Bishop Pablo Jaime Galimberti di Vietri of Salto in Uruguay said this week that due to the “privatization” of the faith, many Uruguayan Catholics disregard the role of priests and embrace religious beliefs according to what is personally convenient for them.
In recent statements, the bishop decried the tendency “to privatize religious experience” that is common today, resulting in a decreasing number of people with authentic faith. He called it a “worldwide phenomenon” that is present in every country and in every religious tradition.
Although the term privatization is not used often in reference to matters of faith, Bishop Galimberti said, it does accurately reflect what is happening today. “I work things out with God and I embrace the religious practices of my church according to my needs,” he said to explain the thinking of these people.
He blamed consumerism as the reason many people abandon the faith. “Now Sundays are good days to go shopping, to go out, to play sports,” the bishop said.
Bishop Galimberti also stressed that today’s society is characterized by a loss of the notion and sense of sin. Priests, he said, need to have better discernment and make themselves more available for the sacrament of Confession.