Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
If one judged by the actions of two of the three most recent popes, one would have to conclude that opposing heresy even to the point of violence is always wrong, and that the Church has almost always erred in “doing so,” or supporting the secular power in doing so. So was it wrong to repress a noxious heresy that posited only two Sacraments and led hundreds of thousands if not millions astray? Or was it wrong to excommunicate prelates who explicitly rejected the Primacy of Peter, or who embraced any of a number of errors in protestantism?
Eliot Bougis claims this is a sterling example of everything wrong with Dignitatis Humanae. I would have a hard time arguing with that:
Pope Francis met on Monday with members of the Waldensian movement, an ecclesial community which suffered persecution from Catholic authorities from the 12th to 17th centuries. He apologized for the Church’s “non-Christian attitudes and behavior” towards the Waldensians during that period.
“Reflecting on the history of our relations, we can only grieve in the face of strife and violence committed in the name of faith, and ask the Lord to give us us the grace to recognize we are all sinners, and to know how to forgive one another,” the Pope said June 22 at a Waldensian temple in Turin. [But such a view can only be posited if one believes in universal salvation, can it not? Or nearly universal? Otherwise, allowing souls to remain in errors that deny them salvation would be an evil even greater, far greater, than whatever violence committed in the name of the Church the Pope has in mind?]
“I ask forgiveness for the non-Christian – even inhuman – attitudes and behaviors which, through history, we have had against you. In Jesus Christ’s name, forgive us!” [This is incredibly dangerous. So Pope Francis has now, rhetorically, at least, “excommunicated” popes, bishops, and Saints of the past for their part in repressing this heresy, among others. So popes (and others) are allowed to excoriate previous popes, but we can’t critically examine the actions of the current one? What is the time limit on the embargo of papal criticism? Is it simply when the “old beliefs” fall out of fashion, then it’s open season?]
Monday’s encounter marks the first meeting between a Pope and the Waldensian community. Founded in Lyon in the late twelfth century, it is currently centered in Italy’s Piedmont region, which Pope Francis visited June 21-22.
The movement was founded by Peter Waldo, and embraced evangelical poverty and lay preaching, and believed there were only two sacraments. The movement’s ideas were condemned as early as the Third Lateran Council, in 1179. Beginning in the early 1200s, many Waldensians were executed on account of heresy. [By the secular authority, not the Church, do note. The Church desires not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. But when some persist in formal heresy for a protracted period of time, and do grave damage to souls, it is not entirely surprising that the secular authority would take this step in a rightly ordered concern for souls and to maintain the public order]
…….Pope Francis told the community, “On behalf of the Catholic Church, I ask for your forgiveness.” [I just cannot stand all these apologias. They are meaningless PR events and I have a very difficult time not seeing them as simply self-serving grandstanding]
During the meeting, the Roman Pontiff praised ecumenical advancements which have been made among those united in baptism and belief in Christ. [I wonder just how united in belief in Christ we really are, and is that not the core of the problem?]
“This tie is not based on simple human criteria, but on the radical sharing of founding experience of Christian life: the encounter with the love of God who reveals to us Jesus, and the transformative action of the Holy Spirit who helps us on life’s journey.” [But Holy Father, did you not also say that muslims have no need to convert and have their own path to salvation, separate from that through Jesus Christ?]
Pope Francis noted that this communion “is still on a journey, which, with prayer, with continual personal and communal conversion, and with the help of the theologians, [ominous?] we hope, trusting in the action of the Holy Spirit, can become full and visible communion in truth and charity.”
He added that unity, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, is not the same as uniformity. [Yes, but “unity” is also a heckuva lot more than shared baptism, isn’t it? What happens when the first mortal sin is committed by a non-Catholic who has no conception of perfect contrition and no recourse to sacramental Confession? Are they still “united?”]
“In fact, our brethren are united by a common origin but are not identical to one another.”
The Holy Father cited the scriptures, which speak of different charisms and gifts.
However, wars often break out when these do not accept these differences of others, he said. [They break out because words and beliefs MEAN THINGS, and wrong belief, the Church has known for 2000 years, in matters of Dogma is a matter affecting SALVATION.]
Pope Francis thanked God that the relationship between Catholics and Waldensians continue today to be ever more rooted in “mutual respect and fraternal charity.”……..
………There are various areas where the Church and the Waldensians could work together, he said, one being evangelization. [So how does that work…..when the Church and Waldensians hold mutually exclusive beliefs? And why are we exerting so much effort over a tiny sect when millions fall away from the Church every year?]
………Pope Francis concluded by saying a“new way of unity begins with seeing the “grandeur of our shared faith and life in Christ and the Holy Spirit,” before taking into account the differences which exist.
How long, and to what extent, do we bask in this grandeur before we can take into account the differences? And how many souls get lost in the interim. The Waldensians are a small sect. In the grand scheme of things they don’t amount to much. But there are other, far larger sects that gobble up millions of souls a year -the longer we bask, the more souls fall away.
There is a horrible conceit that troubles our times, one that is rooted in modernism and libertine ideas inherited from the endarkenment. That conceit is that we are oh-so-much smarter and more sensitive than our forebears. I don’t think that is true at all. I think in fact we are a lot dumber than our forebears.
In all these apologias – and Pope Francis is not the first pope to make them, though they were unheard of prior to 1980 – this conceit is, I think, operative. Also operative is a kind of indifference that is really appalling. What is being implied is that people in the way back were just really awful, bloodthirsty, war-mongering people, people who just wanted to kill others more or less for sport, or for power, or whatever base reason. Of course, we are so much above that, we just have to condemn our lamentable forerunners in the Faith, including some notable popes and Saints (Saint Dominic was very involved in the crushing of the Albigensian heresy, including its more martial aspects).
