From the Daily Telegraph. Poles kneeling outside a church in England since it's too packed to hold them all. From the article:
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, urged the Polish community to do more to learn English and integrate into local parishes, claiming the Catholic Church in the UK was in danger of dividing along ethnic lines as the number of Polish-speaking churches rose.Leading Polish community figures said they felt "violated" and "spiritually raped" by his words and called for talks on the issue.
New research, revealed last week by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that an influx of eastern Europeans boosts numbers attending Mass above those at Church of England Sunday services.The research ended a momentous week which saw Tony Blair formally convert to Catholicism, while official figures to be released in the new year will show a rise in Mass attendance in 2006. The number of churchgoers fell 40 per cent between 1963 and 1991, but the arrival of immigrants from Catholic countries in eastern Europe halted the decline and led to an increase in weekly Mass attendance from 917,500 in 2005 to 927,154 last year.
However, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "I'm quite concerned that the Poles are creating a separate church in Britain. I would want them to be part of the Catholic life of this country.
"I would hope those responsible for the Polish church here, and the Poles themselves, will be aware that they should become a part of local parishes as soon as possible when they learn enough of the language."Despite the archbishop's also using his Christmas message to appeal to the nation to be more welcoming to immigrants, Grazyna Sikorska, of the Polish Catholic Mission for England and Wales, said the community had been upset.
H/T to Gerald
Maybe the Cardinal could lend some of his surplus English priests to the Polish parishes so the Poles could attend their Masses celebrated in English?
Oh, you say there are no surplus priests in England and that they are actually closing seminaries and churches and that church attendance by native born English Catholics is dropping precipitously?
Well, then, maybe Poland should start preparing to send more Polish priests over to prepare for the time when English becomes a "dead language" in their Church?