Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Springtime Decay
Seattle Catholic ^ | Jan 20, 2003 | David L. Sonnier

Posted on 01/20/2004 7:24:59 AM PST by Maximilian

Springtime Decay

by David L. Sonnier

Joos de Momper, 'Winter landscape' (1620), Private collection

print article

As soon as I heard of Ken Jones' Index of Leading Catholic Indicators,1 I had an intense desire to purchase a copy. The 113-page paperback book contains statistics relating to all aspects of Catholic life: Catholic education, religious orders, Catholic practice and belief, seminarians, nuns, and diocesan priests. Having read the Index, my compliments go out to Mr. Jones. Like myself, Mr. Jones is the father of seven young children, so I understand the sacrifice it was for him to take the time to bring this important information together. He has done an excellent job of presenting clear, irrefutable, unbiased, and undeniable raw data pertaining to the crisis in the Church, and he also provides some important analysis of that data. It is important work, and it is solid evidence supporting what many of us have known for a long time.

Poring over page after page of bar charts, graphs, and tables in the Index, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by the sense of loss. In every category — religious orders, diocesan priests, religious priests, teaching orders, you name it — the decline is sharp, obvious and undeniable.

Being a mathematician, however, I was not content to just read his book cover to cover. Mr. Jones' analysis was good, but he did not view his data the same way a mathematician does. Instantly I saw linear functions, exponential functions, and patterns that we can use to model and make predictions. The numbers, bar charts, figures and statistics gave me a level of excitement and an adrenalin rush that most would have to turn to bungee jumping to achieve.

At the sight of the tables of data, I reached for my computational tools: Maple 8.0, Sigma Plot, SPSS for Windows, and my trusty old Texas Instruments TI-85. Initially I was not sure where to begin, but after careful consideration, I concluded that the most important statistics are those having to do with seminarians. Seminarians are the future of the Church; without priests we will become a different Church. Godfried Cardinal Danneels of Belgium stated in an interview with the Catholic Times in May 2000 that "Without priests the sacramental life of the Church will disappear. We will become a Protestant Church without sacraments. We will be another type of Church, not Catholic." Already we can see this bleak prediction coming to pass as one parish after another is turned over to "Lay Administrators." So the chart having to do with the total number of seminarians2 throughout the better part of the last century is the most significant to us as Catholics.

Now, an initial glance at the bar chart titled "Total Seminarians" seems to indicate that there are essentially two functions: one linear and one exponential. The period prior to 1965 shows a linear increase and the period from 1965 to the present shows an exponential decrease.

Linear Growth Function

We begin our analysis by plotting the graph for the period prior to 1965. This period was one of steady growth, so I found that we could roughly match it with a line of slope 829.331. This means that each year that passed there were approximately 829.3 seminarians more than there had been the previous year. So every ten years there were approximately 8,293 seminarians more than there had been the previous decade.

The growth rate over this period can be expressed as P (for "Preconciliar Growth Rate") as a function of time t, where t is in years and t = 0 in 1920:

Or, expressed as a function of the year:

Where the value of year can range from 1920 to the year 1965.

The growth was actually not perfectly linear, as we can see; in fact it was beginning to accelerate into what appears an exponential growth in the final years from 1940 to 1965. However, let's assume the worst — that the growth had just continued at the linear rate described by P(year). Then the number of seminarians we could have had in the year 2003 would have been approximately:

So, had this growth rate continued, by the year 2003 we would have a total of approximately 73,927 seminarians instead of the current figure of less than 5,000. Below you will see the actual data, and superimposed on it is a projection of P(year), the Preconciliar Growth Function, extending through the year 2002.

Exponential Decay Function

It is clear that the period from 1965 onward is nonlinear, so a different technique is required for modeling this period. The exponential decrease from 1965 onward appears similar to a graph of radioactive decay; as it turns out, this period can be modeled by what is commonly called an exponential decay function. Since this period of the Church is commonly called the "Springtime," we shall refer to this function as the Springtime Decay Function S(t), where S, the Springtime Decay, is a function of time t. We begin by taking the log of each of the data points. This gives us an essentially linear data set, to which we can match a line as we did previously for the Preconciliar Growth Function. Now we exponentiate both sides of our equation obtaining the following function:

Or, expressed as a function of the year:

Applying this model we can see that by the year 2065, 100 years from the beginning of the Springtime Decay process, there will be a total of 10 seminarians in the United States. The half-life of this process is 8.19 years, the approximate period of time it takes for the number of seminarians to diminish by ½.

There are some who will argue that this model does not apply. The last two actual data points are higher than the exponential decay function; certainly, according to some, this means that the decline is over, and that all will be back to normal soon. This is wishful thinking, but to accommodate them we turn to the modified exponential decay model. The Modified Springtime Decay Function is not as simple, but it is more accurate:

Or, expressed as a function of the year:

According to this modified decay function there will be 779 seminarians in the year 2065 instead of the 10 predicted using the previous model.

Lost Vocations

We can obtain a rough estimate of the number of lost vocations by taking the sum from 1965 to the present, in five year increments, of the difference between P(year) and S(actual), where the values for S come from the actual data in Mr. Jones' Total Seminarians table.

This estimate makes two assumptions:

We obtain the following values for each year:

Year P(year) S(actual) Difference
1970 46,560 28,819 17,741
1975 50,706 17,802 32,904
1980 54,853 13,226 41,627
1985 59,000 11,028 47,972
1990 63,146 6,233 56,913
1995 69,293 5,083 62,210
2002 73,098 4,719 68,379
TOTAL: 327,746

According to this rough estimate, approximately 17,741 vocations were lost over the first five-year period, 32,904 were lost over the second five-year period, etc., for a total of 327,746 since 1965.

There is no formula available for the calculation of the number of souls lost as a result of this loss of vocations.

A More Optimistic Data Set

There is one additional set of data that was not included in the Index, and that is data relating to the increasing number of vocations found through the "Traditional" Catholic seminaries, or those seminaries in which the 1962 rite is followed and priests are formed according to preconciliar standards. At the moment these seminaries are relatively new, but the growth is impressive. I was unable to obtain any statistics on the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, which has a small presence in our country, but the figures for the graph below were provided courtesy of Fr. James Jackson, rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska. Our Lady of Guadalupe, where priests of the FSSP (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri, or Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter) receive their formation, is now in its twelfth year. Since their move from Pennsylvania to Nebraska four years ago they have been operating at maximum capacity. This fall, Academic Year 2003-2004, as in previous years, they had to turn away a large number of candidates due to lack of room in the partially completed seminary.

