“How will the Church survive with no money?”
This is Fr Brendan Hoban’s stark question, in his weekly column for the Western People, Sept. 1st 2020 – and now repeated on the website of the Association of Catholic Priests.
Emphasising the total dependence of the Irish Catholic clerical superstructure on the offertory donations of Mass-going Catholics, Fr Hoban points to the inevitable immediate crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – which closed all churches for months in 2020 and still restricts services everywhere.
“Collections are a main-stay of parish life, the life-blood of local parishes,” Fr Hoban points out. “Without them Catholic life, as we have it, would disappear… The result [of the Covid 19 pandemic] is that the income of the Catholic Church is now in free-fall, and will be (it appears) for some time.”
Fr Hoban ends with two questions: “What will the Catholic Church in Ireland be like after the pandemic? And what do we need to do now to prepare for it?”
Knowing well that the Coronavirus pandemic has merely brought forward a crisis made inevitable by decades of scandal and the longstanding denial of Vatican II reforms, lay people will be asking the same questions. Many will be wondering also about the wisdom of resuming unconditional financial support of a church system that repaid them always, for decades of family contributions, by denying them any right of assembly or voice of conscience in their own parishes, as promised in 1964 by Article 37 of Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium.
To read Fr Brendan Hoban’s complete article on the ACP website, click here.ACI Submission to Irish Bishops’ Conference 1st Oct, 2019