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Thank God – all our problems are behind us! September 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, secularism, silliness, the return.

Pope Francis has declared – solemnly, from the Chair of St. Peter (no, not really, I kid, don’t freak out!) – that the Church has never been better off than it is today.  This statement was actually made at a meeting with the Roman clergy at the Lateran Baslica:

I dare say that the Church has never been so well as it is today. The Church does not collapse: I am sure of it, I am sure of it!”

Given this awesome assurance, perhaps a Te Deum could be sung in St. Peter’s for this great triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil?

To parse it a bit, of the second sentence I have no doubt, if by “collapse,” one means that it will never disappear, go away, cease to exist.  Of that, we have Divine assurance. But if you are referring to all the signs of health, growth, vitality, influence, and leadership of the world’s culture, this is an incredible statement to make, and directly counter to numerous declarations of his predeccesor, as both Pope and as a Cardinal.  And not just one predecessor, but numerous popes going back decades, centuries even, have lamented the collapse of Christendom and the tribulations of the Church!

Statistically speaking, on 3 of the 5 continents where the Church has a large presence, this statement is directly counter to almost any statistic one would like to quote.  And even on those 2 continents (Asia, Africa) where the statistical data may not be so bad in terms of numbers professing the Faith, church attendance, numbers baptized and married in the Church, etc., on one of those continents (Asia) there is rampant problematic theology, and the adherence to the Faith is often as weak and worldly as one finds in the “developed” countries.  With Africa, Michael Voris and others have put forth compelling evidence that all is far from well with the Church, there, too.

I must note, that such declarations are most frequently made by those driven by a desire to “canonize” the most recent Council, and generally by those of a progressive bent, although one can certainly find some examples to the contrary.  That is not to say the Holy Father can be counted in this group, at all. It’s simply that the statement is similar to many that have been made by various progressives, especially in the period 1965-1978, or so.  To the progressive mind, this is the “greatest epoch” in the history of the Church, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, because this is the only time in the Church’s history where they have held great sway, even dominant sway, in the Church.

So, I say all the above not so much to criticize, as just to ask in wonderment, what could the Holy Father be referring to?  In what respects has the Church “never been so well as it is today?”  I must admit to feeling hard pressed to naming virtually any area where the Church is in better shape than it was 50 or 60 years ago.  Does it mean that Pope Francis holds a unique or novel interpretation of what constitutes the Church?

I really do not know.  But I strongly suggest, and will strive to do myself, great offerings of prayers and mortifications for our Holy Father and his correspondence with God’s Will and the good of souls.  Perhaps an extra daily Rosary, or a perpetual Novena, or some other prayers?  Don’t just get upset!  Do something about it that will help!


1. TG - September 16, 2013

Jimmy Akin will explain in Nat. Catholic Register. (I would insert a smilely face if I knew how.)

2. John - September 16, 2013

I understand that getting upset doesnt help but come on!

This squares perfectly with a HORRIBLE liturgical experience I had in San Antonio over the weekend. The church was thoroughly Protestant-like, yet it was named after Saint Brigid. I almost couldnt bear to be there but I had my Sunday duty. The tabernacle was missing from the Church itself, instead put in a room off to the side. There was a table in the middle of the Church (no altar whatsoever) and the entire congregation faced each other in a large circle. Very man-centered. I really don’t like to “bad talk” a specific church, but this was an utter embarrassment. I’ve been going to TLM for several months now so I knew the liturgy would be a shock, but the “liturgical music ministers” had their hands into so much that they actually changed the words to the Lords Prayer so it would fit into the song better.
I wont get into the altar girl “priestess”, scores of “Eucharistic ministers” (while Father sat down), hand holding, people grabbing (taking instead of receiving) communion with fingers on the way out the door. The music was “praise” Protestant like, with folks waving hands, piano, drumset, clarinets, and other charismatic horrors.

I dont know what I would do if I was forced to go to a liturgical nightmare like that again.

I truly see the statement from Fr Z now. Save the Liturgy, Save the World. Our Catholic identity is attacked by litugies like this.

I would understand if someone coming back or debating to come into the Church would either wonder “this is just like a mega-church, without the cool community stuff” or “what is going on here, I dont like “Catholicism”. Sorry, but these masses don’t feel Catholic – Although we know they are. But for the outsiders, not so much

Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - September 16, 2013

Yeah. It is pretty bad down there. I can only recommend one church, that is, Our Lady of the Atonement off of 1604. Next time you find yourself down that way, I would encourage you to make every effort you can to attend Mass there. You won’t regret it.

tantamergo - September 16, 2013

Gotta back up Raul. There is also a TLM at St. Pius X parish at 11a every Sunday.

tantamergo - September 16, 2013

Yes, San Antonio is a liturgical – and theological – wasteland. Most of the parishes there are barely Catholic, if at all.