The noticeable gap at year eight was during their move from Pennsylvania to Nebraska.

Conclusion

Many have asserted that the sudden decline in all aspects of Catholic life that began in 1965 was due to "other factors," such as the influence of "the sixties." But Mr. Jones soundly refutes that argument by including a simple chart3 which shows a marked decline in Church attendance among Catholics from the 1960s to the present while it remained virtually level, with a slight increase, for Protestants. To more fully understand the nature of the crisis we find ourselves in, I highly recommend that every Catholic capable of reading beyond an eighth grade level purchase a copy of the Index and study it.

It is clear from this brief analysis of the data relating to the number of seminarians over the past eighty years that several things are true:

Although we cannot know the will of God, we can ponder the significance of the following:

***

The author, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, teaches Computer Science and Mathematics at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas where he resides with his wife and seven children.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: fssp; plummet; schism; seminaries; sspx; traditional; vaticanii
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-167 next last

1 posted on 01/20/2004 7:24:59 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Diago; narses; Loyalist; BlackElk; american colleen; saradippity; Polycarp; Dajjal; ...
This article tells the story with both words and pictures. After reading this analysis, the "New Springtime" reminds one an awful lot of the weather in Narnia: "Where it's always winter, but never Christmas." But perhaps the final graph of the seminarians at Our Lady of Guadalupe is kind of like the arrival of Father Christmas in Narnia -- signaling the beginning of a thaw.
2 posted on 01/20/2004 7:30:10 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
Downward started with the descent of America - Roe v Wade, Vietnam war, drug culture accepted. Other countries seem to have done better because we were importing priests from Poland, Ireland and Italy in the NJ area.
3 posted on 01/20/2004 8:42:10 AM PST by ex-snook (Where is the patriotism in the war on American jobs?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I"m gonna print this out for my Statistician hubby.
4 posted on 01/20/2004 8:46:54 AM PST by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
The decline has been worldwide in the West, not just here in America.
5 posted on 01/20/2004 9:02:07 AM PST by ultima ratio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Maximilian; BlackElk; sinkspur; ThomasMore; Catholicguy; sandyeggo; NYer; american colleen; dsc; ...
According to this rough estimate, approximately 17,741 vocations were lost over the first five-year period, 32,904 were lost over the second five-year period, etc., for a total of 327,746 since 1965.

False. Start with faulty data and end with false conclusions.

Item. In the period 1950-1965, the vast majority of men entering the seminary were not ordained. All were pre-Vatican II ephemeral vocations.

Item. In the period 1985-2000, the majority of men entering the seminary were ordained.

Item. The article does not investigate the really meaningful numbers - annual priestly ordainations and defections. Perhaps because the decline in these numbers is not nearly so marked as the decline in seminarians, and thus does not make good copy?

Item. The numbers are not compared against other meaningful indicators as a ratio - Catholic male population age 20-25, percentage of Catholics counted attending Mass in annual October counts, etc.

Conclusion 1. The decline in seminarians was mostly a decline in the number of epehemeral vocations. The Catholic Church is now no longer wasting vast resources on the education of men for 1-3 years only for most of them to leave the seminary system.

Conclusion 2. The decline in ordinations mirrors the decline in Mass attendance - it is not as sharp as the decline in seminarians. Failing to lay out the facts along these lines provides a distorted message.

Conclusion 3. The Seminarian population is an outlier data set in the general malaise affecting the Church in America.

Concluson 4. The failure to take into account obvious factors and using the wrong data set shows an intention to promote an agenda rather than diagnose a problem.

Conclusion 5. The author and his source are dishonest at best.

7 posted on 01/20/2004 9:26:22 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Maximilian; sandyeggo; Hermann the Cherusker
Another one of your 'good news' posts (/sarcasm). Here are some statistics that this author omitted.

Report on Africa

Peter Schineller, S.J.
Former Dean and Professor of Theology, former Regional
Superior of the Jesuits of Nigeria-Ghana, and future Dean
and Professor of Theology at Hekima College, Nairobi

Introduction

About 12% of the world's population reside in Africa, second only to Asia. In Africa we are witnessing the fastest growth ever in the 2000 year history of Christianity. Here are a few statistics to illustrate this point:

Population
(millions)

Catholics
(millions)

Seminarians

1900 118 2.3 ?
1970 320 32 3,470
1997 720 95 19,000

Africa is large, containing 22% of the land of this good earth. Europe, the USA, India, China, and Argentina all fit within Africa. Africa is complex, with over 2000 languages and ethnic groups. For the purpose of this presentation, I am focusing on subSaharan Africa, and thus not speaking of North Africa or Egypt.

Reports on Priestly Formation

9 posted on 01/20/2004 9:50:36 AM PST by NYer ("One person and God make an army." - St. Teresa of Avila)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
"always winter...never Christmas" certainly was as we have experienced it. Fr. Christmas has arrived. He is a man named Justin Cardinal Rigali and the new crop of actually Catholic bishops and archbishops are the intial gifts under our tree, along with Bishop Bruskewitz, FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King. As JP II says, quoting St. Paul: Be not afraid.
10 posted on 01/20/2004 11:24:06 AM PST by BlackElk (Tomas de Torquemada, pray for us!.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
Start with faulty data and end with false conclusions.

True. All of the data used in the article is accurate, so your comment doesn't apply here, however.

In the period 1950-1965, the vast majority of men entering the seminary were not ordained. All were pre-Vatican II ephemeral vocations.

Proof? Data? Numbers? Doesn't it seem ironic that you are attacking the reliability of hard numbers while providing no data of your own?

The article does not investigate the really meaningful numbers - annual priestly ordainations and defections. Perhaps because the decline in these numbers is not nearly so marked as the decline in seminarians, and thus does not make good copy?

What evidence do you have for that assertion? Here in our diocese the Catholic newspaper gives us a weekly dose of "reality" with statistics about the plummeting number of priests and the future of "priestless parishes." They have stopped putting on the happy-face pretense (that was phase 1 which is now over), and they have moved into the next phase in which they create a "new model of the Church" that includes only a handful of priests for the diocese. The reality right here on the ground is exactly what is demonstrated by these numbers.

The numbers are not compared against other meaningful indicators as a ratio - Catholic male population age 20-25, percentage of Catholics counted attending Mass in annual October counts, etc.

