jump to navigation

No evidence for a “Francis effect” so far December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, manhood, Papa, pr stunts, Sacraments, sadness, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, the return.

Many in the press, some Catholic pundits included, have tried to put forth a pious hope (or a forlorn hope) that, while we might find some of Pope Francis’ actions and statements disconcerting and troubling with respect to the constant belief and practice of the Faith, he was reaching new heights of outreach to disaffected Catholics and those outside the Faith, comforting them by dispelling all that troubling “mess” concerning dogma and beliefs, presenting a picture of a very warm, inviting and non-judgmental Church that would open its arms to receive all these lost sheep back into Her fold. We have been told there was a great “Francis effect” brewing, and that this effect would soon produce all kinds of beneficial results for the Church.  We have been presented with anecdotal evidence of long lines for Confession in Italy, all kinds of excitement brewing in the Holy City, and a general, hoped for boom in the very long-delayed “new evangelization.”

Well, the data is in, and so far, it doesn’t look like the results have materialized as hoped for.  In fact, Palmaro and Gnocchi claim that Mass attendance has continued to fall in Italy since last March, and we now have data from a secular polling firm that Mass attendance in the US has, thus far, remained completely unmoved by any “Francis effect” (h/t Rorate):

Francis effect

Now, obviously, it’s very early, but data from at least two countries, and some anecdotal evidence from others, suggests any “Francis effect” is going to be rather small.

Historically, haven’t we been down this road before?  One of the progressive’s major selling points for the changes they foisted on the Church in the 60s/70s timeframe, was that finally getting with the liberal program would lead to just scads of converts and that the Church would experience a new springtime that would make the original Pentecost seem tame by comparison.

Well, around 50 years later, we’re still awaiting a prolonged thaw in the frozen nightmare of this long-delayed “new springtime.”  The fundamental error in the progressive’s claim was that those who they are trying to reach have already checked out of the Church, pretty much permanently, and these types aren’t going to respond to more of the same liberalism that played a huge role in leading them out of the Church in the first place.  The only thing that has proven effective in the past few decades at re-energizing the Faith and even bringing some people back in is solid orthodoxy/praxis.

Once again, the progressives in and outside the Church are convinced they have their man in Rome, and that their dreams of a great new Pentecost of liberal embrace of the Church is just around the corner. I suppose we’ll see, but the data thus far looks like more of the same is only going to produce more of the same sad, failed results.

On a somewhat related note, I hope to have some thoughts on the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium tomorrow.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, miserere nobis!


1. Lorra - December 3, 2013

I eagerly await your thoughts on the Apostolic Exhortation. I have my thoughts on it too. 😦

2. john - December 3, 2013

Great point. If it weren’t for the solid orthodoxy I found (instead of my comingback confession where my local priest drug use, pornography, and masturbation weren’t sins worthy of penance, I fear I’d be continuing lost in the wilderness.
Loosening up laws and liberalisation of church teaching only allowed me to continue in my downward spiral.

3. Don - December 3, 2013

There is much anecdotal evidence from many priests and some bishops of increased Mass attendance and confessions in Italy and England, and a few other countries as well. Your post has an odd air about it, as if you hope there is no Francis effect anywhere in the world if there isn’t one in America.

On another topic —

Evangelii Gaudium is no more than classic Catholic teaching reiterated.

Woody - December 3, 2013


4. Jacob - December 3, 2013

Shouldn’t we only tell Jesu, miserere nobis?

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis!

Sancta Trinitas, Unus Deus, miserere nobis!!!

tantamergo - December 3, 2013

No, we can ask anyone to have mercy on us, especially someone who can intercede for us. The Blessed Mother is the Mediatrix of All Grace. That is a reason to implore Her mercy. She is also, in the hearts of many Catholics, Co-Redemptrix. Enough said.

But even if we take a smaller view of Our Blessed Mother, we can ask anyone who can intercede for us to have mercy on us and do so.

5. DiscipleoftheDumbOx - December 3, 2013

Post modern man needs the cold, hard truth and not ‘bullfrogs and butterflies’, as it were. He is chained to his sins even unknowingly and forced into a life of aimless wandering. He needs to become aware of his depravity and given to know also the remedy, that is, Christ the Lord. Post modern man has had too much of nice and it has been found severly wanting. He needs the true leadership and sacrifical love that leads to repentence and conversion.

6. Daniel O'Connor - December 3, 2013

Read the Apostolic Exhortation. Francis is not calling for “more of the same liberalism that played a huge role in leading them out of the Church.” He is asking for an ever more zealous focus on the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. That is the last thing the modernist liberals want. He also points out, in it, that it is counterproductive merely to accompany people who are on a wayward path (which is precisely what the modernist liberals insist upon). Please, read it.

tantamergo - December 3, 2013

Sorry, my point was that the progressive factions in the Church are trying to make Francis a replay of the 60s/70s era. It wasn’t a comment on the Pope’s actual policies.

7. becca - December 4, 2013

It is not ‘classic Catholic teaching’ that the Koran doesn’t teach violence, Islam is peace, and Jews still have their covenant unrevoked. Read more classic Catholic teaching please!

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: