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Catholic Parishes Flourish in Southern U.S.
Catholic News Agency ^ | 2/8/05

Posted on 02/09/2005 3:49:28 PM PST by marshmallow

Charlotte, Feb. 09, 2005 (CNA) - The Catholic Church in the southern U.S. is flourishing and growing at an impressive rate. But its rebirth in the historical Protestant Bible Belt is not only about numbers in the pews, but the creation of a Catholic culture and a strict adherence to Catholic teachings, says a report by journalist Tim Padgett.

Catholics make up about 12 percent of the South’s population. While still quite low, Catholics saw growth of almost 30 percent in the 1990s, compared with less than 10 percent for Baptists, who make up the area’s largest denomination. Reported Padgett.

Padgett notes that Catholic Church was present in the south before the Civil War, but it virtually disappeared after the war. It aided the civil rights movement, but its numbers didn’t rebound until the 1980s, when northerners moved south chasing jobs in the technological industries and Hispanics immigrated to the area. From 1980 to 2000, the region’s Catholic population doubled, to more than 12 million.

Hispanic immigrants are the fastest-growing group in the south. In the Diocese of Charlotte, for example, Hispanics make up half the diocese’s 300,000 Catholics. Thousands of Vietnamese and Filipino Catholics are moving in as well.

The Catholic population in Charlotte is growing almost 10 percent a year, and the ratio of newly ordained priests to parishioners there is 1 to 7,000, more than seven times as high as Chicago’s.

St. Mark Parish in the Diocese of Charlotte, for example, which began with a handful of Catholic families eight years ago, now has 2,800 families and is awaiting the completion of its new church. Bishop Jugis blessed five new churches in the diocese last year alone.

Southern dioceses like Charlotte boast some of the highest numbers of priestly ordinations in the U.S. and attract clergy from the North.

Fr. Timothy Reid, 34, an Indiana native who serves as vicar at St. Mark Parish in Charlotte told Padgett he was drawn to the South and its orthodox spirit. “Here it’s more vibrant because we’re creating a Catholic culture almost from scratch,” he was quoted as saying.

Padgett reports that these southern Catholics, “influenced in no small degree by their morally hard-line Protestant neighbors, as well as the strong piety of Latin America,” are practicing a more conservative faith than Catholics in many other parts of the U.S.

Fr. Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina, told Padgett that the Protestant influence has also led to something he calls “evangelical Catholicism,” which includes exuberant hymn singing, intense Bible study, spirited preaching and witnessing.

He also says cultural Catholics are not common in the south. “Here you’re not Catholic because your parents came from Italy or Slovakia. It’s because you believe what the church teaches you is absolutely true,” he was quoted as saying.

There is also a rising number of native converts. The adult catechumen class at Fr. Newman’s parish has more than 60 members compared with only a few less than 10 years ago.

Deacon Carlos Medina, 55, who arrived 10 years ago from Nicaragua told Padgett: “In 1983 U.S. bishops prophesied in a pastoral letter that Hispanic people would revive, maybe even save, the church in this country.”

“I think it came true,” he said.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholics; dixie; evangelicalcatholics; evangelicals; filipinoamericans; hispanics; revival; south; southerncatholics; vietnameseamericans
Dixie rocks.
1 posted on 02/09/2005 3:49:29 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow; onyx
There is also a rising number of native converts.

I'm one.

I was born and bred in Jackson, MS. Converted to Catholicism last year, after thinking about it for about five years.

Plus, I've had two people ask me recently, if I could share some literature with them about Catholicism. Both of them are native Mississippians as well.

Btw, mass today at the Cathedral in downtown Jackson was standing room only.

2 posted on 02/09/2005 3:56:34 PM PST by bourbon (works best when angry)
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To: bourbon

Wonderful.


3 posted on 02/09/2005 4:00:05 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: bourbon
Most of us Southern Catholics are converts.

Some of us (like you) converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, and some of us (like me) converted from Northernism to Southernism. ;-)

4 posted on 02/09/2005 4:05:52 PM PST by Campion
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To: All
Fr. Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina

This is a wonderful church, BTW, if you're ever in Greenville. Masses are reverent and packed, the homilies are good, the music is traditional, etc.

