Why are Catholics leaving their church to join the Pentecostals?

During his visit to Brazil , Francis, the Bishop of Rome, addressed 300 Brazilian bishops who joined him for lunch in the Rio archbishop’s residence and “delivered an unusually candid rebuke to the Catholic Church in Brazil , accusing it of being stuffy and inward-looking and failing to respond to the concerns of ordinary people.” He is concerned because “Brazilians have been deserting the Catholic Church in droves, either embracing secularism or joining the burgeoning number of Pentecostal churches that have popped up all over the country, particularly in the favelas or slums around big cities.” This is happening in India . In the mind-nineties the bishops commission as study which revealed. It draws our attention to “a widely shared perception that the clergy of the mainline churches are responsible in several ways for the exodus of the believers to the neo-pentecostal sects. This is particularly true of the Catholic clergy.” Let us compare the Catholic Church in India with the Neo-Pentecostals sects.

We have so many costly churches and expensive cathedrals.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many adoration chapels and grottos.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many novenas and May\October Devotions.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many First Fridays and Mercy Devotions
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many holy hours and Stations of the Cross.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many days of obligation and days of penance.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many blessings and consecrations.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many saints and their relics.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many birthdays and feast days.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many anniversaries and jubilees.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many nuns with their convents and monks with their monasteries.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many scooters\motorcycles and cars.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have nice quarters and regular income.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many seminaries and the longest training for pastoral ministry.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many schools and colleges.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many parishes and ‘missions’
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many dogmas and canons.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many heavy missals\lectionaries and expensive breviaries.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many reverends, excellencies, and eminences.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many going about in colorful habits and costly cassocks.
The Pentecostals do not.
We have so many so many rich well-wishers and foreign benefactors.
The Pentecostals do not, at least not so many or so rich.
We have the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Vatican Bank.
The Pentecostals do not.

The Catholics seem to have so much, while the Pentecostals appear to have so little. Yet they are attracting the Catholics! Why? Francis told the Brazilian bishops that “many Catholics were ‘disillusioned’ by a Church that they regarded as ‘barren, fruitless soil’.” As we prepare to celebrate the feast of the patron of pastoral clergy, could we reflect on this problem, and see what pastoral action we, as a community, need to adopt. This may be the best way to honour that saint.

Pray also for your priests and bishops. Yes, we need a lot of prayer. If people are leaving the Church to join some sects, the priests and bishops are primarily responsible for this exodus.  Preaching at the priestly ordination of the deacons of the diocese of Rome on 7 May 2006, Benedict XVI cautioned the candidates: “‘To climb’ ‒ here too we can also see the image of careerism, the attempt to ‘get ahead’, to gain a position through the Church:  to make use of and not to serve. It is the image of a man who wants to make himself important, to become a person of note through the priesthood; the image of someone who has as his aim his own exaltation and not the humble service of Jesus Christ.” Something seems to be terribly wrong with our priorities. Are our priests and bishops victims of careerism? It is time that they sit back quietly and do some honest soul-searching, and enter into an open dialogue with people who can help them. All of us, but especially our priests and bishops need a deep conversion. Let us ask the Lord to give them a better understanding of their vocation, and greater generosity in the service of his people.

Subhash Anand
St. Paul’s School
Mob.: 8875128228


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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5 Responses to Why are Catholics leaving their church to join the Pentecostals?

  1. Ladislaus L D'Souza says:

    The answer is simple: No rules and regulations to be observed, no obligations to be fulfilled – its a free life! One can pick and choose how one wants to practise the Faith. Just about anybody can become a pastor or padre or even a bishop and preach as and what they wish. The deserters fail to see that the Catholic Church has a history whose roots go deep into Christ’s very command to Peter no less to hold the keys to heaven whereas the protestants – and that includes the Pentecostlas – have thousands of denominations and sects founded by just about anybody. They don’t have any value for Mary whom Catholics consider as the Virgin Mother of Jesus and, as such, the theotokos, i.e. Mother of God. And yet, one learns of a “Mother of God Church” in Vasai! Then there is this Catholic D’Souza couple about whom I came across weird details on the net, the guy is a bishop and the wife is a pastor! Who ordained whom!?!?!
    So you see, it hardly matters that people who’ve understood about their faith are deserting the ship to sail on their own on crafts of uncertainty!!