That wasn't the purpose of his article. Write your own article if you think you could do better. His purpose was to analyze the existing numbers for demonstrable trends within the data sets. This he has done admirably.

Conclusion 1. The decline in seminarians was mostly a decline in the number of epehemeral vocations.

Only a conclusion if you are the type to jump to conclusions without any evidence. You haven't demonstrated one shred of evidence for this assertion.

The Catholic Church is now no longer wasting vast resources on the education of men for 1-3 years only for most of them to leave the seminary system.

I don't consider that "wasting" at all. In fact, this was probably one of the best and most encouraging trends of the time period which was leading to a much more educated, involved, and spiritually active laity. Too bad this trend was hijacked by the revolutionaries in favor of false "involvement" and "activity."

The decline in ordinations mirrors the decline in Mass attendance - it is not as sharp as the decline in seminarians. Failing to lay out the facts along these lines provides a distorted message.

It's true that every data set is declining together. It's true that you could do the same sort of data analysis on all the different "leading indicators." But you are trying to create an implication of cause and effect where there is no evidence that it exists. Perhaps the decline in Mass attendance mirrors the fall of ordinations, not the other way around. Clearly all these indicators mirror the same fundamental causes.

The Seminarian population is an outlier data set in the general malaise affecting the Church in America.

Evidence? At least you admit the "general malaise." To what extent are the numbers for seminarians any different than all the other indicators? And which indicator will have the biggest domino effect? With no seminarians there are no priests and no holy sacrifice of the Mass, no matter how many people want to attend one on Sunday.

The failure to take into account obvious factors and using the wrong data set shows an intention to promote an agenda rather than diagnose a problem.

There are no "factors" to take into account. He is not proving a correlation. He is analyzing the trends that exist within the existing set of data. To call the data set "wrong" is just a presumptuous opinion with no factual basis.

Conclusion 5. The author and his source are dishonest at best.

If "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," then character assassination is the first refuge of the neo-Catholic apologist. You have no arguments so you attack the author. Someone is being dishonest here, but it is not the author of the original piece.

11 posted on 01/20/2004 12:29:48 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Here are some statistics that this author omitted.

He didn't "omit any statistics." He analyzed the data that already exists regarding America, which is the country where he happens to live . By coincidence, I too live in America, and so does Kenneth Jones the author of the original book, and so do you, judging by your screen name. So why try to change the subject to a land far away where we have so little hard evidence? How about if we deal with the situation right here in our own country where we actually live?

And before we look to Africa to save the Church, perhaps we should consider a few facts. It's difficult to get hard data from Africa, but all the evidence that we do see indicates a continent returning to barbarity and chaos. A land where the most Catholic countries engaged in wholesale mass slaughter and genocide of millions within the past decade. A place which was the subject of a recent report called "New Springtime for Voodoo."

And if we want to look at the causes of the evangelization of Africa which was beginning to take root, who was the number 1 representative of the Catholic Church in Africa at the time of Vatican II? It was Archbishop Lefbvre. He was bishop of Gabon, Apostolic Nuncio from the Vatican for all of French-speaking West Africa (which is where the Catholics would live), and also Superior General of the Holy Ghost fathers who were the ones that evangelized the continent.

12 posted on 01/20/2004 12:42:12 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Downward started with the descent of America - Roe v Wade, Vietnam war, drug culture accepted.

Evidence? The data all indicate otherwise. Roe vs Wade occurred in the seventies, a decade after the trend in the Church changed from positive to negative. The Vietnam War was barely a blip on the radar screen at the time of Vatican II. Drugs were relegated to the "beatniks" and other isolated elements of the population. All these changes to society happened after Vatican II, and the data indicates that the "decay" in the Church started sooner than 1968.

Other countries seem to have done better because we were importing priests from Poland, Ireland and Italy in the NJ area.

Other countries have done much worse. The United States is one of the most conservative Catholic countries. The faith in Europe is virtually non-existent today. France has many empty churches. They don't need priests anymore, because there's no one attending anyway. Holland and Belgium are a complete and total wasteland for the faith. Italy and Spain have the world's lowest birth rates, towns are being emptied as they fail to have a new generation.

Poland and Ireland were certainly some of the last holdouts, but they are catching up rapidly to the rest of the world. The faith in Ireland which seemed as though it would be like an island in the midst of the deluge is now in a freefall. Ironically, the faith was strong in Poland as long as it was a communist country, but it is being tossed aside now that they are adopting western consumerism.

13 posted on 01/20/2004 12:49:51 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BlackElk

It will be intresting to see what impact Abp. elect Burke will have in St. Louis(allready in good shape as it is) as he now has control of one of the bigger seminaries in the US.
14 posted on 01/20/2004 3:46:37 PM PST by RFT1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
**Start with faulty data and end with false conclusions.


True. All of the data used in the article is accurate, so your comment doesn't apply here, however.**

And statistics can be arranged to make whatever point a person wants to make.

This person is trying to paint a cup half empty picture and that is not the case.
15 posted on 01/20/2004 4:02:54 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker; Maximilian
Some additional seminarian information:

Priests Down, Seminarians Up

Seminary Springtime: Father Darrin Connall s Big Success

In Seminaries, New Ways for a New Generation

Answering an Uncommon Call Young American men dedicate themselves to priesthood

16 posted on 01/20/2004 4:06:35 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; sandyeggo; Hermann the Cherusker; NYer; BlackElk
And additional information about growth in ordinations and churches:

Catholic archdiocese of Washington [D.C.] has largest ordination class in 14 years

Roman Catholic friar community growing

Retiring priests pose problem for the Archdiocese of Boston

Church Is Still Attracting Converts

Former Anglican priest ordained Catholic priest in San Francisco

Planted in tradition Orthodox churches are gaining presence, members amongst Protestants

AM - Anglican clergy defect for Catholic Church

17 posted on 01/20/2004 4:10:22 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sandyeggo
Besides the unchurched, who really thinks this clown is papabile?
18 posted on 01/20/2004 7:02:58 PM PST by sobieski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
How about this stat: there are a lot fewer priests, like 50%. That is empirical, and shows the vocations weren't 'ephemeral' BTW: I have a PhD in Economics, specializing in econometrics (statistical field)
19 posted on 01/20/2004 7:04:52 PM PST by sobieski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: sobieski; Maximilian; sandyeggo; NYer; sinkspur; Catholicguy
How about this stat: there are a lot fewer priests, like 50%. That is empirical, and shows the vocations weren't 'ephemeral' BTW: I have a PhD in Economics, specializing in econometrics (statistical field)

Oh Dr. Brain! You are scaring me! Let me yield to your almighty knowledge now!

