WESTMINSTER, England (ChurchMilitant.com) – A leading British mathematician predicts the “exponential decline” of the Catholic Church in England and Wales by 2050, as it becomes increasingly awakened in its adherence to progressive ideology.
Using epidemiological modelingwhich is designed to calculate the number of people infected with a contagious disease in a closed population over time, Dr John Hayward calculates that with a “current reproductive potential of 0.91”, the Catholic Church of England and Wales “will eventually die out.”
Noting that the decline in Holy Mass attendance is “accelerating”, Hayward predicts that “worst-case scenario, the church … will be gone by 2048″. Indeed, according to the visiting maths researcher at the University of South Wales, “the future of the church is likely to lie somewhere between linear and exponential decline”.
Dead on waking
Hayward argues that the critical factors accelerating the extinction of the church are a lack of enthusiasm for making converts and an openness to cultural Marxism, critical race theory, sexual revolution and the LGBTQ+ agenda. .
“To date, no growing church has embraced ‘same-sex marriage,'” Hayward writes, noting that all growing denominations hold firmly to historic Christianity and have statements affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman only. .
In addition, growing churches demonstrate a trust in the authority of Scripture, which “allows them to oppose progressive ideology and motivates their efforts to make disciples,” observes the statistician and founder. from Modeling Church Growth to place.
To date, no growing church has embraced same-sex “marriage.”
But while the Catholic Church opposes same-sex “marriage” in theory, its decline nevertheless shows that being Orthodox is insufficient to guarantee growth, since the CCEW has failed to spread the Faith and bring in converts, laments the mathematician.
Hayward uses a “limited enthusiasm conversion modelto calculate the CCEW’s R (reproductive potential) number, where “enthusiasts” reproduce by conversion. An R number greater than 1 indicates that a church is making converts, while an R number less than 1 is a imminent extinction indicator.
The CCEW has an R number of 0.9, unlike independent Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which have an R number between 1 and 1.1. Even the Church of England’s R number slightly exceeds the CCEW’s R number.
Only denominations in crisis (such as the Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Church of Wales, Scottish Episcopal Church, Church of Scotland and Welsh Presbyterians and Welsh Independents) show a number R lower (between 0.5 and 0.8) than that of CCEW.
I see few signs of evangelism — in the sense of proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles.
Baptist churches have an R number of just under 1. If churches with an R rate above 1″ retain this potential for conversion, they could reach five times their current number by the end of the century. But they should hold that value for 80 years,” Hayward notes.
Academic urges Catholic Church and other denominations ‘to encourage members to make new disciples capable of reproduction’, regardless of current denominational emphasis, and to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit .
Weekly Mass attendance has dropped from 1 million in 2000 to just over 500,000 in 2020, according to Hayward. According to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, presence declined by almost a third (30.7%) between 1993 and 2010, compared with corresponding declines of 10.9% in the Catholic population and 9.4% in the number of priests over the same period.
“About two-fifths of British cradle Catholics now identify as ‘non-religious'” and “typical Sunday Mass attendance in England and Wales has more than halved in the 35 years from 1984 (1.5 million) to 2019 (0.7 million)”. write Catholic scholars Stephen Bullivant and Ben Clements in the peer-reviewed Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
While an important factor in the Catholic population is the number of immigrants, young Catholics seem to be among the most committed to the Faith, observe Bullivant and Clements. Many young Catholics belong to Traditionalist Latin Mass (TLM) communities that claim to be growing.
However, observers note that most of the growth of TLM parishes is the result of “transfer growth” and not intentional evangelism by traditionalist Catholics.
“I think most of the growth in traditional parishes is due to faithful Catholics who love the Church finding refuge from heresy and persecution,” said Nick Donnelly, who has been assigned to lead evangelism in his Diocese of Lancaster, to Church Militant.
The challenge is: how do we proclaim the gospel during the “great apostasy”?
“I see few signs of evangelization – in the sense of proclaiming the gospel to the pagans – except through acts of public devotion such as processions or the occasional flash mob display of the Blessed Sacrament in a shopping mall” , added the popular writer.
In comments to Church Militant, Dr Joseph Shaw, president of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, said he “would not overstate the ‘growth of transfers’ as an explanation for the growth of the traditional mass”.
Shaw explained how mainstream congregations had converts and even more worshipers who stopped attending the Novus Ordo before being removed by the MLT.
“A few years ago I noticed that on our walking pilgrimage to Walsingham there were four converts from Buddhism. I think there were about 60 pilgrims in total. One was a Buddhist cradle of Chinese heritage; the rest were Western converts,” Shaw pictured.
Shaw admitted that TLM communities lack the resources for a centrally organized evangelism strategy and that “most priests who celebrate TLM do so as a side show of their Novus Ordo parish, so they cannot easily evangelize using the TLM”.
The Oxford scholar insisted that evangelism was done through public processions, individual invitations to the TLM and on the internet.
Responding to Shaw’s description of TLM’s evangelistic efforts, Donnelly added:
Mainstream Catholics are a strong and vocal presence on social media and very good at offering mutual support and encouragement, but not at mainstream proclamation of the gospel to non-believers. The challenge is: how do we proclaim the gospel during the “great apostasy”?
One method of evangelism that traditional parishes do well — with their love of authentic Catholic doctrine — is the restoration of medieval passions in their local towns. The combination of doctrine with spectacle and humor would be very appealing.
No evangelism, no growth
Church Activist contacted Fr Jan Nowotnik, secretary of the Department for Evangelism and Discipleship of the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference of England and Wales, asks what the bishops were doing to combat the decline of the church and stimulate evangelism.
Nowotnik did not respond to request for comment.
While the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales emphasizes and invests financially in interfaith dialogue, racial justice and the environment, there is no formal strategy, effort or financial investment for evangelization.
In 2016, Dr. David M. Haskell, professor of sociology at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University, produced a historical study showing how “theological conservatism of participants and clergy emerged as important factors in predicting church growth”.
Haskell’s findings confirm DM Kelley’s book thesis Why Conservative Churches Grow (1972), who highlighted the link between conservatism and growth. Kelley’s “rigor thesis” held that conservative churches thrive because they place high demands on their members.
— Campaign 32075 —
Do you have a topical tip? Submit news to our inquiry line.
We rely on you to support our reporting. Please donate today.