  2. Jack Daniels says:

    Should this be the case then Ivan Cardinal Dias should have been excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church!

  3. Hello Subhash,

    This is a very good question. It needs deep soul searching, and examination of ones inner reflection.Much appreciated you have raised the same.

    Let me hasten to say that our religion is supreme,and there is no question to even consider otherwise.I say this to begin with as my thoughts can be twisted by some, to a preconceived desired end.

    However I believe, the main issue is in the administration, and the relationship between the clergy and the people, who in fact form the Holy Catholic Church.The clergy have distanced itself from the people, and tend to behave in a autocratic manner.This is also coupled by some questionable assets and financial issues, and also cases of nepotism.I do recall a input from one of our clergy that they are Gods chosen ones. Does this mean that we the laity will not ever see the Pearly gates of heaven, and would float around like a bubble in a 7Up bottle?

    There is a sense of mistrust among the people of the church, and attempts to resolve these soul searching issue with the higher up of the Archdiocese ( I speak for Bombay) have hit a blank wall, as its is found convenient to sweep these issues under the carpet, with the hope that those concerned catholics who bring up these issues, will give up in frustration.This will never even happen.

    At Bombay, we have a handful of these issues, and have approached the administrative authorities of the archdiocese with the hope to find a solution and resolve the same within the community. This also has never happened for reasons known best by the Archdiocese administration.

    However groups of concerned catholics here will continue to struggle for the truth, and will not give up.Let this be known loud and clear.

    I have ensured that your email, and my response has been copied to Our Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias and our Bishops, and priests and catholic institutions with the hope that we will soon see a speck of light in the tunnel.However as I have mentioned earlier our struggle will continue come what may.

    We are in fact just asking to ensure that what belongs to Jesus Our Master, and His Blessed Mother are protected, and that what has been alleged taken away or stolen be returned. Dont be shocked when I tell you that jewels of Our Blessed Mother have vanished in thin air from one of our churches at Bombay, and our Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias quickly closed the issue without a proper and satisfactory investigation.

    I am sure you will also be of the opinion, and conviction that we are not asking too much.

    I am willing to an open debate on this issue,so will be the concerned catholics from The Archdiocese of Bombay.

    I am convinced that issued as mentioned above could be one of the many reasons why practicing catholics are leaving the church to join other splinter groups. I see the end just around the corned in case we dont stand up, take note and correct the course we are heading.

    Thank you for allowing me to explain, and lending me your ear.

    Gordon Jacobs

  4. AK Raj says:

    ‘We have so many going about in colorful habits and costly cassocks.’ …..

    Give us a break, Rev.Subhash! “colorful habits”? Who wears these? The Banjara Gypsies?
    And CASSOCKS!!! Costly or otherwise …. other than at church which priest wears this? You?

    Many Pentecostalists and Evangelicals had their grounding in Catholic prayer meetings or “praise and worship” where they discovered that there is a direct line to the Holy Spirit and to Jesus without the mediation of the Catholic Church. They were “born again”. For some it is an opportunity for preaching. For others it has done away with the clutter of things like Reconciliation, the Eucharist…permanence of Marriage. The services they attend make them feel good. Hey – it’s the easier way to go about life and you are your own boss more often than not.

    They will tell you that Jesus said that the only way to the Heavenly Father is through Him. Furthermore, they will quote you Scripture that says: “Call no man (your) Father”.

    I doubt the Catholic Church chased them away.

  5. Jonathan Sanchez says:

    I love how they mentioned almost a handful of things in comparison of what pentecostal dont have. Yet missed the most important thing, Pentecostals might no have (they dont need) all catholics have but they have one thing catholics dont have: The true feeling of Gods spirit. see here is where you are wrong, people leaving Catholicism, is to look for a true feeling and a relationship with God. Call it what you want, pentecostalism is no sect, its a relationship with God. You might be superior in this earth but not in heaven. Now ask yourself if you too should leave Catholicism..

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