How to Stop the Drift Away from Catholicism (faith) in Countries like Ireland and Poland


There has been much in the news of late about the drift away from Catholicism in once strong Catholic countries such as Ireland and Poland.

Eg this 2005 LA Times Article entitled Catholicism Losing Ground In Ireland,0,5254747.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Certainly this benefits no one since it is not like they are leaving for Protestant or Anglican Churches. It is part of that tendency to secularism as countries experience economic prosperity. The Celtic Tiger brought Ireland great prosperity in the last decade.

So, how do we realistically stop this in terms of practical solutions. I think it is sad :frowning: to see countries in Europe and even Canada drfiting that way. As I recall Pope John Paul the Great spoke about this issue and certainly he would be saddened

Rev North


The article does not even mention Poland, so your title needs adjusting.

The most important part of the article (which I can’t figure out why the LA Times would bother to publish to begin with since it has diddly squat to do with LA. Was this in some sort of faith related section or something?) is actually in this quote from an Irish priest.

[size=]Father James Noonan, 43, prior of St. Teresa of Avila Church, just off trendy Grafton Street in central Dublin, says his church draws large crowds on Sundays. Even on weekdays, dozens of people, young and old, could be seen wandering in from shopping or before or after work to attend Mass, prayers or penance services.

“When priests are available and willing to sit and listen, people will come,” said Noonan, who has a community of nine Carmelite-order priests in residence. The funeral of the pope in particular touched many people in Ireland, he said.

“A lot of people out there felt it very deeply,” Noonan said. “The Christianity is there, but it needs something to tap into that. People are in search of something deeper, and the church is always challenged to respond to that.”

[/size]IMO this is pretty much just more of the media seeking to sing a death knell for the Catholic Church without checking her pulse first.

It is both my opinion and prayer that the rude awakening that is steadily growing from within the Catholic Church, (in no small part due to this site and many other faithful Catholic apologetic and evangelistic ministries!) will come to fruition even sooner than so many people think.

I’m doing my part. :signofcross: :bible1: :heart: :irish1:


The Church creates the conditions for economic prosperity, and with it a very hostile environment for faith. I don’t think there is a way round this. It is one of the enduring features of human societies.


It is not just the LA Times as I have heard this issue discussed on news programs before. Of course in the case of Poland you have generation growing up that did not know communism much less the strength that the Catholic faith provided.

I agree that it needs to be a wake up call for all people of faith. Europe is drifting (significantly) and the Pope was right to try and push the issue of making mention of the Christian heritage in the Eurpoean constitution.

The church cannot take it for granted and must contend for the faith. I think this was Fr. Corapi’s point in regard to Catholics losing ground to evangelicals in South America. Catholics need to be preraed to intellectually and spiritually contend for the faith of the church.

PS Let me amend the thread. Ireland I have seen numerous reports on and on Poland I heard an article on the nightly news in passing, But this Seattle Times article notes things
are actually good in Poland :thumbsup:
On the other hand a Polish discussion forum was talking about great decline. Who knows.

Just pray I guess. I certainly feel bad about Ireland as that is a great and faithful Catholic nation and tied to their identity.

Rev North


Yes…sadly, the Church is being forgotten by some and yet the downfall of communism and the material and spiritual support of so many is in no small part to the faith and dedication of Catholics who risked much.

Rev North


You cannot realistically stop it. Once the Catholic Church is no longer the "established " church, many people will regard that fact as a liberation. Is that the fault of the people, or of the church?

The church should be leading by example, and (to be honest about it), the church has not been setting good examples. Nor has the church made some of its teachings in a form that people can understand and accept.

And people like the freedom of not having to live their lives at the dictates of a church that many have come to hate. Women, in particular, can have strong opinions on birth control and abortion. Not all women, of course, but certainly the majority. Same with the hot button issues of marriage and divorce, and of homosexuality.

Sorry, but I don’t think anything can be done to reverse the drift away from the Catholic Church. I just think we have to accept it, and get on with our own lives, setting a GOOD EXAMPLE for non-catholics to see.

(Opinions expressed have not been endorsed nor opposed by my cats.)


Maybe you are correct. If we concentrate on ourselves and living our faith in tangible ways it will do much to set an example. In reality the church in terms of those faithful to the teaching has always been small in relation to the culture at large and we are at odds with the culture at large.

Sadly, the Church has lost a great deal of authority over worldwide scandals invovling Priests and Bishops. I recall what one of my college professors said (a nun) and that was that God often uses these difficulties to purify the church and get it back on track. That was her take on the Reformation which led to the counter reformation and a renewed and strengthed Catholic faith.

Rev North


The Church needs to show its is still Relevant in today’s world. For all practical purposes they are not seen anywhere near it. The first thing is the lack of response on the sex scandals. It sets a poor example and the church to be hypocritical. Open apologies and transparent policies towards the laity will show they are serious to slowly regain credibility lost by the hiding and stonewalling.

If the Church would hold itself up to that high of a standard, more people would want to try to hold themselves up to a higher standard.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit