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The Incredible Shrinking Catholic Church
Catholic World News ^ | May 2003 | Kenneth C. Jones

Posted on 05/27/2007 7:17:23 PM PDT by Gamecock

The numbers tell the story.

Time magazine wanted to talk theology with Mel Gibson recently on the set of The Passion, his new movie depicting the last hours of Christ. Asked what he thought about the effects of the Second Vatican Council on the Catholic Church, the Braveheart of Catholic traditionalists said, "Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia."

Gibson's post Vatican II ergo propter Vatican II argument would be enough to drive any high school logic teacher crazy. Is the Council responsible for all the Church's ills, including the priestly sex-abuse crisis, that have arisen since the Council closed in 1965? After all, many of the abuse allegations pre-dated the Council, and some of the most notorious offenders--like John Geoghan and Paul Shanley--were trained in the pre-Vatican II seminaries. Too many factors come into play to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Council caused the pedophile priest phenomenon.

But Gibson comes closer to the mark when blaming the Second Vatican Council for the "dwindling numbers. In fact he is being generous, because "plummeting  would be a more accurate term than "dwindling" to describe of the incredibly shrinking Catholic Church since 1965. In every area that is statistically measurable--such as the number of priests, seminarians, priestless parishes and nuns--the deterioration is obvious, and is the exact opposite of the trends before the Council.

EMPTY SEMINARIES

Beyond a vague understanding of a need for "more vocations," most Catholics are perhaps unaware of the disaster facing the American priesthood. After skyrocketing from about 27,000 in 1930 to 58,000 in 1965, the number of priests in the United States dropped to 45,000 in 2002. By 2020, there will be about 31,000 priests--and only 15,000 will be under the age of 70, according to a study conducted by Dr. James R. Lothian of Fordham University.

The shortage of priests has created a problem previously unknown to modern Catholics: the priestless parish. Only 3 percent of the parishes in the US--a total of 549--were without a priest in 1965. In 2002 there were 2,928 priestless parishes, about 15 percent of all US parishes. By 2020, a quarter of all parishes, 4,656, will have no priest.

As one would expect, the priest dearth has been fueled by a collapse in the seminarian population. There were 16,300 seminarians in 1930 and 49,000 in 1965. By 2002 the number had plunged to 4,700: a 90 percent decrease. Without any students, countless seminaries across the country have been sold or shuttered. There were 596 seminaries in 1965, and only 200 in 2002.

And empty seminaries result in declining ordinations. While there were 1,575 ordinations to the priesthood in 1965, in 2002 there were 450, a decrease of 350 percent. Taking into account ordinations, deaths and departures, in 1965 there was a net gain of 725 priests. In 1998, there was a net loss of 810.

RELIGIOUS ORDERS DISAPPEARING

The tragedy of the convents has been perhaps even more startling. A host of 138,000 sisters ran the Catholic education and health systems in 1945; their numbers swelled to 180,000 by 1965. In 2002, there were 75,000 sisters, with an average age of 68. By 2020, the number of sisters will drop to 40,000--and of these, only 21,000 will be age 70 or under. One does not have to be Chicken Little to predict that within a generation there will be no nuns.

The same is true for the once-proud religious orders of men. For example, in 1965 there were 5,277 Jesuit priests and 3,559 seminarians; in 2000 there were 3,172 priests and 389 seminarians. There were 2,534 OFM Franciscan priests and 2,251 seminarians in 1965; in 2000 there were 1,492 priests and 60 seminarians. There were 2,434 Christian Brothers in 1965 and 912 seminarians; in 2000 there were 959 Brothers and 7 seminarians. It does not require special training in statistics to conclude that by 2050, if these trends continue, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Christian Brothers, will be the virtually extinct in the US.

Other statistics on the life of the Catholic Church in America tell the same story. At the time of the Council there were 4.5 million students in US parochial schools; now there are 2 million. Before the Council there were less than 400 marriages annulled by Catholic diocesan tribunals in an average year; now there are 50,000. Before the Council 3 out of 4 Catholics attended Mass each week; now the figure is 1 in 4.

