William Byron, a priest and business professor at St. Joseph’s University, near Philadelphia, says the Church needs to do “exit interviews” and listen closely to the answers — just like corporate America.
I like it. I’m baptised Catholic, so maybe I should volunteer ? Are you listening, Georgie Pell ? I’d be more than happy to do an exit interview. Although, technically, my “exit” happened 30 years ago when I ran out of the class that was meant to prepare me for confirmation, laughing at the sheer bizarre stupidity of it all. My mother, the devious creature, had signed me up for the classic career path a child born to catholic parents is meant to follow, communion, confirmation, the whole lot. I did communion because it got me my own TV, and it pleased my grandmother, but in the end, I just couldn’t do the confirmation thing. My mother must have known what was on the cards, I suspect, since I had already once been sent home from a catholic summer camp, for reading Karl May novels instead of attending religious instructions time.
Some of the questions Bryon would like to ask:
* Why have you stopped attending Sunday Mass regularly? Byron, 83, a former pastor of Holy Trinity in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC., says, “Catholics respond to good teaching and good liturgy. and they vote with their feet, going to the parishes that meet those needs.”
* Are there any changes your parish might make that would prompt you to return?
* Are there any doctrinal issues that trouble you?
Well, I attended Sunday mass a few times with my grandmother, in a town near Cologne, in the 70s, I remember her kneeling in the pews on her arthritic knees, and me trying to lip-sync to what was being said, or sung, since I was totally unfamiliar with any of it. Haven’t been in a church for 30 years, it seems a waste of time, somewhat.
As to changes my parish might make that would prompt me to return ? No, I think religions are utterly useless, outdated, and do much more harm than good in the 21st century. Go and dissolve, and hand over the 4% of priests and clergy that are pedophiles to the civil authorities, that would please me. And let’s stop teaching kids about religion in schools, while we’re at it. I don’t want my kids to have to learn about your creepy, backward zombie cult.
So yes, let’s have exit polls for dropouts of the Catholic cult. I’d love to see the results. But they might make the baby Jesus cry.