But what if there really are – as the Church infallibly believes – errors that are so severe and noxious they literally cut you off from salvation if you knowingly profess them? What if these errors are clever and pernicious and become widely accepted? What if millions of people put their eternal souls in danger through these errors? And if you really do, as the Church used to, at least until ~1958, believe that this life is short, and that eternity is forever, and that God really does condemn people to hell, and not just a few, but a whole bunch of them (the Exodus from Egypt being the type for our sojourn on earth, with only 2 out of 600,000 Israeli men making it to the Promised Land)…….what lengths would you not go to prevent souls from falling into hell? Given fervent belief in the danger of heresy and the reality of damnation (just as real a fact today as it was in 1179), could you not even reasonably conclude that in some situations, in order to prevent souls from suffering in hell for all eternity, it might even be preferable to put to death a relatively few, as St. Ephraem said earlier today, incorrigibly corrupted, heretical people to death in order to keep many more from falling into errors that will lead to their eternal destruction?
Well, that is exactly how the Church always thought and reasoned, until the last few years, anyways, before gaining the approval of the world trumped the good of souls in the post-conciliar Church. Would anyone like to argue that point, that to a marked degree, the approval of the world is the guiding concern for most leadership in the Church over the past several decades, the good of souls be damned, so to speak? And isn’t universal salvation, then, quite a handy little thing to trot out when explaining the dichotomy that exists between the behavior of the Church that was, and the Church that is?
In comparison to the belief and practice to the Church as it existed for over 1900 years, the modern ecumenical approach is so divorced from true charity for souls that it would have scandalized to their core so many pious souls, good priests, dutiful bishops, and great Saints of the past. Is the modern ecumenical movement really grounded in love for souls, or in love for the world?
I really should send a letter to Pope Francis asking him if I made a mistake in becoming Catholic.
But you know what, I don’t think I need to……..I’m quite sure I know what answer he would give, if he would respond. Much more importantly, however, I know I did NOT make a mistake, it was the best thing I could have ever done, and I pray I shall never waver in that belief.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Ecumenism, family, foolishness, Glory, history, manhood, persecution, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory.
The older I get, the more I hate CGI movies. I watched Aliens twice over the 3 day weekend, and save for some blue screen shots of aerial scenes, every single bit of that movie stands out as being more realistic and convincing than even the best CGI ever done, and by a wide margin. I don’t like James Cameron personally, but Aliens was a triumph of art direction, special effects, costumes, and everything else that creates a believable world. You can argue about the merits of the story told all you want, but I don’t think the fact that it was a technical triumph can be disputed.
Last year, I did a post about a new Polish movie that told the tale of the Second Siege of Vienna (1683). I didn’t know much about it then, only that it had a scene of the awesome charge of the Polish winged hussars. That movie (Day of the Siege, 2012) was just becoming available in the US at that time. Someone has uploaded more extensive scenes from the movie to Youtube, and here they are, in their, ahem, glory:
The movie is respectful of the Church
The movie makes clear that this was a fight not between rival secular powers, but all about religion, and the true Faith.
The film makes clear there was a definite moral difference between Christianity and islam. One is a religion of peace and love that will fight if it has to, the other is a religion of war and subjugation that tolerates peace when it has to.
F. Murray Abraham is in it
The charge of the winged hussars is awesome and quite well done. It mixes in some live action, thank goodness
There are a few other compelling action scenes
The movie seems to convey a supernatural element to the Christian victory
Production values are atrocious. I’m sorry, the CGI is incredibly fake looking and abysmal. I would say that the family made Navis Pictures have quite superior production values, and I cut them a huge amount of slack because they are just a good homeschooling family making deliberately inexpensive Catholic films.
Some glaring errors: Turkey did not exist in 1683. It was the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople’s name was not changed until after WWI in the fall of the Ottoman Empire and its replacement by the modern Turkish state.
The monk played by F. Murray Abraham uses a ferula exactly like the hideous, radioactively ugly one of Paul VI/JPII/Pope Francis. Modernist art in 1683?
The acting is generally of a low standard
The script leaves much to be desired
There is quite a bit of gore. Probably not suitable for kids.
The movie was made in Poland in 2012. It came to the North American market last year. If you really want to see islam get crushed and aren’t particular about production values, then go crazy. I don’t think I’ll be buying this one, as intensely interested as I am in the subject matter, and no matter how much I’d like to see the largest heavy cavalry charge in history…….but done right. So I think I’ll skip this one.
A final thought…..Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said that war is politics by other means. I would say that prayer is warfare by other means……but could the reverse hold true? Warfare, conducted lawfully and with the support of the Church, is prayer by other means? “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends?” Our Lord never indicates He is a pacifist, or even hates war. He has in fact positively encouraged it at times. Our Lord incarnate Jesus Christ famously took a whip to the moneychangers in the temple.
Just a random thought.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, SOD, SSPX, the return, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
This may be getting a bit old now, but Pat Archbold wrote a piece for The Remnant a week ago that I think expresses my own views towards the Society of Saint Pius X as well as any I’ve seen (and probably better than I’ve been able to formulate). I have gotten some grief for not coming down as hard on the Society as some would like. But just yesterday, I got a very nice compliment from a woman (thanks, K) who reads this blog and agrees with my approach to this subject. And so this seemingly irreconcilable matters continues apace. I have always felt that each side talks past the other, with each possessing arguments the other side cannot refute: yes the SSPX is in an irregular canonical situation and yes the validity of their faculties/jurisdiction are at least highly debatable, but on the other hand the SSPX is quite right in pointing out that there are elements in the Council and post-conciliar doctrinal approaches which are extremely difficult to reconcile with the Church’s 2000 year perennial belief, and that a crisis has afflicted the Church, almost unprecedented in its severity, precisely due to those novelties.
But Mr. Archbold says it much better than I (my emphasis and comments):
But another more surprising group regularly engages in vehement criticism of the SSPX. These are Catholics who embrace the hermeneutic of continuity. They understand that the Church is 2,000 years old and cannot ever contradict her own teaching, that proper worship is critically important, and regularly pray with beads in a pre-1965 manner.In fairness, many of these Catholics looked upon the 1988 episcopal consecrations without papal mandate of Archbishop Lefebvre as a grave act of disobedience and a “schismatic act.” Whether or not you accept Archbishop Lefebvre’s justification for the act, one must recognize the great danger to unity that this act engendered.