Quick! If you start with 59,800 priests ('67-'69 peak), and we now have 50% less (sez you), how do we have 48,300 now (official 2003 number last I checked)?

Last time I checked, 48,300/59,800 = 0.808 or 80.8%, and 80.8% is definitely not equal to 50%. Not even close in fact.

Also, if 70% of 47,000,000 Catholics were regular practioners of the faith in that period, and 35% of 65,000,000 Catholics are regular practioners today, how is there a decline per practioner?

Lets run the math 70% of 47 million is 32,900,000. 35% of 65 million is 22,750,000.

59,800 priests for 32,900,000 practioners is 1 priest per 558 practicing Catholics. 48,300 priests for 22,750,000 practioners is 1 priest per 471 Catholics.

WHERE IS THE DECLINE DR. BRAIN? WHERE IS THE CRISIS?

Isn't the real decline a decline of the practice of the faith, which has been seen universally across the west in all religions since the 60's, including those not affected by Vatican II - like say, even the Greek Orthodox in Greece?

Hey Max - look at the company you are attracting! Lovely, isn't it? Piled Higher and Deeper and all that.

21 posted on 01/20/2004 7:51:32 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sandyeggo
Cardinal Danneels sounds very much like that - what's his name - homosexual former bishop of Milwaukee.
22 posted on 01/20/2004 8:18:36 PM PST by heyheyhey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; sinkspur; Catholicguy; sandyeggo; Salvation
Proof? Data? Numbers? Doesn't it seem ironic that you are attacking the reliability of hard numbers while providing no data of your own?

Max, you know where to find the data - the annual Catholic Directory at your nearest decent library or seminary. Must I look up everything for you?

However, conveniently, the numbers are online for the period since 1969. Look at them yourself.

http://www.clerus.org/statistica/3.htm
http://www.clerus.org/statistica/4.htm
http://www.clerus.org/statistica/5.htm

What evidence do you have for that assertion? Here in our diocese the Catholic newspaper gives us a weekly dose of "reality" with statistics about the plummeting number of priests and the future of "priestless parishes."

The problem is the Catholic Church USA is going bankrupt in terms of attendance. Mass goers are dropping but parishes aren't, which leads to a staffing shortage. If parishes were reduced to a more realistic level given the numbers who actually avail themselves of what the Church offers, this wouldn't be a problem. America has about 7,000 parishes too many, since the number of practicing Catholics is off by about 1/3.

That wasn't the purpose of his article. Write your own article if you think you could do better.

No, we know the purpose - bash Pope, Bishops, and Vatican II for all evils. And I think I've written enough here in a much better and more thorough fashion to explain the numbers.

His purpose was to analyze the existing numbers for demonstrable trends within the data sets. This he has done admirably.

The sort of analysis is as falacious as projecting out the current Italian birthrate for 200 years are declaring 2300 will see a grand total of 600 Italians left in the world, or similar nonesense. Obviously, something will change along the way prior to that point.

Since the numbers he is using are not meaningful data sets, the conclusions are errant.

Only a conclusion if you are the type to jump to conclusions without any evidence. You haven't demonstrated one shred of evidence for this assertion.

Max, the data is widely available. Its probably in Jones book, waiting to be crunched out, aside from being available in the Annual Catholic Directory at any good library. Must I always do all your homework? If you want to discuss a subject as some sort of an expert, you could at least familiarize yourself with the raw data. Compare a 10 year set of seminary numbers with a 10 year set of ordinations over a 3 year lag, starting in say, 1955.

I don't consider that "wasting" at all. In fact, this was probably one of the best and most encouraging trends of the time period which was leading to a much more educated, involved, and spiritually active laity. Too bad this trend was hijacked by the revolutionaries in favor of false "involvement" and "activity."

Just look at where all these ex-seminarians are now. And look at how many of these supposed wondrous vocations defected in the end. Clearly not real vocations, were they?

1969, for example saw defections occurring at a rate nearly 60% of ordaintions. Today its about 25%. Look at the charts referenced above for your precious numbers, since you are too lazy to look it up yourself.

With no seminarians there are no priests and no holy sacrifice of the Mass, no matter how many people want to attend one on Sunday.

There isn't a problem of "no seminarians". There are fewer seminarians, but vastly more of them are persevering than the miraculous 50's and 60's vocations you are waxing nostalgic about.

Perhaps the decline in Mass attendance mirrors the fall of ordinations, not the other way around. Clearly all these indicators mirror the same fundamental causes.

There is only one fundemental cause. People voluntarily giving up their faith. No one has held a gun to anyone's head and said "leave the Church". No one has bolted up the door and refused entry. No one has said anyone is not allowed to buy books or teach their children. If people have left the Church or failed to teach their children the faith - ITS THEIR OWN FAULT! Not the Bishops, not the Parishes, not the Liberals, and not Vatican II. NO ONE DID IT BUT THEM! The same means that have always been available are still available. If people don't avail themselves of it, its not the fault of the Church, but their own fault.

The crisis in the Church is a crisis of the faithful leaving the Church for supposed greener pastures in Protestantism and Atheism.

There are no "factors" to take into account. He is not proving a correlation. He is analyzing the trends that exist within the existing set of data.

Stasticial massaging is what he is doing. Its worse than meaningless.

To call the data set "wrong" is just a presumptuous opinion with no factual basis.

Not so. If not all seminarians are ordained and the ratio ordained varies, obviously its useless to look at the number of seminarians to guage the future prospects of the Church.

A much more useful statistic is net annual gains of priests before natural deaths - ordaintions minus defections. 1969 saw 909 ordaintions and 541 defections for a net gain of 368. 1978 saw 635 ordainations and 254 defections for a net gain of 381. 1988 saw 491 ordinations and 186 defections for a net gain of 305. 1998 saw 417 ordinations and 119 defections for a net gain of 298.

That doesn't look like much of a crisis. Which is of course why your favorite Chicken-Little "Sky Is Falling" authors are not discussing it.

The reduction in force currently occuring in the numbers of priests is due to an excess priestly mortality over the net annual ordaintions currently occuring. Once this passes in perhaps a decade or so, we will see things level out and rebuilding occur. Until then, you can either squawk like an old biddy or keep your cool and your powder dry. The phenomena is no different than what might be expected from my smaller "Baby Bust" generation following the larger "Baby Boom" generation.