Given these alarming facts, one wonders how a movie star like Mel Gibson can sense a Church in extremis, but the American bishops cannot. They know the statistics (which are published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops), yet take no action to counter the catastrophe.

The bishops do not have a good track record when it comes to responding to crisis. Just as they showed no interest in the sexual abuse of minors--in fact they were sometimes complicit--it is a good bet that the bishops will neglect the emergency that threatens the very existence of the Church in the America.

[AUTHOR ID] Kenneth C Jones of St. Louis is the author of Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II, published by Oriens Publishing Co.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: bigshrinkage; bovineexcrement; catholicsindenial; fascinatedwcatholics; rcscanthandletruth; shrinkage; wishingitweretrue
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1 posted on 05/27/2007 7:17:24 PM PDT by Gamecock
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To: ears_to_hear; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe; alpha-8-25-02; xzins; fortheDeclaration; ...

Seems all are not happy in Rome.


2 posted on 05/27/2007 7:20:20 PM PDT by Gamecock (FR Member Gamecock: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Gamecock

Meanwhile the Catholic Church is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world with an average of 250 million new Catholics annually...half of which are converts.


3 posted on 05/27/2007 7:21:51 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper (It looks like one of those days when one nuke is just not enough-- Lt. Col. Mitchell, SG-1)
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To: Gamecock
Given how many times Catholics here on FR tell us that so-and-so politician, etc isn't a Real Genuine Catholictm, despite said individual claiming to be Catholic and enjoying being in full communion with Rome through their appointed Bishop, it's no wonder the Catholic Church is shrinking. They're eating their own!
4 posted on 05/27/2007 7:23:18 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (FR Member Alex Murphy: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Meanwhile the Catholic Church is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world with an average of 250 million new Catholics annually...half of which are converts.

And with all that growth, here in the USA more than half of all Catholics voted for Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, and more than half voted in Democrat congressman and senators in the 2006 elections. Yep, you gotta love that Catholic growth!

5 posted on 05/27/2007 7:26:20 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (FR Member Alex Murphy: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Alex Murphy

I’m all for a pruned Catholic Church. Cut out some of the CINOs who are infecting the Church.


6 posted on 05/27/2007 7:26:35 PM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: Alex Murphy

It very well may be that the numbers are dwindling, but it’s not really all about numbers. Those who remain steadfast in the Church will be for real. They will be the genuine Catholics.

Sometimes we forget that every 400 years the Church, which is seemingly falling into decline, is revitalized. In every case, the dwindling numbers were of the truly faithful, and the re-generation began again.

For the individual, believing Catholic who searches his heart every day in order to praise God and be an “ambassador for Christ” (St. Paul), the Church is always renewing itself.

As for me and my house, we are not jumping ship.


7 posted on 05/27/2007 7:33:54 PM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: Running On Empty
Sometimes we forget that every 400 years the Church, which is seemingly falling into decline, is revitalized.

Now that's an interesting statement, one I've not heard before. You have my full attention - could you elaborate?

8 posted on 05/27/2007 7:36:26 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (FR Member Alex Murphy: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Running On Empty

Most of these numbers are bogus in one sense. It doesn’t really matter how few priests America produces. We will simply get priests from somewhere else. That used to be the case anyway. Some diocese have more vocations than they know what to do with. Lincoln comes to mind immediately.

Bad bishops are being replaced - finally! Most of the new priests are orthodox and excellent. Catholic publishing is rebounding after three decades of inertia. Catholic media - especially radio and online - is taking off. Catholic TV is doing well and growing.

I know many anti-Catholics like to feel vindicated when they read about dying religious orders, or the shuttering of parishes, but the Church is NOT shrinking or dying. What is clear is that we are at the beginning of a new wave of conversions, ordinations and expansions. The problem is that new wave will only be accomplished after much pain and re-adjustment.