Before I move on, let me be clear that I have never assisted mass at an SSPX chapel………I was and am that concerned about unity and obedience.[I not only have never set foot in an SSPX chapel, I’ve never even seen one from a distance. I guess I trump Mr. Archbold, then……heh]
At the same time, it does nothing to diminish the seriousness of Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions to acknowledge that I would likely not even have had the option of a diocesan-approved traditional mass were it not for Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX. In fact, there might not have even been an SSPX hadn’t the Church in large part acted most ungenerously toward those rightfully attached to tradition…..
Further, it is almost undoubtedly true that we would not have had Summorum Pontificum were it not for the stalwartness SSPX and the intransigent and ungenerous response of most Bishop’s to Pope St. John Paul’s call for a “generous response of Bishops towards the “legitimate aspirations” of the faithful.” [I agree with all these points. I am convinced that, humanly speaking, without the SSPX, the TLM would not be present now, and powerful forces would exist to prevent it from ever being offered again. The “abrogation” of Paul VI would remain now and into the foreseeable future. I also know that groups like the FSSP and IBP would not exist were it not for the SSPX.]
Yet, as a consequence of episcopal consecrations, Pope John Paull II excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre and the four new Bishops. For years, many hermeneutic of continuity type Catholics cited this excommunication as the principle or sole reason to view the entirety of the SSPX in schism, even though the Church herself never formally declared them to be so.But this is all a moot point now as Pope Benedict lifted these excommunications in 2009. All that remains is for the Church to grant the SSPX a proper canonical standing. In no way do I wish to minimize the seriousness of the situation the SSPX is currently in or the necessity of proper faculties for distribution of the sacraments. But yet, among many Catholics who embrace the hermeneutic of continuity, their vehemence in declaring the SSPX in schism has remained and in some cases increased. But only doctrinal issues remain unresolved before the SSPX preventing proper canonical standing. [I do think the SSPX has become something of a cross between a boogeyman and punching bag. There are certainly valid criticisms to make and concerns to raise, but much of the rhetoric directed at the SSPX is even more inflamed and over the top than that directed at the modernist wreckovators. Divining motives is always dicey, and probably improper, but this opprobrium seems to have some deep psychological motivations.]
But among those who thoroughly embrace a hermeneutic of continuity we continue to see a sweaty vehemence among some declaring the SSPX in schism. With the excommunications lifted, they declare the “doctrinal issues” between the Church and the SSPX to now be the great divide.
All acknowledge a divide between the SSPX and the Church on how to express the immutable truths declared by the Church. Yet, truth requires context.
The SSPX acknowledge the Second Vatican Council as a legitimate council. They also agree that large parts of the documents of Vatican II fairly state perennial Catholic teaching. But there are certain documents and certain parts of documents that do not obviously express continuous Catholic teaching, particularly in the areas of ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality. [Yes, indeed]
Implicitly acknowledged by all who promote a “hermeneutic of continuity” is that the Council’s writings do not obviously or easily reconcile with prior magisterium on these topics. Otherwise, why would promotion of such a hermeneutical lens even be necessary? [There are certainly arguments that say, well, the Council has never been implemented fairly/correctly, but why is Vatican II unique in the past 1000+ years of Councils in being so darned easily misinterpreted/misapplied? Why is there still massive debate in the Church on what the documents actually say or mean? I agree with Pat, the fact there has to be a correct “key” to understanding the Council is prima facie evidence of problems of clarity or specificity within it. No other Council since the early Church has been so confounding. Of course, Vatican II was the first Council never to define any Dogma nor declare any anathemas]
…..Any fair-minded person must admit that the Society’s positions on the topics of ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality at any time prior to 1960 were completely humdrum and uncontroversial restatements of obvious Catholic teaching. Is it possible a humdrum and uncontroversial statement of immutable teaching in 1960 is now controversial and even heretical in 1970 or 2015? How can we promote a hermeneutic of continuity on the one hand and on the other say that a formerly fine presentation of Catholic teaching (within living memory of many) should now be forbidden and considered harmful or even heretical?
It seems to me that you cannot have it both ways. You cannot truly accept a hermeneutic of continuity and consider such views as harmful or heretical. It also suggests that the doctrinal problems that currently prevent canonical recognition are not entirely on the side of the society. Clearly, the Church needs to work through some issues herself.
Before I conclude, there are some who say the problems with the SSPX are not so much doctrinal as disciplinary. They maintain that the SSPX still refuses to submit to the ordinary authority of the Church and thus remains schismatic. I think this is a valid point, but I think it also puts the cart before the horse to some degree, because it fails to answer why the SSPX finds themselves in this predicament. That reason, of course, gets back to the doctrinal issues outlined above, and the Society’s refusal to accept doctrinal approaches (they cannot be definitions, as nothing was formally defined) emphasized at Vatican II.
But really, this entire drama surrounding the SSPX has for a long time for me come down to one paramount matter: how far up the chain of hierarchy in the Church are you willing to assign blame for the present crisis afflicting the Church? Some quite vehemently (and correctly) blast all manner of bishops and priests for being progressives, modernists, unfaithful, or even for adhering to a different religion. But many of those same folks steadfastly refuse to countenance at least any public criticism of the conciliar and post-conciliar Popes, and of course not the current pontiff. Which position seemed much more tenable from 1978-2013, when it appeared, if one turned a blind eye to many indicators, that the pontiffs were trying to enforce that hermeneutic of continuity. Now that we have a Pope who seems to have a very much different view of how to interpret the Council and the proper direction for the Church, that policy of never assigning any responsibility for the state of the Church to the highest level appears, to me at least, increasingly untenable, if not outright ridiculous.
And I think the tension created by that reality may be driving some of the recently amped-up animus towards the SSPX. I think it really disturbs folks to have to contemplate the idea that the Pope, whichever one, is not the beacon of orthodoxy he should be. I can certainly understand that viewpoint. The concept of infallibility has been distorted and badly misunderstood, to the point that some people will passionately argue that a Pope can never do anything even slightly deleterious with regard to faith and morals. That disordered understanding is a large part of the reason that we find ourselves in the mess we do.
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory.
I remember, growing up, the idea that there was a great Cold war between the “Christian West” and the atheist, communist East. Boy have things changed. Today we have the Polish head of state defending the sanctity of the Blessed Sacrament and the citizens of Moscow steadfastly opposing sodomy as some evil from the atheistic, decadent EU(meaning West). Good on both of them:
On the National Thanksgiving Day, which was established in late 18th Century to commemorate Poland’s patriotic struggle for independence, thousands of the inhabitants of Warsaw took part in an annual open-air Holy Mass, also massively attended by top state officials with the President-Elect Andrzej Sebastian Duda in person.
