Sunday’s Boston Herald had local Catholics coming home.
Sunday’s Boston Globe had them going away.
First, the Herald:
Prodigal parishioners return to church
Boston Archdiocese reaches out to halt plummeting Mass attendance
The Boston Archdiocese’s largest effort in a generation to reach lapsed Catholics is drawing wandering souls back to the church’s open arms, but the biggest obstacle could be keeping them, priests and parishioners say.The archdiocese, still suffering fallout from the clergy sex abuse crisis and parish closings, is hoping to bring back thousands of the formerly faithful through Catholics Come Home, a series of TV ads airing during Lent, coupled with a grass-roots push at parishes. Fewer than 20 percent of Catholics in the Boston area attend Mass each Sunday, down from nearly 80 percent in the 1960s.
With two weeks left to go in the media campaign, the Herald says, it seems to be working:
“I was doing laundry and that stopped me in my tracks, that made me cry,” said Jackeline Rolon, 36, who was so moved by one of the TV ads she started going to Mass at St. Stephen’s in Framingham. She stopped going to church when she was 15. But the ad drew a flood of memories of her grandma, who walked her to church every Sunday in her native Puerto Rico, and her late father, a devout Catholic.
Meanwhile, the Herald’s crosstown rival has gone out-of-town with Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley on his recent trips to Ireland to review, at the Vatican’s request, the Archdiocese of Dublin’s response to its clergy sexual abuse crisis.
(O’Malley being such a hardened veteran of clergy-abuse damage control and all.)
The Sunday Globe’s Page One:
Your bitter recriminations go here.