'48-'68 saw 25,000,000 newly baptized Catholics. '69-'89 saw 20,000,000. Obviously, we can expect fewer priests out of a smaller generation, especially one whose elders failed to rear in the Catholic faith in many persons. The obvious comparison is also to Marriages. Whereas about 100% of baptied Catholics married in the Church in the 1960's, only about 50% do today. Given that, and the decline in population, its rather remarkable that net annual ordainations have only gone from 370 to 300.

If "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," then character assassination is the first refuge of the neo-Catholic apologist. You have no arguments so you attack the author. Someone is being dishonest here, but it is not the author of the original piece.

What is a "neo-Catholic"? Isn't that a form of schismatic integrist character assassination? Pot, kettle, black, and all that Max? How am I a "neo-Catholic" whatever the hell that is. (I guess its someone who does not kiss the ass of Ferrara, Woods, Williamson, Fellay, Horvat, Matt, etc.?)

And how is it "dishonest" to point out the obvious flaws in the analysis, and the clear agenda you forthrightly express in ignoring the meaningful statistics? You complain, but have no real rebuttal. I doubt you'll do any better against this post.

23 posted on 01/20/2004 8:45:13 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
Good job Hermann. You're explanation is the most credible.
24 posted on 01/20/2004 8:51:00 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I am a convert to Catholicism, and in a very short time have had the opportunity of having both "traditionalist" and "progressive" Catholics group me as being with the opposite team. Since I never knew the pre-Vatican II Church, it is hard for me to comment with any first-hand experience.

What I can say is that I can hardly find anyone who is doing any good for the Church among the extremes of both camps. Many of the traditionalists I have encountered (and am good friends with, especially up in Houston) are making self-fulfilling prophecies. Like complaining about the Church shrinking as they themselves are walking out the door. Schism won't solve the problem, Luther proved that.

The liberal extremists, on the other hand, who caused this crisis, are treating it with a cure that is worse than the disease: people are leaving the Catholic Church, what do we do? I know, let's try to be 'less Catholic'! -yeah, THAT'S a brilliant strategy. I for one did not go through a very difficult conversion, suffer the loss of friends and the rejection of many family members to become a Catholic only to have the Church decide it doesn't want to be Catholic anymore.

So far, my way of looking at this has been in the context of past Church disasters (corruption, schisms, heresies etc). Clearly, there is alot I wish was different, and more like I hear it used to be. However, I prefer reformation to revolution and I trust that, as in the past, God will provide the saints to put His Church back on the right track.

The ferocity of divisions within the Catholic Church is something I was quite unprepared for, and remain somewhat at a loss over.
25 posted on 01/20/2004 11:09:26 PM PST by Guelph4ever (“Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Guelph4ever
Your experiences with the extremes within the Church mirrors the reality and your comments are insightful.

I hope that regular posters and lurkers will reflect on what you said and recognize that to continue this war within is not Christlike nor Catholic and is very damaging to the Church in many ways.

I am sorry all of this is happening but I welcome you to the Catholic Church and am happy you are here. I believe you will find that despite the bickering and worse,there are great graces and blessings to be found that will strengthen you and bring great joy to you in the midst of these very troubled times for man in the world.

26 posted on 01/21/2004 12:32:20 AM PST by saradippity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
How am I a "neo-Catholic" whatever the hell that is.

A defender of the regime of novelty.

27 posted on 01/21/2004 6:25:20 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Guelph4ever
I can hardly find anyone who is doing any good for the Church among the extremes of both camps.

God, on the other hand, says, "The hot and the cold I will take in, but the lukewarm I will spit out of my mouth."

The ferocity of divisions within the Catholic Church is something I was quite unprepared for, and remain somewhat at a loss over.

You must not have realized that you were entering a Church suffering through the throes of revolution. Didn't you notice that the Church you joined had just recently instituted an entirely new liturgy, new doctrines, new practices? And even if you hadn't joined during this turbulent time, I hope you were aware that you were becoming part of the "Chruch militant." Remember that "Heaven is only won by force and the violent shall bear it away."

28 posted on 01/21/2004 6:29:57 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: saradippity
I hope that regular posters and lurkers will reflect on what you said and recognize that to continue this war within is not Christlike nor Catholic and is very damaging to the Church in many ways.

So Christ was a milk-toast nice guy? Not in my Bible! Which one are you reading? Every time He opened His mouth He was denouncing people as "hypocrites, vipers, whitewashed sepulchres." His message was, "How will you save yourselves from your fate in Hell?" And he specifically said, "I have come to bring not peace, but division and the sword. Brother will be divided against brother, parents against children."

This is the reality of Christianity. Anyone who is not ready to participate in the "Church militant" can please step aside and get out of the way.

29 posted on 01/21/2004 6:35:22 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Guelph4ever
Glad you are here as well. Having read all of the "Surprised by Truth" books and being a fairly regular viewer of "The Journey Home" I am always surprised, confused and dismayed at how *some* family members and friends react to a soul who is intent on finding Truth and enters the Catholic Church after usually years of intense study and prayer.

I (cradle Catholic and revert) wasn't aware of the "push and pull" in the Church until I started to lurk on FR. As a pew warmer for years I was aware that something wasn't right in a lot of parishes... changes in catechism, missing traditions and watered down homilies - very different from when I received First Communion in 1967 while on my knees at an altar rail. However, when I started to post here I came across the "sky is falling" Catholics who pin all the blame on Vatican II. Reading the docs of Vatican II, I can't see the reason for believing that... the Church did have to interact with the "modern" world and go out in it... we were pretty insular before that.

I have great hope for the future when I look at some of the wonderfully faithful and devoted young priests being ordained even in my own archdiocese - Boston.

30 posted on 01/21/2004 7:02:46 AM PST by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Maximilian
Since I don't like the regime of novelty at all, and much prefer to see the clock turned back to 1949, obviously I'm not a "neo-Catholic".

Again, how am I "neo-Catholic"?
33 posted on 01/21/2004 7:35:42 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Guelph4ever
The ferocity of divisions within the Catholic Church is something I was quite unprepared for, and remain somewhat at a loss over.

One of the few lucid observations of Solange Hertz was that the factionalism in the Church is indicative of a fall from grace of those who place themselves within it. Just as the Jews have Orthodox, Conservative, and Liberal, we have Traditionalist, Conservative, and Progressive.

Oh for a handful of plain old Orthodox Catholics!