During the Holy Communion a sudden gust of wind blew off one of the consecrated Hosts from the chalice that was held by a priest giving the Corpus Christi to the gathered believers. Unseen by any of the participants, a small Host dropped on the ground and then driven by the wind rolled along the pavement for a several meters before It finally stopped in front of the kneeling and praying newly elected President Andrzej Duda. Having spotted the Holy Host rolling on the ground, the President spontaneously rushed to catch It with his hands and then strode up to the altar where he handed It over to the Cardinal Nycz, who was celebrating the Mass.
This unprecedented event was caught by the camera eye and could be observed on TV screens by millions of Poles all across the country.
You can see him picking the Host up here.
That is a man with obvious reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. You could see he was unsure what to do after rescuing the Host. Then he brought it to Cardinal Nycz, who has been steadfast in opposing proposed “pastoral changes” to the Church’s Doctrine on divorce, attempted bigamy, and the Blessed Sacrament:
As for the Russians, who have experienced a miraculous restoration of their faith, a huge resurgence in the (still problematic and quite possibly politically compromised) Orthodox Church, and a significant turn towards Christian morality, they are having no part with the attempt to foist sodomy on their country by the craven West:
Those last bits of data are of enormous import. They reveal that this move in the US and so many other countries towards embrace of previously unmentionable evil is not some movement of the human spirit or some great advance in the recognition of “liberty,” but is the exhausted surrender of a culture in severe decay. Only 7 percent of Russians support pseudo-sodo-marriage, while 56 percent of pretended American “Catholics” think it’s great! That certainly shows the incredible effect pro-sodomy propaganda in the media has had, as well as the unbelievably impoverished understanding of marriage that exists in the US.
The public authorities and citizens of Moscow continued their long-standing resistance to homosexual ideology this year, stopping an unauthorized “gay pride” parade in the center of their city and arresting participants, according to reports in local and international media.
Despite being refused a permit for the tenth year in a row, parade organizers attempted to carry out a demonstration on Tverskaya Street, just across from the mayor’s office, but were foiled by pro-family counter-protesters and police, who descended upon them in large numbers to interrupt the illegal event……. [Are Russians braver or more faithful people than Americans? Why has there been no similar response from we Americans over the past several decades to the steady advance of the advocates of sodomy in our country?]
……Moscow authorities detained an estimated 20 people in all, representing both points of view.
The principal organizer of the event, Nikolai Alexeyev, was lead away with a bloody hand after police said he refused to obey orders. He was sentenced the following Monday to ten days in jail. [So this is hardly a really draconian response]Moscow residents are strongly opposed to homosexual “parades,” which are often the scenes of public nudity, obscene images, and even public sex acts, and see such events as direct attacks upon the values of their society. [None of the above can be effectively refuted]
They also see such events as infringing upon their culture perpetrated by the countries of the European Union, which treat the homosexual lifestyle as a “right” and have attempted to impose such marches on Moscow. In 2010, the EU-dominated European Court of Human Rights declared Moscow’s “pride” ban to be illegal and ordered the city to permit such parades. However, the government has refused to comply. [Lord, have we fallen. Terrible.]
According to a recent poll by Russia’s Levada Center, 84 percent of Russians oppose homosexual “marriage,” and only seven percent support it.
The public’s support for the country’s law banning homosexual propaganda has risen from 64 percent in 2013 to 74 percent today.
But there is more to the dichotomy: Russia is a country that shook off the shackles of communism only 23 years ago. Under communism, Russia had the highest rate of abortion in the world (the rate is still sky high), and also was one of the first countries to suffer under a regime of so-called no fault divorce. Divorce remains quite prevalent in Russian society. Contraceptive use is also rampant. I do think in the post-Christian West the faulty understanding of what marriage is, or should be, has played a huge role in people’s acceptance of this gravely evil “redefinition” of marriage. But Russians still today give evidence of suffering under the same misunderstandings. How is it possible then that they are able to see through this sick facade and comprehend the evil of sodomy, still? At least to the incredible degree that they do. Is the propaganda campaign – prevented by political leadership in Russia – the true source of the sodomites unprecedented victories in the fallen West?
Or…..could it have to do with faith? Even though Russia is still very sick in many respects (regarding marriage), many Russians have returned to at least a fairly serious practice of their Orthodox faith – a valid if schismatic Church that never went through anything quite like the aggiornamento that the Catholic Church experienced. I’m really just guessing, but it seems that more Russians today have a deep reverence for God, and allow God into their lives, than do Western Christians? If that is the difference, it would certainly make sense, and it would show the degree to which we block God’s magnificent beneficence in our culture when we reject him from our private lives.
I’m out of time! Maybe you can figure it out better than I, why the Russians are able to oppose this immoral madness and we are not!
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, persecution, sanctity, Society, Tradition, watch.
Cleaning out the ol’ inbox of items I haven’t had time to get to.
First up, a wealthy Christian man in Pakistan is building the largest cross in the country. This has peeved the country’s militant and thoroughly wacked-out muslim majority, but he’s continued the effort. There’s a catch, however, that will surely gladden the ecumaniac’s hearts:
Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross.
The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians here often face discrimination. A tiny minority of Pakistan’s 180 million people are Christians who eke out livings in menial jobs like garbage collection.
Christians have faced mob violence in blasphemy cases, which often turn out to be false allegations over personal disputes. Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad or other religious Islamic figures can be sentenced to death. [There was a time when the state authorities in Christian countries did the same. The Inquisition, contrary to its popular depiction, almost entirely made up by militant Church-hating endarkenment philosphes and their intellectual children, was actually a means used by the Church to afford the accused some rights in these kinds of proceedings]
Christians also face extremist attacks. A Taliban suicide attack outside two churches in Lahore in March killed 15 people during services. In 2013, another Taliban suicide attack killed over 80 people at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.
The persecution has forced some Christians to flee, though some remain, like businessman Parvez Henry Gill. Gill said he had a dream some two years ago in which God told him to do something for his community…..