5 posted on 02/09/2005 4:07:50 PM PST by Campion
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To: bourbon


WONDERFUL.
Standing room only.
WOW.
I think about 100 attended our 7:00AM Mass at St Paul's,
downtown Vicksburg.


6 posted on 02/09/2005 4:09:56 PM PST by onyx ("First you look to God, then to Fox News" -- Denny Crane, Republican...lol.)
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To: marshmallow
Woot! Southern Knight of Columbus are a lot different too! We don't usually have halls, but we do a lot of charity.

The membership is also a lot younger, and members are very involved in other Catholic pursuits, like our Pro-life Rosary, RCIA, and our local Orphanage.
7 posted on 02/09/2005 4:59:20 PM PST by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: Dominick

If you ever come to Maine, the pope just named a church in Maine a basillica called St Peter and Paul Basillica. It is the only nice thing about Lewiston Maine and a dream to visit.


8 posted on 02/09/2005 5:13:00 PM PST by mlmr (The Majority of the Murders Committed Worldwide have been Committed by Leftist Governments..........)
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To: marshmallow

Hmmm. Looks very much like the article that Time just wrote up and is being disussed here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1339368/posts

But they left out a few things from the Time article: "Instead, the Liuzzos are attending standing-room-only services like St. Mark's teen Mass, complete with a pop-music ensemble that could be mistaken for one of the area's rollicking Christian rock bands. "This I was not prepared for," says Liuzzo, who flashes a smile at a recent service as an altar girl marches a crucifix past 1,000 parishioners."

Teen "Masses", "Christian" rock, altar girls, etc. Catholic revivalism, anyone?


9 posted on 02/09/2005 5:21:55 PM PST by corpus
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To: marshmallow; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
This is truly wonderful news!

Catholic Ping - Come home for Easter and experience God’s merciful love. Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

American Catholic - Lent Feature

10 posted on 02/10/2005 8:56:02 AM PST by NYer ("The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" - Pope John XXIII)
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To: marshmallow
Catholic Parishes Flourish in Southern U.S.

Bible-belt Catholics

Number of Catholics Rises by 15 Million (Diocesan Priests Increase; Religious Decrease)

Spanish Catholicism still very robust (3 shrines and The Sagrada Familia)

Catholics outsource praying to India

Catholic Priests in India 'Outsourced' to Meet Clergy Shortage in West

Christian Coalition head (in Ala.) becomes Catholic

Church growth continues for Catholic and Pentecostals; six mainline denominations decline

Young people turn against their parents' 'church lite'

Pope calls US Church to repentance and renewal

A father for the 11th time - Widower becomes Catholic priest

Number of Adults Who Don't Attend Church Service Doubles

Huge Christian growth shocks China's leaders

Church Attendance Increased : Protestants have now clearly overtaken Catholics in church attendance

Catholics Trail Protestants in Church Attendance [Gallup]

Church Attendance Linked to Longer Life

Church Growth and Eveangelism

11 posted on 02/10/2005 8:59:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: marshmallow
Thanks, I needed some good news today.

Here in NJ I once heard a parishioner complain about a mass going over 40 mins to the priest. She was worried about getting somewhere. I should have asked where her priorities were, but I knew what the answer would be.
~sigh
12 posted on 02/10/2005 9:19:00 AM PST by e5man_r_u? (A Man's mission: Build, Protect, Provide)
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To: marshmallow

Maybe this could now add some stability with the high divorce rates in the bible belt.


13 posted on 02/10/2005 9:45:52 AM PST by Coleus (What was Ted Kennedy and his nephew doing on Good Friday in 1991? Getting Drunk and Raping Women)
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To: corpus
We had Mission Week starting Jan 16. The Priest was Father Larry Richardson. His theology was CONSERVATIVE, his presentation was dynamic. It was the most awesome experience I have had in a while. The attendance for every night during Mission Week exceeded attendance for Christmas Midnight Mass.

Fr. Larry's Website

14 posted on 02/10/2005 10:35:10 AM PST by Jaded (Southern Catholic and Proud of It!)
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To: onyx
That is a great attendance for 7 AM.

My diocese of Harrisburg (PA) has a new Bishop. Bishop Rhoades has instituted frequent Eucharistic Adoration and is very strong on evangelicalism.

