faith and get to know God without the dated, trendy agenda.

    I was one of the lucky ones who had parents and grandparents who practised the faith out of natural love for it and not because they had to. We bought Roman Catholic books, leaflets, newspapers etc.

    It wasn’t just for Sundays. Faith wasn’t shoved down our throats, either. It was a huge and healthy part of our lives.

  • Honeybadger

    I’m with you in everything you say, friend, especially when you said ‘Those that ignore history are condemned to repeat it.’

    It is happening. We need to hang on during this storm, cling onto the Rock and depend on Our Lord and His Blessed Mother to help us strengthen us.

    Don’t forget, members of the early Church were more than a side-dish to the animals that entertained Roman emperors like Diocletian and Nero.

    If people don’t report the truth of any issue, it is up to us to come up with paragraph, page numbers, references etc. We need to learn about our faith more and more.

    Remember, information is ammunition… and a well-informed laity will win the day.

  • Anonymous

    Ditto to much of that. I have to confess to being in a “folk group”in the 80 s. I cringe now , though we were of that time. I am now concentrating on trying to get at least an occasional EF Mass in our Diocese. Where the Bishop is being very difficult.

  • Chris733

    MACCABEUS2, thank you for telling it like it is.

  • Charles Martel

     Hear hear!

  • Anne

    It is wonderful to see all these initiatives in the Catholic Church in the UK.  Also the Diocese of Lancaster and their ‘The Light is on for you’ which is proving very successful.  You have a wonderful Church and good Pastors.  In Ireland we are struggling alot.  Pray for our Church in Ireland.  God bless you and keep it up….you are a light to us. 

  • Weary Convert

    All very interesting – much of it nonsense.  When are we to have comments on the latest scandal in the Dutch church?  Castration of boys who have accused priests of abuse?  This seems totally in line with the general horrors of the pre-Vatican 2 church that Ultra Catholics adore like pagans before a Golden Calf.