“I want to show the world the Christian community in Pakistan has religious freedom,” he said….. [Yeah, tell that to Asia Bibi. I don’t know how you can have freedom when dozens of Christians are being beaten, bludgeoned, or blown up every year]
…….The construction of the cross came as a surprise to many living around it, neighbor Adnan Ali said. But Bishop Sadiq Danial of Church of Pakistan, an Episcopal church, said he offered to demolish the cross if it becomes too divisive, though he doubted it would come to pass. [What does that mean? Is the “bishop” going to get out there with a hammer and chisel and take the thing down? Typical Anglican approach, serve the world and multi-culti interests before Christ, not that I would expect much different]
“We spread peace,” he said.
And muslims answer with bombs and rockets. How’s that workin’ out for ya?
Now for something completely different, and much better – did you know the 33 buttons on the cassock worn by priests and bishops is symbolic of Christ’s 33 years on earth? That’s so awesome! Everything in the Church’s magnificent Tradition has meaning!
My wife also sent me this pic a few days ago. No particular message, just something to meditate on as we see indications of outright persecution rising all around us:
A couple more things. I saw this video below the other night and thought it had potential, but wound up being pretty stupid in its ending. First of all, a Predator would run through medieval level warriors, even the great Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, like a buzzsaw through butter. Secondly, I hated the “give peace a chance” ending. Thirdly, they did manage to make the Church, or at least the Templars, look corrupt and worldly. Fourthly, this wasn’t the “dark ages,” it was the Middle Ages. Finally, a woman? If you watch the video, you’ll see her at one point try run through some brush……she comes off dainty and silly. She’s no Joan of Arc.
Anyway, if you’ve got 20+ minutes to kill, you might give it a watch. It does have pretty high production values for such a low budget indie type effort:
Much better, an Texas Country Reporter episode on a couple that lives way out in West Texas with no electricity or running water. I wonder how far from Shafter they live? Looks pretty similar. They live in a 19th century standard of living and seem quite happy doing so. Good for them, that’s the kind of “prepping” I can understand, though I’m sure I’m too soft at present to be able to live like that:
Inbox now clean. Yay me.
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
And, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn, they find themselves really digging all those Jewish practices! The fulfillment of the interreligious dream?
More broadly, this article relates how these sisters, whose radicalism and rejection of traditional modes of religiouis life and piety were primary causes in the collapse of their orders, are seeing the glorious, vibrant orders they inherited off to extinction. This is a tragedy beyond human reckoning, because pious religious are the backbone of a healthy Church:
She always thought she would live out her days as she had for decades, in a convent under the time-honored Roman Catholic tradition of younger nuns dutifully caring for their older sisters.
But with few young women choosing religious life, her church superiors were forced to look elsewhere for care, and in the past year have sent Rooney and dozens of other nuns to Jewish Home Lifecare, a geriatric-care complex in the Bronx founded as a nursing home for elderly Jews.
“I wanted my convent, my great big chapel, my Stations of the Cross,” Rooney said. “The very name ‘Jewish Home’ turned me off. … I don’t think anyone came here with a heavier heart than me.”
Rooney and 57 other sisters, ages 73 to 98, have since adjusted nicely to their new accommodations and neighbors, becoming an active part of classes and continuing their ministry with good deeds like holding the hands of dying patients on the hospice floor…..
……There are now more sisters over age 90 than under age 60, said Mary Gautier, a researcher at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The center’s 2009 study found that 80 percent of the nuns in the country were over 60. [Most of the mainstream orders will no longer exist in 10-20 years. Some of the most storied names in the history of the Church in this country will be no more. Yes there have been cultural factors that have precipitated the decline, but the fact that there are a good number of orders, much more faithful to the traditional practice of religious life, who are burgeoning with beautiful young souls shows it is not simply a matter of culture…….these orders committed suicide by embracing a toxic blend of pagan piety, leftist politics, and worldly practices.]
“Their model of caring for their older sisters is no longer sustainable,” said Robin Eggert, president of the Realm consulting group, which has worked with several nuns’ orders to find solutions…..
……..The Sisters of Charity of New York has seen its numbers decline from a 1960s peak of 1,350 to 270 today, and no new sisters had joined in the U.S. in 20 years. It was the first order to put out a request for proposals that was answered by the nonprofit Jewish Home Lifecare. Two other orders based in Manhattan, the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary and the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, followed…….
……. While Jewish Home Lifecare is now nondenominational — most residents are Christian — its Jewish heritage remains apparent, with a resident rabbi and kosher-style meals in the independent living residences.
“I miss the bacon,” Richards said. Added Sister Maria Goretti Mannix, 83: “I notice that we never get ham or pork chops. The food is good, though.” [It is tragic that there is no Catholic alternative. Many of these orders stopped living in communal life years ago, so their current mode of living one to a room isn’t a huge shift for some]
[The most important part……]As the oldest nun to make the move, the once-skeptical [98 yo] Rooney said she has, in a sense, been “converted” by the kind welcome the nuns received.
“Now I go to the Jewish services as well as the Mass.”
I think poor Sister Rooney could not have demonstrated the reason for her predicament, and that of the vast majority of religious orders, any more concisely or accurately. That kind of worldly kum bay yah, any religion is as good as any other tripe has infected women’s religious orders particularly. But if that is the case, if any religion is about as good as any other, who would possibly answer a call to live a life of radical poverty and devotion to Jesus Christ? The reason for the unprecedented implosion of religious life in this country is contained in that sentence. And while Sister Rooney may be a wonderful person, she and those like her bear a huge and damning responsibility for all but destroying religious life in this country.
As I noted above, there are religious orders, male and female, that are growing and flourishing, and they do so because they continue to believe and act like faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, that complete dedication to the interior life and self-denial is the path to holiness, and that the Catholic Church is the sole body established on earth by Christ for the betterment and salvation of souls. In short, they never drank the leftist KoolAid, and are blessed with many vocations as a result. The worldly, “spirit of Vatican II” orders are on an express train to extinction.