Our Pastor and his Parochial Vicar of two parishes have moved quickly. We are now having the Blessed Sacrament from 7 AM to 10 PM on Fridays. I'm scheduled for 1:30 to 2:30 PM. There will also be a class on the Eucharist at 8 PM.

Now, if we could only get the people to go to confession.
15 posted on 02/10/2005 11:03:51 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: bourbon; NYer

Awesome to hear we are plentiful in the South! but you know I heard of the news yesterday that the NYC Dioceseis shtting down sweveral school thereby displacing 3000 Catholic school students. This saddens me and I hope in never happens to our school.


16 posted on 02/10/2005 11:07:25 AM PST by RepubMommy
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To: RepubMommy

The real problem is that these kids will fall between the cracks in the NY Public system.

There was a report by one of the NY papers about how terrible the kids are doing with some schools having 48% droputs. They are complaining now about class size but wait until they get the kids from the Catholic System


17 posted on 02/10/2005 11:25:49 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: franky
Now, if we could only get the people to go to confession.

1) Offer it regularly, at specified times, more than once or twice a week. Post said times in Parish bulletin.

2) Some of these times should be open ended.

3) Preach on the meaning and necessity of the Sacrament.

The lines will form.

18 posted on 02/10/2005 11:26:14 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Confession is every Saturday from 3:30 to 4:30 PM before Mass and Sundays 9:30 to 10:30 AM before Mass. Also a telephone call can be made and you can go.

It is in the bulletin but less than 25% of all Catholics read their bulletins.

As of last night, the priest got quite excited in talking about going to confession. Hopefully it will get better.


19 posted on 02/10/2005 11:35:33 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: thor76; Coleus

Ping!


20 posted on 02/10/2005 11:36:16 AM PST by Clemenza (Are you going to bark all day, little doggie, or are you going to bite?)
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To: RepubMommy
The problem, mommy is that most of those schools were built in another time. Many of them are either in neighborhoods in Manhattan, which is now largely occupied by secular yuppies who tend not to have children and, if they do, send them to secular private schools that cost alot more money than St. Brigids. Then you have places in the Bronx and Brooklyn that were once thriving sections of industry but are now underpopulated. To add insult to industry many of the Mexicans and Ecuadorians who are pouring into Corona, Jackson Heights, Sunset Park, etc. lack the finances to send their kids to Catholic school.

NYC is effectively a city of the very rich and the very poor, with artsy fartsy types somewhere in between. The lower middle class that supported the parochial schools left a long time ago.

21 posted on 02/10/2005 11:40:30 AM PST by Clemenza (Are you going to bark all day, little doggie, or are you going to bite?)
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To: franky
May I humbly suggest that your pastor hear confessions one or two nights a week, say from 7:00PM until ...

Seriously. Many Parishes in northern Virginia do this, with excellent results.

22 posted on 02/10/2005 11:43:22 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: franky
As of last night, the priest got quite excited in talking about going to confession.

That's a good thing. Very good.

23 posted on 02/10/2005 11:45:19 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Campion
and some of us (like me) converted from Northernism to Southernism

Well, praise the Lord and pass the grits!

24 posted on 02/10/2005 11:55:26 AM PST by bourbon (works best when angry)
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To: e5man_r_u?

We have a hard time going home after mass. Its so wonderful to be in the Real Presence and with our parish family. Many often linger to socialize well into the next mass.


25 posted on 02/10/2005 12:32:17 PM PST by OriginalChristian (W2 - Rock On...)
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To: RepubMommy; Clemenza
This saddens me and I hope in never happens to our school.
>>>

It used to sadden me until the schundler election where he lost by 300,000 votes where less than 50% of the catholics voted for him...It opened my eyes on the Catholics in NJ and the USA.

Here was a guy who as not only pro life but also pro school choice and pro vouchers. And did the NJ Catholic Conference issue a voters' guide? NO they didn't, Did the Bishops and nuns and priest come out in support of these ISSUES, NO they did not. Did the majority of Catholics vote for Schundler, NO they did not.

You get for what you vote for, you vote democrat then you get politicians who worship the Teachers' unions and public education. You get politicians who raise taxes on the working class who then can't afford to pay tuition. You get politicians who reduce the standard deductions on Income tax returns and so on.