I wonder how Fr. Z is “reading Francis through Benedict” now.

RC - September 16, 2013

I completely agree, with the convert thing. I came into the Church in 2011, and if I had not know 100% the the Catholic Church was THE CHURCH then I would have been gone in a heartbeat..as a matter of fact, the first Mass I went to was a lifeteen Mass at a parish in Denton where there was clapping, and I got up and walked out. Sometimes I wish I would have just stayed agnostic…it was so much easier. But I’m thankful to be Catholic 😉

3. TG - September 16, 2013

I’ll try never to spend a night in San Antonio over the weekend. That’s one reason I don’t like to travel and go to a different parish. I don’t know what to expect. The times I have traveled I was fortunate not to encounter anything like what John described or clown masses.

RC - September 16, 2013

Just do what I do. Every time I travel, if there is no TLM available, I will only go to an Eastern Rite parish, and if one of those is not available then I find the most conservative parish I can by looking at their website.

TG - September 18, 2013

If you’re in Temple, go to St. Mary’s Saturday 5:30pm vigil or the 7:30 a.m Sunday for the most conservative Catholic church in town. The 9:15am choir gets on my nerves due to the hymns they pick and you may not like the guitars at the 11am. I can tolerate it. Sad to have to use the word tolerate. All the choirs at this church do follow the rubrics of the liturgy. The tabernacle is also in the center. Only 2 EEM or 3 if the deacon does not assist. SS. Cyril & Methodius in Granger also has a pretty orthodox priest now. He used to be at St. Mary’s in Temple a few years back. I always liked his homilies. He has no problem with speaking the truth and is already causing a mess in Granger. My sister said at the homily he said he will do whatever he has to and will not be influenced by how much money anyone gives to the parish.

Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - September 19, 2013

Temple, Tx? That’s where yours truly grew up, though as a Southern Baptist so the only experiences I had with Catholicism there was when I was in the Boy Scouts. We used to meet at that Catholic Church situated somewhat near that strip mall where my favorite bookstore used to be. St. Luke’s, I believe…

4. Elizabeth - September 17, 2013

And he also said this at the same time:

“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before”.

These two separate statements, apparently his off-the-cuff style of communication, are equally baffling in their own way, and seem to completely contradict each other.

Is it just me? Why is it that literally everything this Pope says has to be bandied about amongst journalists, bloggers, laity, trying to figure out what he meant by such and such statement? It seems that nothing that he says can be simply taken as clear, matter-of-fact statements of orthodox Catholic truth. I’m continually baffled and am frankly getting to the point of wanting to NOT read anymore of what the Pope says just to avoid the irritation, anger, confusion, and frustration.

5. Marie Dean (@supertradmum) - September 17, 2013

The Church is only is a good situation now in that more and more Catholics are beginning to see the rot of the last seventy years.

And we are being persecuted-persecution brings perfection, not complacency

6. Catechist Kev - September 17, 2013

Priest: “…and we should not look down on other religions as well. Their religions offer salvation as well.”

“I think this dialogue shows just how far we still have to go. This is such every day heresy that nobody else even reacted to it Have things gotten better? Sure, some things. But your boat sinking a little more slowly is not much to celebrate.” Pat Arcbold, NCRegister article “A Long Way to Go”


7. Kenjiro Shoda - September 17, 2013

This comment by pope Francis would be humerous if it were not so pathetic. The stats speak 100% the opposite. It is laughable that the man would make such an unbelievable statement.
The late, great Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (an ardent traditionalist who despised the reforms of Vatican II especially with regards to the Holy Mass), said that it will take the Roman Catholic Church 200 years first to discard, then to recover from Vatican II and it’s reforms.
He is probably right.

8. Marie Dean (@supertradmum) - September 17, 2013

Kenjiro Shoda…I do not think we shall have that much time.

9. Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - September 17, 2013

Ugh…it is very hard not to imagine a particular scene from a particular Monty Python film when reading this. While the flock is being persecuted and crucified and the Church appears to be going in a negative direction, as it were, we are being reminded to ‘Always look on the bright side of life!’. (I dare not post that scene here.) One wonders if the Pope ever saw that film? Curious. St. Robert Bellarmine, ora pro nobis.

10. Christopher Ekstrom - September 17, 2013

That is in direct contradiction of the much more plausible acknowledgement of Benedict that we are a smaller church. These breathless statements seem ineffectual & suspicious. Actions following these words to be worse?

11. CT - September 18, 2013

Nope Frank the Casual, this is proof positive that you are high!

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