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Old religions, old people, old media, old money and good old Graeme Decarie

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The Saint John diocese is closing nine Catholic churches in New Brunswick. The reason is obvious. Congregations are greying out and dying out, fewer people go to church, and large church buildings are horrendously expensive to heat and maintain. The best business case is consolidation, which is exactly what the Church is doing.

Canada’s changing social culture has taken a buzzsaw to organized religion. Since the 1960s more people have turned away from conventional Christian churches, either rejecting the faith outright, or exploring new avenues for spiritual fulfilment. Since 1971, the numbers of Protestants in Canada have dropped from 41 percent of the population to 27 percent. Catholics, not so much, falling from 47 percent of Canada’s population to 39 percent. Other religions grew from 4 percent to 11 percent, and the “religiously unaffiliated” rose from 4 percent to 24 percent (Pew Research Centre 2011). A graph would help here, but you get the point.

Apart from the numbers of peop…

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