26 posted on 02/10/2005 1:36:40 PM PST by Coleus (Oppose Amnesty for Illegal Aliens http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/1335643/posts)
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To: Coleus

I think a few points need to be made here which may breathe a little optimism:

1. 57% of all Catholics (real and nominal combined) voted for Bush in 2004 in the state of NJ.

2. 2 New Bishops (Myers in Newark & Galante in Camden) were installed since the 2001 Gubernatorial. These guys both put pressure on McGreevy and have staunchly defended the faith.

3. The TLM is flourishing in NJ. Mater Ecclesize in the South boasts of a 400 family enrollment. The FSSP has a large parish in Patterson. Newark now has 2 diocesan TLMs. Add to that independent chapels. I really believe NJ is going to achieve a TLM critical mass (no pun intended) on people and the state will be reversing course in due time.

4. Bush came within 7 percentage points of winning. That's up from a 16 point loss the first time. And in 2001, 51% of Catholics voted for him.

So, I think Schundler or someone of his stature will stand a better chance and receive more Catholic votes for all of the reasons listed above.

I'm moving to NJ next year to join the growing TLM movement. Unfortutely, I won't be there in time to cast my vote for governor.


27 posted on 02/10/2005 1:46:15 PM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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To: jrny
Bush lost NJ by 7 % points in the last election. We had a pro-abortion Catholic Governor McGreevey and Senate President Codey who is now Acting Governor, a Catholic Democrat Assembly Speaker and both houses in the legislature are democrat where they passed and are funding the stem cell institute with $150 million in cigarette settlement money and want to bond an additional $150 million. Both our US senators are liberals and the majority of our 13 congressional districts are represented by liberals.

The bishops are reticent on the stem cell and abortion issues in regard to "repudiating" the politicians. And the bishops refuse to name names one reason why the same pro-abortion Catholic Politicians keep on being reelected.

The FSSP has a large parish in Patterson.>>>

Do you mean Our Lady of Fatima in Pequannock?

28 posted on 02/10/2005 2:01:52 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Jaded

"His theology was CONSERVATIVE, his presentation was dynamic."


I should pray it was. Hopefully he will one day pray the Mass of all time exclusively.

Corpus - ROMAN Catholic and proud of it!


29 posted on 02/10/2005 2:06:27 PM PST by corpus
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To: Campion; All

Yes, Fr. Newman is an excellent homilist, perhaps the best I have ever heard aside from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. This is no exaggeration.

There is also a twice-per-month Traditional Latin Mass in Taylors (Greenville) at 5:30 p.m. offered by Father Steven Brovey (like Fr. Newman, in his early 40s), who is the director of prayer and worship for the diocese.

The TLM has an attendance of 120-140 consistently, many young Catholics with MANY young families. Potluck dinner after every Mass usually has 60-90 attendees. LOTS of homeschoolers as well.

TLM in Columbia now monthly with the FSSP and weekly in Sullivan's Island outside of Charleston.

"If you build it, they will come!"


30 posted on 02/10/2005 2:13:53 PM PST by Mershon
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To: franky


Get folks to go to confession?
LOL!
There's been times when I've enjoyed confessing...
like my hatred for democrats.

Your parish sounds wonderful.


31 posted on 02/10/2005 2:14:59 PM PST by onyx ("First you look to God, then to Fox News" -- Denny Crane, Republican...lol.)
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To: Coleus

You give an accurate description of the present. I was speaking of a trend which will manifest itself more clearly in the future. Perhaps, even this year's gubernatorial will carry some surprises.

Liberals may still have the majority, but think of the average family size of TLM people vs. the population in general.


32 posted on 02/11/2005 5:53:32 AM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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To: jrny
I'm moving to NJ next year to join the growing TLM movement. Unfortutely, I won't be there in time to cast my vote for governor.

Forgive me, please, my brain is foggy from cold medicine. What is TLM? My church and school are from the Newark Diocese. What part of NJ do you plan on moving to?

33 posted on 02/11/2005 3:08:24 PM PST by RepubMommy
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To: jrny

I hope you bring about 500,000 people with you when you move to Jersey.

Why the move?


34 posted on 02/11/2005 5:29:15 PM PST by Coleus (Brooke Shields aborted how many children? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1178497/posts)
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To: Campion

St. Mary's seems like a very nice parish. Perhaps I will get down there one day to attend Mass.