34 posted on 01/21/2004 7:44:14 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
Again, how am I "neo-Catholic"?

Simple. You obviously can't be pigeonholed into the "progressive" category and you don't agree with those who trash Vatican II, so you must of course be a "neo-conservative." I had to think about this for a while because before you got categorized (easier to file) I just thought you were a practicing Catholic, loyal to the Magisterium. Whadda I know!

35 posted on 01/21/2004 7:50:08 AM PST by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Hermann the Cherusker
There is only one fundemental cause. People voluntarily giving up their faith. No one has held a gun to anyone's head and said "leave the Church". No one has bolted up the door and refused entry. No one has said anyone is not allowed to buy books or teach their children. If people have left the Church or failed to teach their children the faith - ITS THEIR OWN FAULT! Not the Bishops, not the Parishes, not the Liberals, and not Vatican II. NO ONE DID IT BUT THEM! The same means that have always been available are still available. If people don't avail themselves of it, its not the fault of the Church, but their own fault. The crisis in the Church is a crisis of the faithful leaving the Church for supposed greener pastures in Protestantism and Atheism.

This is a fundamentally non-Catholic point of view. We do not have a radical individualist Church. We have a flock that is led by shepherds. The state of the flock indicates the quality of the leadership by the shepherds. Jesus said, "When the shepherd is struck, the flock is scattered." He also warned against hirelings who pretend to be shepherds but who are only in it for their own advancement and who flee when the flock faces danger.

This is the reality of the Catholic Church. You cannot explain away the reality of tens of millions of Catholics falling away from the practice of the faith by so many individual decisions.

Take any set of statistics you want, you'll see the same trend. You seem to prefer church attendance over seminarians. Fine. Take a look at the recent Gallup poll which showed a steady decline in Church attendance by Catholics from 1962 to today, recently reaching its nadir at a point lower than the protestants for the first time ever. There has to be some cause for this trend. Blame it on sunspots if you like. But it's simply disingenuous to pretend that there is no cause, and it is nothing more than tens of millions of individual decisions that share no commonality.

You are desperately seeking to find any explanation except the plain and obvious one that is staring you right in the face. Why? Why won't you just admit that every one of these problems can be traced back directly to Vatican II?

37 posted on 01/21/2004 9:20:48 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
No one has held a gun to anyone's head and said "leave the Church".

Many many people were told to leave the Church. Anyone who refused to go along with the new program was told in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome.

No one has bolted up the door and refused entry.

Many, many Catholics found the doors of their churches bolted, prior to the arrival of the wrecking crew, so that some new modern monstrosity could take its place.

No one has said anyone is not allowed to buy books or teach their children.

Millions upon millions of Catholics have sent their children to Catholic schools, often at great personal sacrifice, believing that they were being taught the faith, only to find out that the faith of their children was destroyed through the teaching of insidious heresies using catechism materials that are outright denials of the Catholic faith.

If people have left the Church or failed to teach their children the faith - ITS THEIR OWN FAULT!

The Church is here to save souls, not condemn them. To say that the tens of millions of souls who have fallen away from the faith deserved to go to Hell is callousness of a high order. The shepherds had a divine obligation to protect their sheep. "The good shepherd give his life for his sheep." You cannot reconcile the statement above with a genuine Catholic concern for souls.

Not the Bishops, not the Parishes, not the Liberals, and not Vatican II. NO ONE DID IT BUT THEM!

Not true. Lay Catholics never asked or wanted any of this. They never asked for a new Mass. They never asked for a new morality. They never asked for new catechisms. They wanted to continue practicing the Catholic faith, but they were denied that opportunity by the bishops and the parishes and the liberals all acting in the name of Vatican II.

The same means that have always been available are still available. If people don't avail themselves of it, its not the fault of the Church, but their own fault.

Only the despised traditionalists are publishing any of the materials that used to be available. The major publishing houses have gone out of business. The mainstream Church publishes absolutely nothing of Catholic tradition. An ordinary Catholic attending a New Mass parish has no clue that anything ever existed prior to 1962. They deliberately suppress all knowledge of everything that happened before the revolution, just like Orwell described.

The crisis in the Church is a crisis of the faithful leaving the Church for supposed greener pastures in Protestantism and Atheism.

If you have true faith in the Catholic Church, then you know that souls will not voluntarily leave the true Church and the true Faith for greener pastures. If they are given the true Faith, if they are served by true shepherds, if the reality of grace is communicated to them, they will never leave for protestantism or atheism or any other -ism. A few will always fall away, but the mass defections we are currently witnessing can only be a sign that the faithful are being unlawfully denied their rightful heritage which is the fullnes of the Catholic Faith.

38 posted on 01/21/2004 9:41:36 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
You ask Hermann;"Why don't you just admit that every problem can be traced back directly to Vatican II?".How can he possibly admit what is not true?

I know personally two priests,one now an ex-priest,from different orders,who entered the priesthood prior to 1960. Both said they were offered the oppurtunity to leave without dishonor after Vat II. The reason this was offered was because they had been told prior to their ordination that the oppurtunity to marry was imminent.

They had been told that the Church would soon change it's position on celibacy.When it became clear,after Vat II, that that was not to be,the offer to leave without consequence was extended. One took the Order up and left,is married and seems happy. The other did not leave and is also content though disturbed with the current state of things.

I believe Vat II exacerbated the disease process in the Church,the disease was already pretty entrenched.To deny that just delays the healing because it ignores the cause and focuses on symtoms.

39 posted on 01/21/2004 10:06:49 AM PST by saradippity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Maximilian
The state of the flock indicates the quality of the leadership by the shepherds. Jesus said, "When the shepherd is struck, the flock is scattered." He also warned against hirelings who pretend to be shepherds but who are only in it for their own advancement and who flee when the flock faces danger.

This is the reality of the Catholic Church. You cannot explain away the reality of tens of millions of Catholics falling away from the practice of the faith by so many individual decisions.

bump

41 posted on 01/21/2004 10:50:17 AM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; Catholicguy
Many many people were told to leave the Church. Anyone who refused to go along with the new program was told in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome.

Gratutitous assertion with no backing. And is the direction of the Church given over to the heirarchy or the laity?

Many, many Catholics found the doors of their churches bolted, prior to the arrival of the wrecking crew, so that some new modern monstrosity could take its place.

Last time I checked, the deeds were in the name of the Bishop, not the parishoners.