9 posted on 05/27/2007 7:40:49 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Gamecock
It’s no wonder MANY are turning from Catholicism. It’s not just the Priests and Nuns. The congregations are dwindling as well.
10 posted on 05/27/2007 7:45:17 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Alex Murphy

Yeah, Rudy and Kerry, O’Reilly ... could definitely live with out those Catholics. ALl mindless social liberals.


11 posted on 05/27/2007 7:46:37 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Gamecock

What’s the point in posting a 4 year old article?


12 posted on 05/27/2007 7:49:04 PM PDT by ducdriver ("Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." GKC)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Meanwhile the Catholic Church is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world with an average of 250 million new Catholics annually...half of which are converts

Baptised infants of non observant catholics are part of that count.

Only 25% of Catholics in Europe go to church and slightly more than that here in the states .

Catholicism is a tradition in most of the world. Infants are baptized and small children make their first communion as part of their family tradition and heritage. It has nothing to do with faith or doctrine or even with Christ. It is a part of a families or cultural identity .

People are "irish catholic", people celebrate "St Joseph's table" as cultural tradition.

When I left the church the first thing my father said was "but our family is Catholic" to him ( a divorced non observant Catholic ) that was a part of our identity as a family, it had nothing to do with Christ.

Many of those "converts" are related to the marriage to a Catholic and to please the loved one or so the family is a one faith family the unsaved spouse converts. Again this is not about Christ, it is about the family .

The truth is Catholic churches built to hold hundreds now have a handful at mass.

13 posted on 05/27/2007 7:55:37 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

Many are called but few are chosen.


14 posted on 05/27/2007 8:01:13 PM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: red irish

chosen by who?


15 posted on 05/27/2007 8:16:24 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

Chosen by the father....”no One comes to Me except thru the Father”.


16 posted on 05/27/2007 8:18:37 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Gamecock
Good to see you're on board with the present Pope on this one. He has spoken on a number of occasions, both as Benedict XVI and as Josef Cardinal Ratzinger on his belief that the Church will become a smaller yet more fervent group of believers in the years to come. This will in turn lead to a renewed vigor and greater evangelization.

No need to spend all Sunday afternoon diving around in that dumpster for articles like this. There are more recent examples than 2003. THIS, for instance.

17 posted on 05/27/2007 8:38:40 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: Suzy Quzy

Now you are sounding like a calvinist. Do you really believe that God chose you before you chose Him?

What did He chose you for?


18 posted on 05/27/2007 8:40:39 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Gamecock
Good to see you're on board with the present Pope on this one. He has spoken on a number of occasions, both as Benedict XVI and as Josef Cardinal Ratzinger on his belief that the Church will become a smaller yet more fervent group of believers in the years to come. This will in turn lead to a renewed vigor and greater evangelization.

No need to spend all Sunday afternoon diving around in that dumpster for articles like this. There are more recent examples than 2003. THIS, for instance.

19 posted on 05/27/2007 8:41:22 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ears_to_hear

Yes....God chose me....and you if you choose to follow him.


20 posted on 05/27/2007 8:49:44 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Alex Murphy

Have had company all evening and tomorrow back to the grist mill. But I will come back and address this as soon as I can.

It’s all a part of our history.

I often think—”Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”—but just as in natural, human life, his Bride has fluctuating cycles. ;-)


21 posted on 05/27/2007 9:01:51 PM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: red irish

Meaning Calvinism? I cannot accept the idea of a God who loves the whole world and then chooses people to be saved or go to the lake of fire. No one can convince me that God is like this.

I would be careful with Calvinism, it reminds me too much of Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” idea.


22 posted on 05/27/2007 9:15:39 PM PDT by Truth_will_rule_eventually
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To: Gamecock; All
It is very simple. Where the Faith is practiced earnestly and in its fullest, be that in a diocese, a religious order, a seminary, a parish, or a home, we see the benefits of it. We see solid (and often large) Catholic families, zealous converts, and vocations to the priesthood and religious life. On the other hand, wherever the pastors and teachers have sold themselves out to a different Gospel, we see many lukewarm (cultural, CINO, etc) Catholics who will either leave to be fed elsewhere (be that in an orthodox parish or outside the Church), who will flaunt their unwillingness to follow the Chuch's teachings, or who simply show up each week not knowing or caring about their Faith or their relationship with Christ.