Some say these religious orders were led astray by radical Jesuits and others, but faith is a choice, and so is the embrace of something other than the Faith. No one put a gun to anyone’s head. If some of these orders or individual religious were duped into embracing novelties and radical practices by bad, unholy men, that doesn’t remove all culpability. And the collapse of women’s religious life in particular has been so injurious to souls, to the institution of religious life generally, and to the Church as a whole……these women bear an awful, terrible responsibility.
They really do need a lot of prayers.
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, martyrdom, persecution, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Tradition, Virtue.
What a beautiful thing. Polish Christians – the vast majority Catholic – certainly know what it is like to experience a satanic persecution. Hitler hated them as much for their religion as for their ethnicity. Today, new totalitarians with a fanatical hatred for Christ and His Church are persecuting Christians around the Mideast, Africa, and many other places. Poland is moving to help the Christians persecuted by these totalitarians by allowing a small number to emigrate to their country:
Poland’s Prime Minister has announced that the country will take in 60 Christian families fleeing the conflict in Syria.
Ewa Kopacz, said on Tuesday that 60 families with children will be brought to the country “for a start”, and more families could potentially follow.
The Washington Post has reported that she also said that a Christian nation should be able to “quickly react” and offer help to Christians being “persecuted in a barbaric way in Syria”.
The decision follows criticism from Andrzej Duda, who won Poland’s presidential election over the weekend, that the government has been too slow in offering help to Syrian refugees.
For months a Polish-Syrian organisation has been asking permission to bring in around 300 Christian families from Syria.
Several European countries have taken in refugees from Syria but most have taken under 100. According to Amnesty International, 3.8 million Syrians have been welcomed in by neighbours Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
And how many has the United States – we who probably bear prime if not sole responsibility for this catastrophe! – taken in? Very few. A bill was proposed earlier this year in Congress to give priority to persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians to enter this country, but that bill has not advanced very far. It seems this nation means to leave Middle Eastern Christians, heirs of the most ancient Christian populations in the world, to their own grim fate. It is incredible but it seems militant islam may succeed in its goal of essentially de-Christianizing (and de-Judaizing) almost the entire Mideast, along with much of North Africa.
Amazingly, American policy has played a large role in that process. The list of things this nation has to answer for is very long and very sad.
I fear the reckoning for all this is not far off.
Armenian Christians slaughtered by Ottoman Turks circa 1915.
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Pat Archbold has an explosive post related to Pope Francis that is quite possibly the most troubling statement made by this Pontiff yet. After acknowledging that what he says may not only be controversial, but heretical, he then pronounces that he agrees with the devil that all Christians, be they evangelical, Orthodox, Lutheran, Catholics, or “Apostolic,” are “one.” He even pauses, announces out loud his doubts about what he is tempted to say, but then goes ahead and says it anyway. This starts at 4:10 in the video below:
Now, there are some people at CMR that are attacking Mr. Archbold severely, pretending that Pope Francis did not say what he plainly said. He is speaking in Spanish, which I read much better than I speak, but I’ve listened to the Pope and read the translation about 10 times now and it’s very close to how I would translate it. They leave out a bit that I think is important which I’ll include in the transcript below, which is mostly from the subtitles of the video but I make a few changes:
“I feel like saying something that may sound controversial……….or even heretical, I don’t know. But there is someone who “knows” (sabe – the verb used conveys knowing an intellectual fact) that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us*. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with the blood of martyrdom** He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care (or he is not interested) that they are Evangelicals , Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics, or Apostolic……he does not care! They are Christians! And that blood unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood.”
* – So the devil is using muslims as the vehicle of his persecution? Is this statement intended to absolve muslims for their guilt in murdering Christians around the world in their thousands every month? “The devil made them do it?”
**- So the devil now anoints us? What is he anointing us with? The blood – grace – of martyrdom. So the devil is playing a key role in the dispensing of grace?
Now, there has been tremendous confusion in the Church on just this subject of the ostensible unity of Christians in the post-conciliar period. This confusion is a prime reason why so many Catholics of conscience have serious concerns over Dignitatis Humanae and other VII products, documents that played key roles in introducing novel concepts regarding just who constitutes the Church and what means unity. The souls arguing against Archbold on this narrow point (he also brings up the scandal of appointing Fr. Timothy Radcliffe to a position of influence at the Vatican, and the Pope’s silence on the Irish sodo-“marriage” vote – those concerns get crickets, everyone is focused on this devil-unity statement) seem very confused on this matter – some persistently argue that because protestant baptisms can be valid, that means unity with the Church. But “unity” properly understood extends far beyond that, and once a protestant, possessing the proper mental faculties, accepts protestant errors condemned by the Church, the Grace of baptism is lost as he has now chosen to place himself outside the Church. This used to be clear. Virtually all Catholics used to firmly believe that those outside the Church had only the dimmest chances of salvation – if they believed they had any at all. But not anymore – which is why a lot of very bright souls wonder how it is possible to reconcile major aspects of the pre-and post-conciliar Magisterium.
Back to the Pope’s statement – my good Lord, have mercy on us. Has there ever been a Pope who would preface a highly controversial (and dubious) theological proposition with, essentially, “This may make me a heretic, but…….?” Simply on the prudential level, for any Catholic to make a public pronouncement like that is simply incredible, but for a prelate, let alone THE POPE?!?!?! There simply are no words.
Even if what he were saying were 100% orthodox, to be so imprudent as to promote uncertainty in the Pope’s theological standing, to assail the dignity of the office with a statement that, according to the Pope, might be heretical, to scandalize millions by declaring “I’m just not certain if this is heresy or not, which could land you and me in hell for all eternity, but here goes!”……just wow.
We are in totally uncharted waters. Yes, yes, John XXII, but that was one narrow matter on which he was clear he spoke as a private theologian. We get no such reassurances here. And it is almost certainly much more than one narrow topic.