Millions upon millions of Catholics have sent their children to Catholic schools, often at great personal sacrifice, believing that they were being taught the faith, only to find out that the faith of their children was destroyed through the teaching of insidious heresies using catechism materials that are outright denials of the Catholic faith.

Entirely the fault of the parents. Parents bear the primary responsibility for what goes into their children's minds. If they really didn't like it, they are free to not send them there.

The Church is here to save souls, not condemn them. To say that the tens of millions of souls who have fallen away from the faith deserved to go to Hell is callousness of a high order. The shepherds had a divine obligation to protect their sheep.

Max, don't put words in my mouth. I never said "deserved to go to hell" you dishonest scoundrel. I said if people leave the Church, IT IS THEIR OWN FAULT (barring an excommunication). The sheep have an obligation to follow their shepherds, not to wander off on their own.

Lay Catholics never asked or wanted any of this. They never asked for a new Mass. They never asked for a new morality. They never asked for new catechisms.

From the overwhelmingly positive response to the introduction of Mass in English, I'd say you are totally wrong. Reading historical accoutns of the time show that 75-80% of attendees approved of the changes.

They wanted to continue practicing the Catholic faith, but they were denied that opportunity by the bishops and the parishes and the liberals all acting in the name of Vatican II.

Utter nonesense. The Catholics Faith is still being and will always be practiced in the Catholic Church. You are just displaying your inner schismatic for all to see. Think of how many people have given up devotions at their home. Did the liberals and evil progressive Bishops burst in at gunpoint and say "Stop saying a family Rosary, stop saying grace at meals, stop praying before bed, stop hanging crucifixes and images, and for pitys sake, no more holy water stoops, or will shoot you all dead!"??? Come on Max! The fault of apostacy lies at the feet of the apostates.

Only the despised traditionalists are publishing any of the materials that used to be available. The major publishing houses have gone out of business. The mainstream Church publishes absolutely nothing of Catholic tradition. An ordinary Catholic attending a New Mass parish has no clue that anything ever existed prior to 1962. They deliberately suppress all knowledge of everything that happened before the revolution, just like Orwell described.

I have many books and prayer books and the like published by mainstream sources full of traditional stuff. And I've never seen anything supressing knowledge of pre-1962 material anymore than in 1962 they were supressing knowledge of the books of the 1800's by not continuing to publsih them.

If you have true faith in the Catholic Church, then you know that souls will not voluntarily leave the true Church and the true Faith for greener pastures. If they are given the true Faith, if they are served by true shepherds, if the reality of grace is communicated to them, they will never leave for protestantism or atheism or any other -ism. A few will always fall away, but the mass defections we are currently witnessing can only be a sign that the faithful are being unlawfully denied their rightful heritage which is the fullnes of the Catholic Faith.

Which is it? No one will leave, or a few will fall away?

If mass apostacy is impossible, please explain the Protestant revolt, the flourishing Albigensian heresy, the Arian crisis, Monophysitism, etc.? What happened to St. Cyprian and Augustine's African Church? Where is it today? How about the Church in Egypt or Anatolia?

You sound like a Calvinist heretic here, not a Catholic. People leave the Catholic Church voluntarily all the time. The Bible warns clearly about this.

1 St. John 2.19 They went out from us but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us: but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us.

Honestly, its a good description of folks like you too.

All your thrashing about in the wake of St. Peter's Barque is just going to sink your little lifeboat. Do you have your Sou'wester and Mae West on? You are going to need them.

42 posted on 01/21/2004 11:34:30 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; Catholicguy; sinkspur; NYer; Salvation; american colleen; sandyeggo
This is a fundamentally non-Catholic point of view. We do not have a radical individualist Church. We have a flock that is led by shepherds. The state of the flock indicates the quality of the leadership by the shepherds. Jesus said, "When the shepherd is struck, the flock is scattered." He also warned against hirelings who pretend to be shepherds but who are only in it for their own advancement and who flee when the flock faces danger.

Max, either each person is responsible for the salvation of their own soul, or at judgement, we will have the Whiners Club, with everyone saying "Lord, I didn't want to sin, but He didn't teach me!" You really think that will carry water? Does God provide for His own if they will but will it or not? Cardinal Rigali will not be answering for my actions, but for his own.

This is the reality of the Catholic Church. You cannot explain away the reality of tens of millions of Catholics falling away from the practice of the faith by so many individual decisions.

I very freely acknowledge it and did so in my post. What the heck are you talking about implying I don't?

Take any set of statistics you want, you'll see the same trend. You seem to prefer church attendance over seminarians. Fine. Take a look at the recent Gallup poll which showed a steady decline in Church attendance by Catholics from 1962 to today, recently reaching its nadir at a point lower than the protestants for the first time ever. There has to be some cause for this trend. Blame it on sunspots if you like. But it's simply disingenuous to pretend that there is no cause, and it is nothing more than tens of millions of individual decisions that share no commonality.

I never made the assertion you are refuting. My position is simple. The destruction of the Church is a direct causal outcome of the result of World War II and the cultural revolution that followed in its wake. The Allied/Communist victory in World War II destroyed the traditional basis of an exclusionary Christian society in Europe and America. The cultural revolution was the natural outcome of trends coming directly out of its aftermath, including the spread of pornography, the atomization of society by suburbanization, the cultural filth produced by the TV and Hollywood, and the universalization of the Birth Control mentality.

This also accounts for the fact that the "peak" of different statistics occurs at different time periods in the 1960-1975 period. Everything does not just suddenly decline starting in 1965. Some waits until 1969 or 1972. Some starts in 1962. Some in 1965.

You are desperately seeking to find any explanation except the plain and obvious one that is staring you right in the face. Why? Why won't you just admit that every one of these problems can be traced back directly to Vatican II?

Because they are not traced back to Vatican II. If the reversal of Vatican II was a solution, we'd see all the apostates flockign to Traditionalist apostolates, which we do not. This says that the problem is not a change of liturgy.

The problem is a tidal wave of atheism, greed, selfishness, and impurity. The trend comes straight out of WWII, with an entire generation sent overseas to fornicate and steal and obsess about saving their own ass for 4-6 years. Their experiences gave birth to modernity in the late 1940's and provided the ready-made market for Playboy, divorce lawyers, and the Pill, all well entrenched by 1962.

Surely you follow the messages of Fatima. Did Our Lady of Fatima give any warning about the dangers of a new Ecumenical Council and changing the Mass? Or did she warn about a new World War, Communism, a laspe of prayer, and licentuous impurity and immodesty?