The examples of the former are numerous, and plenty are well known. Examples of the latter are unfortunately too numerous to count, hence Mr. Jones's findings. I pray that the tide is turning (and ever so slowly, it seems to be).

23 posted on 05/27/2007 9:16:33 PM PDT by GCC Catholic (Pray for your priests and seminarians...)
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To: GCC Catholic

I pray you are right.


24 posted on 05/27/2007 9:18:38 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Gamecock

Catholic Priests in Latin America need to lay off the Marx based liberation theology and just preach Christ and maybe things would be different.


25 posted on 05/27/2007 10:48:04 PM PDT by therut
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To: Gamecock

Could you please explain why you are posting an article from May, 2003 in May of 2007?

Makes no sense to me. Old news.

The news today......be converted and save your soul.


26 posted on 05/27/2007 10:52:22 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Alex Murphy

It’s real simple, Alex: the ex-communicated aren’t Catholic.

The RCC is both shrinking and growing. In Europe and the US, most Catholics are merely nominal; they never bothered to leave after Vatican II, but they were left confused about what is true Catholicism, and perceived that they were being told that the New Catholicism would be very similar to the agnosticism-dominated pop-culture protestantism they were surrounded by.

After JP2, the sense of what “real Catholicism” was began to be reasserted, and the “real Catholic” church began to grown. But the rebounding numbers of real Catholics, led by Asia and Africa, have a long, long way to go before they re-fill the inflationary bubble of nominal Catholics.

The truth is that even before Vatican II there was a large bubble, of scarcely missionized Latin Americans, and post-modern Europeans.

But I really can’t imagine that you can’t grasp the concept of an automatically incurred excommunication, given that you’ve had it explained to you 100 million times... this post is mostly for people who are sincerely wondering.


27 posted on 05/27/2007 11:10:13 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Alex Murphy

>> And with all that growth, here in the USA more than half of all Catholics voted for Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, and more than half voted in Democrat congressman and senators in the 2006 elections. Yep, you gotta love that Catholic growth! <<

That is simply fiction.


28 posted on 05/27/2007 11:10:48 PM PDT by dangus
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To: ears_to_hear

Actually, Catholics included in the count may not be very observant, but nowadays they must do something over the course of a year to be counted in a census.

Incidentally, Catholic church attendance in Europe is far higher than Protestant church attendance.


29 posted on 05/27/2007 11:13:14 PM PDT by dangus
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To: marshmallow; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; ears_to_hear
the Church will become a smaller yet more fervent group of believers in the years to come. This will in turn lead to a renewed vigor and greater evangelization.

Doesn't that sound a little contradictory to you? The church gets smaller but evangelism grows?

If the church is getting smaller, then the evangelism is failing.

30 posted on 05/28/2007 1:03:21 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Gamecock
Speaking as a seminarian, I don't believe every word of this article, its headline is way too hyperbolic. This next semester in my seminary we're getting another (mine was 64) class of around 60+ young men, who are considering their vocation to the priesthood.

I agree that it will be the case that several orders are and will be struggling for the next couple years. I do know that isn't the case at all with some of the more newer orders that hold on to good Catholic tradition, some of them are bursting at the seems with those discerning vocations.

31 posted on 05/28/2007 3:12:06 AM PDT by WritableSpace
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To: WritableSpace

The truth is that at least for my parish church, it is seeing a new springtime or rebirth because it has a new priest who is in his early 40’s. He is part of the JPII generation of priests that are now stepping up to the plate.


32 posted on 05/28/2007 4:22:22 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: big'ol_freeper

250 million? That number doesn’t sound right.