We are deep into the Passion of the Church, indeed. Our Lady warned us and warned us……
UPDATE: More analysis from Eliot Bougis. Much of his commentary is directed at Jimmy Akin’s endless, credibility-snapping apologias for papal statements over the past 2 years, including this one. A quote from that commentary, including a statement by Pope Francis I did not address above:
Third, the biggest problem arises from his claim that the wound of division exists “in the body of the Church”. This is utterly false, and in the “heretical” kind of way, to be sure. The Church is ONE and SPOTLESS; all such “division” is extrinsic to Her. Ironically enough, the divisions Pope Francis is addressing are themselves the result of schismatic Protestant history and an ongoing refusal to seek communion with Rome. So, by calling such divisions the work of the Devil, he’s right–all schism is diabolical, including that fostered by the organizers of the John 17 Movement! [Which meeting in Arizona the Pope’s video was addressing]
Fourth, by saying that “from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, [he] will be with [the John 17 participants] spiritually,” and that he desires to “join [them] as just another participant” in the event, he vaults over the otherwise safe area of merely praying with non-Catholics and dives into formal co-celebration with them. The event in Arizona included Bible teaching and worship, not mere prayers, so, by uniting his person and intentions with the participants, Pope Francis has formally and publicly united himself as a member of Protestant worship,* which is a no-no, even in the post-Conciliar age (cf.Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 8). But, hey, who am I to judge?
Not that any of the above matters, of course. It doesn’t matter what this pope says, whose pious ears he offends, what traditional doctrine and laws he undermines and obscures. He’s the pope, after all. It’s all his show. As “faithful Catholics” we’re just expected to smile and nod.
More shortly, God willing.
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
A commenter in my previous post already noted this, but I thought this a sufficiently huge topic to break it out into another post. That article I linked to that examined more details of the Pew religious attitudes survey goes on to paint a really bleak picture of the future of the Church. Based on present trends, and assuming they arrive at some equilibrium point in the future (and discounting certain factors like immigration), the author estimates the Catholic Church will wind up with only 6% of the total population of the US at some indeterminate future point (I did not see the article declare when this would happen, but I would guess, based on present trends, within 50-80 years – i.e., within the lifetime of my children). This data shows the Church has already essentially reached a point of near-total collapse, and is only coasting on the 59% of her prior membership who hasn’t left the Church for a sect or complete religious apathy. Once this generation dies out, the Church will be smaller, percentage-wise, than it has been since the early 1800s in this country (you have to go to the link for the tabular data, since its embedded in their html code for the article):
If conversions went on as they do today and all other factors were held steady, America would wind up with the religious demographics of the stable distribution.
Unaffiliateds would wind up modestly gaining ground (from 23 percent at present to 29 percent). And Christian denominations would drop a little (from 69 percent at present to 62 percent at equilibrium).
But there would be substantial redistribution among Christian groups, with evangelical Protestants gaining (26 percent at present to 32 percent) and Catholics losing more than half their current share of the population (21 percent to 8 percent).
Why do evangelicals wind up ahead of other Christian sects in this model? They’re better at holding on to the people born into their tradition (65 percent retention compared to 59 percent for Catholics and 45 percent for Mainline Protestants), and they’re a stronger attractor for people leaving other faiths. According to Pew’s data on conversion rates, 10 percent of people raised Catholic wind up as evangelicals. Just 2 percent of people born as evangelicals wind up Catholic. The flow between mainline and evangelical Protestants is also tilted in evangelicals’ favor. Twelve percent of those raised evangelical wind up in mainline congregations, but 19 percent of mainline Protestants wind up becoming evangelical.
This data only confirms what most of us already know: a very large number of people leaving the Catholic Church in this country (as well as many others) do so because they are spiritually starved, tired of being fed baby food and pablum in the form of happy-clappy liturgies and never-offending, never-challenging “catechesis.” And in my personal experience, it is these people who have already made up their minds that the Church has nothing to offer them that are the most resistant to any propagandizing in the name of the Faith. They have tried Catholicism, found it grossly wanting, and will not be back. Former Catholics, in point of fact, make up over HALF the growth seen in the evangelical sects – and, again, data from other countries shows that the situation is even worse there.
This data also shows it not just cultural changes that have been responsible for the destruction of the Faith in the lives of millions of souls. Some groups are growing quite rapidly, as are traditional Catholic communities. It is the banal, heck, spiritually dead product of Novus Ordo land – with its worldly focus, left-wing political bent, and its grave fear that it never, ever, offend anyone (except true believers) – that is driving souls from the Church en masse.
Just a few caveats: like all projections, this one is based on a limited data set, ignores important factors like immigration (little wonder bishops stress it so much, they probably have access to a lot better data than this), and is predicated on things staying just as they have. In fact, with regard to whatever positive growth areas it sees, I tend to imagine those are going to be under heavy stress as the prevailing culture becomes increasingly pagan and anti-Christian. Once being visibly, publicly Christian (of any type) starts to carry a heavy cultural cost, the numbers could become much worse than they show above.
Nevertheless, the data above shows the Church in a uniquely bad position. The Church is being accursed by low rates of retention of those born into her, the highest rates of flight out, very low rate of conversion, and, finally and most momentously, a very low birth rate for those within. That is why, cumulatively, the Catholic Church, based on the data above, may suffer an even greater collapse than the mainline protestant sects. Given how much those have imploded, that is beyond depressing, but, then again, when you model your corporate institution on a bad copy of an already failing one (mainline protestantism), should one be surprised that it fares even worse than the original? Especially when moderately well-formed Catholics can simply look to the recent past and say: “These things are not the same?”
So, the new evangelization has either massively failed, or succeeded beyond a modernist’s greatest hopes and dreams, depending on how you look at it.
I’ll be blunt – the Church is being bled white by doctrinal indifference (and chaos), left-leaning politics, and managerial incompetence. The Church in this country as it exists today is likely to be a shadow of its former self in a few decades. Heck, it already is, but the process is only going to accelerate. And the thing is, many leaders in the Church, up to and including the past several Popes, are apparently fine with this. They are so taken in by the (I’ll say it) demonic lie of ecumenism that they probably see the collapse of the Catholic Faith as an OK thing, so long as it doesn’t happen too much in their diocese, and their finances remain OK. Which of the last several pontiffs has repeatedly presented a cogent explanation to the souls in their charge (that is, the entire world) why they must either remain, or become, Catholic? I seriously question whether our present Pope Francis would agree with the statement: “I undeniably did the right thing, and immeasurably increased my chances for salvation, in becoming Catholic).”
