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Orthodox Catholicism is winning? April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Tradition, Virtue.

The actual title of the article is “Traditional Catholicism is Winning,” but I think that’s a bridge too far, at this point.  And even as regards orthodox Catholicism, I’d say things are starting to turn around, but we have miles and miles to go:

In his Holy Thursday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 5, Pope Benedict XVI denounced calls from some Catholics for optional celibacy among priests and for women’s ordination. The pope said that “true renewal” comes only through the “joy of faith” and “radicalism of obedience.”

And renewal is coming. After the 2002 scandal about sexual abuse by clergy, progressive Catholics were predicting the end of the celibate male priesthood in books like “Full Pews and Empty Altars” and “The Death of Priesthood.” Yet today the number of priestly ordinations is steadily increasing…..[slowly…..]

……The situation in the U.S. is still tenuous. The number of American Catholics has grown to 77.7 million, up from 50 million in 1980. But the priest-to-parishioner ratio has changed for the worse. In 1965, there was one priest for every 780 American parishioners. By 1985, there was one priest for every 900 Catholics, and by 2011 there was one for every 2,000. In dioceses where there are few ordinations, such as New York’s Rochester and Albany, people know this shortage well.  [Hmm……both dioceses are run by disastrously heterodox bishops endorsing much dissent and heresy….could there be a connection to a dirth of faith and lack of vocations?]

Still, the future is encouraging. There were 467 new priestly ordinations in the U.S. last year, according to a survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, up from 442 a decade ago.  [That’s a pretty slow rate of growth, but I think there are many men in seminary now who could make that number really jump…….if they stay through to get ordained.  That has been one of the big problems, orthodox young men get run out of seminary for being orthodox]

While some of the highest numbers of new priests are in the Catholic-majority cities of Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordinations in Washington, D.C. (18 last year) and Chicago (26) also are booming. The biggest gains are not only in traditional Catholic strongholds. In Lincoln, Neb., Catholics constitute only 16% of the population yet have some of the strongest numbers of ordinations. In 2011, there were 10 men ordained as priests in Lincoln. [Hmmm…Lincoln has Bishop Bruskewitz. Bruskewitz is perhaps the most orthodox bishop in the country.  Maybe there is a connection……..duh!]


What explains the trend? Nearly 20 years ago, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then leader of the Omaha, Neb., diocese, suggested that when dioceses are unambiguous and allow a minimum of dissent about the male, celibate priesthood, more candidates answer the call to the priesthood. [Archbishop Curtiss was correct.  Orthodoxy leads to all kinds of benefits, from vocations to salvation] Our preliminary research on the correlates of priestly ordinations reveals that the dioceses with the largest numbers of new priests are led by courageous bishops with faithful and inspirational vocations offices.

Leadership and adherence to church doctrine certainly distinguish the bishop of Lincoln, the Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz. He made national news in 1996 when he stated that members of dissident Catholic groups including Call to Action and Catholics for Choice had automatically excommunicated themselves from the church. [And the Diocese of Lincoln has consistently led the country in percentage of priestly vocations in relation to the number of Catholics. As such, even small parishes in the Diocese have their own priest, which helps insure even more vocations later]

Cardinal Francis George, the longtime leader of the Chicago archdiocese, once gave a homily that startled the faithful by pronouncing liberal Catholicism “an exhausted project . . . parasitical on a substance that no longer exists.” Declaring that Catholics are at a “turning point” in the life of the church in this country, the cardinal concluded that the bishops must stand as a “reality check for the apostolic faith.”  [Wow……I never knew George spoke thus.  Say more, Cardinal George!]

It’s not a secret.  The “formula” to a vibrant, growing, faith-filled Church is not heresy, dissent, and modernist anti-clericalism and false, illusory “empowerment” of the laity.  It’s orthodoxy, prayer, mortification, and adhering to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the great Tradition of the Faith.  That leads to vocations, the saving of souls, true renewal in the Church, and a vibrant faith.

The 50 odd year liberal-run embrace of the world is, I pray, coming to an end.  It cannot come soon enough. 

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