Vulnerability among the youth a cause of their backsliding from the Catholic Church; A case study: Holy Rosary Parish, Gulu Archdiocese.
Omony, Benard Thomas
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Uganda is a country with absolute majority being the youth (more than 50%), it is predominantly Catholic occupied country. However due to mushrooming of different sects and denominations in the country, many Catholics have backslidden away. Secularism and materialism amidst vulnerability describe the livelihood of the majority people. And the biggest number of the vulnerable population is the youth. Thus, it is upon this, that the researcher wished to investigate the causes of vulnerability among the youth is a cause of their backsliding from the Catholic Church. This was done through the study objectives which investigated the causes of vulnerability among the youth, how vulnerability among the youth is a cause of their backsliding from the Catholic, other causes of vulnerability among the youth and the possible solutions to curb down vulnerability among the youth. Therefore, to realize the above objectives, qualitative and quantitative research approaches were employed. A sample size of 80 respondents participated in giving the relevant information relating to the study objectives and this was aided by the use of questionnaire and interview guide but also supplemented by observation. This gathered information was later organized, grouped/clustered under respective objectives for analysis and interpretation. The researcher found out that the youth are vulnerable (unemployed, uneducated, lack shelters, faced with peer pressure, sexually abused and exploited, faced with domestic violence, consumed up by rioting culture, economically exploited etc). The research also revealed that other mushrooming sects and denominations provide some basics needs and employment to the youth which all together make them to backslide from the Catholic Church. Other youth also backslide away from the Catholic Church because of its strictness on the Sacrament of penance and Reconciliation (confession of sin). However, other respondents identified poor catechesis, scandals in the Catholic Church, formal forms of prayers and worship as a cause for backsliding among the youth. Hence, the researcher acknowledges the multiple challenges facing the youth and propelling them from the Catholic Church. And finally, the researcher recommended teaching of the Church’s doctrines in Catholic schools, colleges and institutions, translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to facilitate deeper understanding of the faith, institution of income generating projects for the youth, human formation focusing on integral education for various vocations and empowerment of lay apostolate movements coupled with intensive home visitation.