From Human to Spiritual – Making the Connections
A reputable study on ‘Values and Social Change in Ireland’ (1994) predicted that the Catholic Church was facing a decline, especially among young, urban and educated adults. The respondents cited the low level of spirituality as experienced in churches, the lack of inspiration from the rules and symbols and the lack of opportunity to discuss their spiritual needs and doubts. In the practice of religion they found a seeming lack of concern about society and its social problems. In particular, many claimed that they are not being helped by the Church to think for themselves with the support of Church teaching (CT Whelan, ESRI, 1994). These signs of the changing times merit attention:
• The level of spirituality as experienced in churches by the 15-65 cohorts and their lack of inspiration from religious symbols and rules,
• The opportunity to discuss spiritual needs and doubts and to think for themselves with the support of Church teaching,
• And the concern about society and its social problems.