33 posted on 05/28/2007 5:13:42 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Gamecock

Jones’s analysis is simplistic. Mass attendance began to decline in this country before Vatican II, peaking at 75% in 1955. By 1965, Mass attendance had fallen to 67%. There were other factors at work here besides the Council, although the liturgical and theological confusion that followed the Council was definitely a big factor. One of these factors was the cultural revolution that occurred in this country during the 1960s, especially the revolution in sexual values. Another was the fact that by the 1960s, Catholics were increasingly entering the mainstream of American society, abandoning their “fortress mentality.” Anti-Catholic bigotry was a sad fact of American life up until WWII and Catholics were very conscious of their second-class status. Hency they kept to themselves, maintained their own insitutions, and remained aloof from society. By the 60s this was changing and Catholics were becoming “regular” Americans. Unfortunately, many stopped practicing their faith in order to fit in better with American society.

The biggest cause of the decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life has been the decline in Mass attendance among Catholics. Catholic families who do not attend Mass on Sundays, do not produce vocations. And contraception and divorce are largely to blame for this decline in Mass attendance. Moreover, Catholics’ acceptance of the divorce mentality has directly led to a decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Those who do not see marriage as something permanent and sacred will not value the renunciation of marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God.


34 posted on 05/28/2007 5:14:30 AM PDT by steadfastconservative
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To: Gamecock; ears_to_hear; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe; alpha-8-25-02; xzins; ...
Just an observation of a young priest (since no one else seems to be pointing this out) :-]

Everyone is noticing the decline in vocations, but everyone seems to overlook one obvious, and perhaps chief reason--contraception. Without children, there is no future. The Western world has ignored Humanae vitae for nearly 40 years. And the result? the pews are empty (therefore Churches are closing), the seminaries are empty (close the seminaries), the religious houses and even entire orders aren't getting vocations.

The devil's plan is to destroy the family. "Be sterile and selfish" I seem to hear him say--population control, Planned "Barrenhood", contraception, abortion, sterilization, etc.

God's plan, "Be fruitful and multiply". As Pope John Paul II said to the families in the Jubilee Year 2000 A.D., "Do not be afraid to have children!" And to the Italians (who have been committing demographical suicide through contraception and abortion) he said, "Stop being selfish and start having children."

Families that follow God's plan tend to have more children and more vocations. We are getting lots of vocational inquiries from large Catholic families, frequently homeschooled.

If any of you are interested, there are some excellent Pro-Life vlogs at http://airmaria.com/?cat=8 Fr. Angelo is particular excellent on this subject. God bless you...

35 posted on 05/28/2007 5:18:57 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: siunevada

Since there are one billion catholics, and that poster said they add 250 million per year, that means they have gone from nothing to one billion in 4 years, presumably.

In short, the Catholic church didn’t exist 5 or 6 years ago.

(I, too, suspect something wrong with that number.)


36 posted on 05/28/2007 5:46:19 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: fr maximilian mary
So right.....plus parents want GRANDCHILDREN more than they want a nun or a priest, so they never nudge their children toward the religious life.

At Baptism, the priest should mention to the parents that the child COULD become a priest or a nun if they would support it....and the same at First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Plant the seed, priests.

37 posted on 05/28/2007 5:52:05 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: dangus
Actually, Catholics included in the count may not be very observant, but nowadays they must do something over the course of a year to be counted in a census.

Most go to mass at Christmas... another tradition

Incidentally, Catholic church attendance in Europe is far higher than Protestant church attendance.

By percentage or number? Most of Europe is Catholic by definition.However it is only the traditional Protestant churches that have declining attendance, the evangelical churches are doing fine.

"Church attendance in Europe has been steadily decreasing in recent decades. Traditional Protestant and Roman Catholic churches have a hard time drawing in new members, particularly young people. But Evangelical churches are booming across the region, particularly those attended by immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.''
Article here
http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-07/2006-07-24-voa48.cfm?CFID=80781544&CFTOKEN=45335555

38 posted on 05/28/2007 5:54:43 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Suzy Quzy
Yes....God chose me....and you if you choose to follow him.< P>See how silly that sounds? He chose me if I choose Him

Doese God chose everyone everyone ?