Regards,


35 posted on 02/11/2005 5:41:26 PM PST by VermiciousKnid
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To: Coleus

So we can be raise our children with the riches of the TLM at Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin (Camden Diocese). No minimalist, Low Mass mentality parish will suffice.They celebrate the traditional liturgy in its fullest splendor possible and the people sing and respond at all Masses in Latin just as many popes and even V2 called for.

We live in MD right now...a total cesspool of corruption. At least NJ still has a rich, ethnic Italian & Catholic flavor in some parts.

I'll work on giving you 3 and perhaps more votes toward that 500,000.


36 posted on 02/12/2005 12:29:42 PM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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To: RepubMommy

TLM = Traditional Latin Mass


37 posted on 02/12/2005 12:35:40 PM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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To: jrny; Mike Fieschko; Antoninus; RepubMommy; NYer; Salvation; hobbes1; Black Agnes; ...
http://www.materecclesiae.org/old/about/index.html

his Excellency Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, established Mater Ecclesiæ Roman Catholic Church as a Church within the Camden Diocese serving Catholics who feel an attachment to the Traditional Latin Mass which is sometimes referred to as "The Old Mass", "The Ancient Roman Liturgy" or "The Tridentine Mass".

kudos to the bishop.

Newark Archbishop Myers just did the same thing with the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel in West Orange.
http://members.tripod.com/StAnthonysChapel/
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1308783/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1309773/posts

Some of the old parishioners (SSPX, about half so I've been told) have left the church and are praying in a rented VFW Post in Fairfield, NJ. They don't seem to like being affiliated with the diocese. I know that after being independent for so many years it's hard to go back to the authority of the local ordinary. From what I understand, they can still act independently of the diocese with their board still in control the property and are exempt from diocesan assessments.
38 posted on 02/12/2005 1:18:06 PM PST by Coleus (Brooke Shields aborted how many children? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1178497/posts)
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To: Campion

Connecticut Catholic born and bred here. Did my second (and last) enlistment in Vriginia. Stayed here when I got out. Can't imagine going back up north for anything more than a visit. My only real gripes now? Virginia simply isn't far enough south for me. :) That, and my local parishes are way too modernist for my likings. Tabernacle kept in a tiny side alcove, no crucifix. Sad really. I did find a chapel that does the TLM and will hopefully get to attend soon.


39 posted on 02/28/2005 10:51:30 AM PST by Romish_Papist (Hannity nutshell: "Buy my book, eat @ Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, repeat ad nauseum...)
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To: marshmallow

I converted to Catholicism in 2005. Before that I was Southern Baptist. I grew up in a home that was in church every Sunday morning. I converted because I came to the conclusion that the Catholic church was THE Church founded by Christ. I also discovered that most Catholics in the Diocese of Charlotte, NC are really protestants and don’t realize it. I was very disappointed when I went into the church my grandfather grew up in and it was stripped of the high altar, replaced by a table. The tabernacle relegated to the sacristy to be locked away never to be seen. Have Catholics today become so infected with the disease of modernism and socialism that they don’t realize it’s taking them straight to hell. I hope that isn’t the case, but it appears so. Our Bishop so far refuses the TLM, the socialist pastoral counsel has him wrapped around their finger. Or do they? I know of a few individuals who would love to see the TLM restored to the diocese, but with the protestant churches we are building today, where would the hold it. I’m sure the situation will right itself in due time, considering the obvious failure of the reform. I just hope for our children’s sake it isn’t much longer. I attribute the massacre at Virginia Tech last week to the very modernism the has crept it’s way in to every aspect of our culture today. It is time to renounce as Pope St. Pius X did and every Pope until H.E. Pope John XXIII, the scourge of modernism. I do not call into question the second Vatican council, only the interpretation of it. I do not question the Heirarchy of the Church, only the way they dismissed all of the traditions for a totally new theology. I hope H.E. Pope Benedict XVI is successful in begining the reform of the reform. We have a long way to go to fix the errors of our day, but with the help of Almighty God, and His Church, we will, or I should say, He will prevail.


40 posted on 04/21/2007 8:59:57 PM PDT by oremus79
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To: NYer

Good news bump.


41 posted on 04/21/2007 9:03:37 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Is the American voter smarter than a fifth grader?)
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