These men have been so taken in by their blind adherence to the ecumenical indifferentist modernist socialist materialist philosophy that they are allowing – no, encouraging, forcing – the Church to rapidly die on their watch. This is a tragedy of biblical proportions and almost forces me to conclude that we have to be well into the end times in order to comprehend their behavior and the death of faith in the hierarchy. As a local priest says, we are now deep into the passion of the Church, a passion prophesied by St. Paul, St. John, and others. Pope Saint Pius X, the last great Pontiff the Church has had (over 100 years ago), concerned over the perversion of so many priests and bishops he saw in HIS time (God was merciful to let him live and die when he did), wondered:
“whether such a perversion of minds is not the sign announcing, and the beginning of, the last times, and that the Son of Perdition spoken of by the Apostle (II Thess II:3) might already be living on this earth.”
And of course we know that Pope Leo XIII – who some consider to have been quite liberal compared to his predecessors – had a vision of satan being unleashed on the Church for 100 years in 1884. That doesn’t mean satan was unleashed then, it just means the vision happened then.
So sad……if this is not the end times, future historians will have to look on the Church from 1958 – ??? as the greatest mass suicide of an incredibly large, influential, and resilient cultural institution ever.
Yeah, I knew this post would get long with my ranting – there is so darned much to rant about – that’s why I did two posts on this subject. Do go to the link, there is more analysis and data there.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, demographics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
A whole bevy of bad news from the latest Pew poll of religion in the United States which, if accurate, shows Christianity in general is plummeting in this country, but the decrease is centered almost entirely in the Church and the mainline sects – that is, those bodies which have most embraced the left-liberal religious paradigm and most secularized their practice of the Faith.
Data below. As always, take the specific numbers with a grain of salt, but at this point I think the major trends are irrefutable:
The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center…….
…….To be sure, the United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world, and a large majority of Americans – roughly seven-in-ten – continue to identify with some branch of the Christian faith. But the major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%
And if you read the data, you will find that the vast majority of the decline is occurring among the millenials – they are simply not taking up the faith of their parents. Nearly 40% of millenials claim no religious affiliation. That may change as they age, but since they count this cohort down to 1980 – meaning 35 year olds – maybe not. Each succeeding generation tends to have a lower and lower religious affiliation.
The depressing data:
So the religiously unaffiliated – mostly people who just answer “spiritual but not religious,” but also atheists and agnostics – is the most rapidly growing segment of the American population. Mainline protestantism is collapsing only slightly faster than Catholicism, which makes sense, as so many changes introduced into the Church since Vatican II were deliberately oriented towards making the One, True Faith as indistinguishable from the mainline, left-oriented, secularized sects as possible.
The number of evangelicals actually increased, but did not increase at the same rate as the overall population. If the numbers below are correct, there are now likely fewer Catholics in the US than there were in 1970:
The data, if accurate, makes apparent that the vast majority if Catholics who fall away from the Faith are not being lured to other sects, but are joining the ranks of the atheistic and religiously indifferent. Gee, I wonder where they could have absorbed all that religious indifference, all that belief that it makes no difference which church one belongs to, if any, since we’re all saved by our super-lovey, never judgy God anyways?
So here’s a question – how on earth does the Pew survey estimate 51 million Catholics, while the Georgetown University CARA studies – tightly associated with the USCCB – somehow show 80 million Catholics in this country? Is the CARA study including people who state they were once Catholic and are now outside the Church? Is this the same kind of accounting that leads the Diocese of Dallas to claim that there are over 1.2 million Catholics in this Diocese, whereas the actual number of practicing Catholics is a much smaller fraction of that number? I will note that even the CARA data has two numbers for the Catholic population – 66 million ostensible “parish-connected” Catholics – meaning their name is on a parish roll somewhere (and how many duplicates, triplicates, and more does that represent? It took my getting very tough with a couple of parishes to get our names de-listed from their roll, they really don’t like to do that, apparently) – and 80 million “self-identified, survey based estimate” Catholics. And yet Pew says 51 million, possibly less than 50.
One might assume both the secular-leaning Pew and the USCCB-affiliated CARA studies have reasons to exaggerate numbers one way or another. So perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. But from your personal experience, how many of you really believe there are 25 million more Catholics in this country than there were in 1980? I find that to be highly doubtful. According to CARA, the CAtholic population hasn’t dropped at all, but continued growing! Who has a greater impetus to exaggerate – Pew, most likely biased towards a more secular America, but probably only somewhat so, or CARA, providing the numbers the bishops will use to tout at their ad limina visits in Rome? How would it look if they had to explain why the number of Catholics is less than what it was in 1970, when the US population has increased by 60% since that time?
Not that such would be unprecedented – all Catholic countries outside east Asia and sub-saharan Africa have seen plummeting numbers over the past several decades. And even in Africa and Asia, growth is increasingly soft and millions are converting away from the Church founded by Jesus Christ for the sects, especially American-type (and often American-funded) evangelical sects.
Many Catholics are convinced the Church is experiencing unprecedented declines across the board from Mass attendance, involvement in parish life, donations, school enrollment, religious vocations, priestly vocations, etc., specifically due to the massive changes made in practice and, in reality, belief, since Vatican II. The post-conciliar practice of the Faith is not drawing souls into the Church as promised, and in fact seems to be a prime factor in many falling away. And since that post-conciliar construct was heavily influenced by desires to appeal to mainline protestants, it is hardly surprising that the same secularizing, de-legitimizing trends afflicting those sects and causing an even worse decline there (but only marginally so) are working the same effect on the Church. The only real question in the minds of many of the most faithful Catholics is when will there be a return to sanity, when will the Church be herself again, when will the strong, vibrant Faith that was growing, enjoying a huge number of vocations, and converting hundreds of thousands every year, return?
Enjoy your new springtime. How hostile a place for Christians will this nation be in another 28 years, if present rates hold, and nearly half the population is outright atheist, agnostic, or completely indifferent? That is really the reality now, and the number is more than half, since so many Americans, even “practicing Christians,” are in reality incredibly soft in their practice of the Faith, and so easily swayed to accept whatever amoral atrocity the sexular pagan overculture demands of them from one moment to the next. The stage is ripe for a most bitter and prolonged persecution.
Thanks to MFG for the link.