39 posted on 05/28/2007 5:57:29 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

Of course he does....it’s up to us to be open to it.


40 posted on 05/28/2007 6:01:16 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Good point Father. It wasn’t unusual for families to have 8 or 10 kids and see several of them become priests or nuns just 50 years ago.


41 posted on 05/28/2007 6:02:38 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: WritableSpace

God Bless and Keep you!


42 posted on 05/28/2007 6:08:27 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: xzins
I'm sorry. Too many zeros. Depending on the year it seems to range between 15 and 25 million in growth. This is a recent article on Church growth:

Vatican stats: Catholic Church growing, especially in Asia, Africa

43 posted on 05/28/2007 6:42:55 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper (It looks like one of those days when one nuke is just not enough-- Lt. Col. Mitchell, SG-1)
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To: Truth_will_rule_eventually
I cannot accept the idea of a God who loves the whole world and then chooses people to be saved or go to the lake of fire. No one can convince me that God is like this.

Romans 9:14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Romans 9:15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Romans 9:16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Romans 9:17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Romans 9:18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Romans 9:19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Romans 9:20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Romans 9:21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Romans 9:22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Romans 9:23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory


Matthew 13:37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

Matthew 13:38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Matthew 13:39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

44 posted on 05/28/2007 6:49:56 AM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: big'ol_freeper; ears_to_hear; P-Marlowe

As a pastor, I’m a realist.

The only number I’m interested in is how many have planted their butts in the seats on any given Sunday.

There might be 250 million movie goers in America, but the only ones Spiderman 3 producers are interested in are those who actually watch their show. All the rest are just a curious statistic.


45 posted on 05/28/2007 7:23:08 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Truth_will_rule_eventually
Meaning Calvinism? I cannot accept the idea of a God who loves the whole world and then chooses people to be saved or go to the lake of fire. No one can convince me that God is like this.

I would be careful with Calvinism, it reminds me too much of Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” idea.

22 posted on 05/27/2007 10:15:39 PM MDT by Truth_will_rule_eventually

Only if you believe that the same Elohim
who created the universe is not omniscient.

Perhaps you define your god in your own image.

b'shem Yah'shua
46 posted on 05/28/2007 7:23:55 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: Truth_will_rule_eventually
Meaning Calvinism? I cannot accept the idea of a God who loves the whole world and then chooses people to be saved or go to the lake of fire. No one can convince me that God is like this.

Do you worship God or are creating a god in the image you find worthy of your worship? Whether or not God's plan is "fair" or not is not ours to determine, because we are not God.

I would be careful with Calvinism, it reminds me too much of Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” idea.

If you see Calvinism in Phelps actions, you don't seem to have a clue about Calvinism.

47 posted on 05/28/2007 7:37:44 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Gamecock
IMHO the Church can grow and prevent losing members to secularism and other religions IF the bishops all over the world would do one thing.

That thing is to teach the power of God, Jesus as God and the facts about the supernatural power of the sacraments of the Church. It would be difficult for one who knows in the depths of his/her being about the Real Presence in the Eucharist to leave the only church which offers it.

A side issue is to teach people about the fact that all bishops, all priests and even the pope may be flawed, is that which requires submission of mind. We do not worship or idolize them as people. We just respect the offices.

A

48 posted on 05/28/2007 7:43:09 AM PDT by amihow
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To: fr maximilian mary

great post! God bless you with your vocation.


49 posted on 05/28/2007 7:56:30 AM PDT by Nihil Obstat (Kyrie Eleison)
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To: Suzy Quzy

So then it is nothing “special” to be chosen?

Poor God, he sits at the mercy of men.

BTW didn’t the scripture say FEW are chosen?


50 posted on 05/28/2007 8:37:39 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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