Shall I wait for the 12th of Never for an honest answer out of you to this query?

43 posted on 01/21/2004 11:52:58 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
The trend comes straight out of WWII, with an entire generation sent overseas to fornicate and steal and obsess about saving their own ass for 4-6 years.

WHOA. Spoken like a true anti-American. Hermann, I do believe you are actually French.

44 posted on 01/21/2004 11:58:27 AM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; Canticle_of_Deborah; Catholicguy
You cannot explain away the reality of tens of millions of Catholics falling away from the practice of the faith by so many individual decisions.

Do we have Free Will or not?

Either people freely walked out the door, careful not to let it hit them in the a**, or they were shoved. If it was not an individual decision, it must have been somethign done by physical compulsion.

Since you ridicule my assertion that they walked freely out the door, of necessity, you must assert that the Priests have foreced tens of millions out of the Church and somehow gotten into their minds to steal away their faith.

This is some sort of bizzarre Jansenist determinism you are spouting.

Really, there is no need to complicate things. Concupiscence and free will are more than sufficient to explain millions apostasizing.

But if you still won't accept this, please tell me the method of physical compulsion used to force people not to come to Church and to make them give up the infused virtue of faith in their mind and soul.

45 posted on 01/21/2004 12:00:30 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
In the throes of revolution? recently instituted? I thought Vatican II was in the 60's, or how many decades past do you still consider "recent"? No, I was obviously not aware the gates of Hell were prevailing against the Church.

You also seem to have misunderstood my post by your effort to contradict me with Scripture. I never said which extreme was right or wrong, all I said was that neither one is doing their professed goal any good.

From what I know of the pre-Vatican II ways, I would like that to still be the rule today. However, it is the methods of the "traditionalists" that I cannot agree with. Frankly, I have found the attitude of many quite disturbing. I also have to say that I have found just as much liberal condemnation against Paul VI and John Paul II for refusing to relent on contraception, reemphasizing Eucharistic adoration and refusing to give in on the women-priest issue.

In the church I grew up in, many people didn't know the official doctrines, absolutely no one agreed with all of them, everyone could pretty much make it up as they go, it was extremely nepotistic with every church being dominated by the pastor's family & relatives (who in some cases were my own kin) and what my friends in the Catholic Church told me was: our Church is the answer, the Catholic Church is Christ's Church, united by the Pope, protected from error by the Holy Spirit, carries on Christian truth regardless of passing trends, etc, etc.

Boy, does it look like I got it wrong. On another thread I was getting attacked on every side by an Orthodox and two Protestants for defending the Catholic Church, and I kept wondering why no one else was speaking up in defense of the Church. Now, I can see why, if even the Catholics no longer approve of the Catholic Church, the ship must be going down.
46 posted on 01/21/2004 12:00:51 PM PST by Guelph4ever (“Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Canticle_of_Deborah
The trend comes straight out of WWII, with an entire generation sent overseas to fornicate and steal and obsess about saving their own ass for 4-6 years.

WHOA. Spoken like a true anti-American. Hermann, I do believe you are actually French.

Chalk up one vote from a so-called Catholic Traditionalist against Our Lady of Fatima's warnings.

I'll be keeping a tally. Anyone taking bets on how many more will bite?

PS. Deb - I'm German-Norse. Trust me. Very, very, German, very, very Norse. Not a drop of French blood, near as I can tell, anywhere in the past 500-1000 years.

47 posted on 01/21/2004 12:03:52 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Canticle_of_Deborah; Hermann the Cherusker
The problem is a tidal wave of atheism, greed, selfishness, and impurity. The trend comes straight out of WWII, with an entire generation sent overseas to fornicate and steal and obsess about saving their own ass for 4-6 years. Their experiences gave birth to modernity in the late 1940's and provided the ready-made market for Playboy, divorce lawyers, and the Pill, all well entrenched by 1962.

This is largely true. Things that we in our decadent culture label as "innocent" (such as pin-up girls, condoms, etc.) were prevalent among the "greatest" generation. These paved the way to the things that Hermann names.

48 posted on 01/21/2004 12:08:27 PM PST by Pyro7480 ("We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Hermann the Cherusker
The destruction of the Church is a direct causal outcome of the result of World War II and the cultural revolution that followed in its wake.

I agree that WWII was an antecedent causal factor. It set the stage. But the Church does not collapse because of external factors. When the faith is strong, then external circumstances just make it even stronger.

The Allied/Communist victory in World War II destroyed the traditional basis of an exclusionary Christian society in Europe and America.

I agree that the Allied/Communist victory swept away traditional political foundations in some European countries. But the Church was still standing strong. It was in the 1950s when the Vatican signed a model concordat with Spain making Catholicism the only officially recognized religion. The Church was the last bulwark against the destruction of Christian society. Until Vatican II and the documents on Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, and Nostra Aetate.

Evelyn Waugh provided an outstanding analysis. His trilogy of WWII "Sword of Honour" (also called Men at Arms) described the "unconditional surrender" of European Christian civilization. But he saw the Catholic Church as the only beacon of light preserving all that was best. All the more reason why he was crushed when Vatican II came along and the Church sold out to all the phony theories that had already taken hold of the political situation.

So no one would agree with you more than Evelyn Waugh when it comes to the role of WWII in the destruction of traditional Western Christian civiliation. But he was very clear that the Church had remained immune until Vatican II. The trilogy was written throughout the fifties, but when he went to write a new preface for a one-volume edition in 1964, he wrote:

"On reading the book I realized that I had done something quite outside my original intention. I had written an obituary of the Roman Catholic Church in England as it had existed for many centuries.... It never occurred to me, writing Sword of Honour, that the Church was susceptible of change. I was wrong and I have seen a superficial revolution in what then seemed permanent. "
I can't find the rest of the preface on-line, but this quote is from an article by Ralph McInerny who goes on to comment:
"Waugh was a convert to Catholicism, and like many for whom the doctrine, ritual, and culture of Catholicism represented the very antithesis to modern decadence, he found Vatican II a severe test, if not of his faith, at least of his loyalty. He was appalled by the sanctioned and unsanctioned changes made in the wake of the council. He communicated his views to John Cardinal Heenan, and their correspondence has been published... The fact that the very aspects of the modern world from which he was fleeing should suddenly be regarded as worthy models for the Church elicited memorable prose from Waugh."

49 posted on 01/21/2004 12:20:10 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-167 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson