Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Great minds must think alike. I posted what I posted below this post before I read the following from Father  George Rutler, posted this morning at that Deacon Bench!

A timely and interesting interview by Aleteia’s John Burger with the well-known New York priest:
Father George Rutler is administrator of both Holy Innocents and the West Side Church of St. Michael, which also was passed over by the reorganization plan. Father Rutler, author of Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943, and other works, spoke with Aleteia this morning about spiritual issues in the background of the archdiocesan reorganization.
Obviously, church/parish closings/mergers are not a new phenomenon, but in your view, what are some of the factors that lead to situations like this?
Among the factors is a decline in Catholic life. One statistic I was given recently is the Catholic population of New York City is just about the same as it was 70 years ago. There’s not a decline in Catholic population; there’s a decline in Catholic life, and there are all kinds of reasons for that.
I think there’s a great deal of dishonesty and denial on the part of some people who engaged in the fantasy that we were entering a new springtime of the faith. (My comment: at the highest levels and from bishops and clergy my age and older, much older!)
The aggiornamento of Vatican II was supposed to bring in tons more people; it did just the opposite. So long as people refuse to admit there were mistakes made a generation ago — in catechesis, liturgy, addressing the real problems of secularism — they’re never going to make any real reform...
...The primary fact is that most Catholics aren’t practicing the faith. Mass attendance in New York is about 12%. You’ve had about a 50% drop since the Second Vatican Council. Nobody will address that. They’ll acknowledge the fact, but they will not address the fact that there were some serious mistakes made in the last generation.
It would make a good study on why New York City, which is so culturally vibrant — sort of tormented and perverse in many ways, but vibrant— has such spiritual lethargy.
He also goes on to address the priest shortage. Read it all. 

And then there is this from cpptom whose post-Vatican II reality is the reality for the majority of Catholics today who are post-Vatican II! He posted this comment on my post below:
Blogger cpttom said...
My family is a typical "Vatican II" era family. There are 7 of us age 51 - 63. 4 of my siblings are no longer Catholic (1 Quaker!, 2 Methodists, 1 Presbyterian Minister) 1 is a progressive Catholic, and only two of us me and my oldest brother are devout Catholics.

Based on this evidence alone, I would say that the last 50 years have been a resounding failure of Cathechisis and transmission of the faith. Because not only were 5 members of my family lost to the faith, but so are their children.

We need to change what we are doing...we need to actually be Catholic instead of talking in nice generalities we need to get back to the brass tacks: The sacraments, the last 4 things, actually talk about sin and the teaching of the Church, and the living of the faith.

The post Vatican II era has been a jumbled mess, let's admit we aren't smarter than the Church Fathers, and our ancestors and stop thinking we know better. It isn't so, because we've busted the Church.
 My final comment: Catholics, hierarchy, lowerarchy and laity who are my age and older, much older, must swallow their pride and admit the truth about their implementation of Vatican II and its deliterious effect upon the Holy Catholic Church here and elsewhere.

The resurgence of the 1970's mentality is most troubling given what the 1970's did to the Catholic Church. I pray this is the last deep breath of a generation about to expire which continues to be in denial about what has happened the last 50 years and the reasons why and who against logic itself think their 1970's ideologies and ways of discerning and making decisions will still lead to a new springtime for the Church!

Pope Benedict was wise enough to know his generation screwed the Church up. God help us if we don't heed his prophetic voice and the "reform in continuity" agenda of authentic restoration he initiated. 


Catholic Mission said...

If the Bishops of Argentine and Albano cannot accept Vatican Council II without the irrational inference, then it is a doctrinal issue

The SSPX must respond to Bishop Semeraro by citing Catholic doctrine on Vatican Council II which supports their position

Rood Screen said...

As long as we blame poor catechesis instead of irreverent liturgy, we're going to keep spinning our wheels. Only when people witness and experience reverent worship will they desire to learn and teach the faith. And, once they witness and experience reverent worship, they will find a way to learn the true faith, even despite silly catechists. Nothing will stop them. It's very easy for someone who has experienced the Presence of God to learn all they need to know about the Faith, but it is that prerequisite experience that provides the motivation to seek and learn.

It's a post-Enlightenment error to say that everything rises and falls on the quality of formal instruction.

JusadBellum said...

There is no single silver bullet. No single boogie man. It's the "world, the flesh and the devil" - a triumvirate opposed to the Trinity.

The world's toxic culture has grown more hostile and coarse and toxic to mere humanist virtues much less Catholic values. The flesh has more enticements (sex, drugs, frivolity, distractions) than ever before.

The devil appears to be active on every front - intellectual, moral, cultural, socio-economic-political... thus the darkening of intellects, the confusion, the multiplicity of accusations and turmoil bubbling everywhere.

We need to put on the 'full armor of God' not just one or two pieces.

War is not fought with rifles only. Modern war is fought via 'systems'. So much of our lives are not single actions but systems too.

Cooking a cake - cake is not a single element but a process of combining many different elements, sequentially, over time, with the addition of energy to produce a 'cake'.

So too, the faith is not just the liturgy or homily or art or architecture or social justice or morality but a unique blend of them all in a harmony.

Our Lord told us to go make disciples of all the nations, teaching them ALL his commands. (not just some, not just the convenient, nice sounding ones....ALL of them).

He also told us to heal the sick, cast out demons and preach the gospel. Not just heal. Not just cast out. Not just preach. But all 3 and in order.

Leonard Fernstein said...

There's a strange parallel here: Today, the Republicans are probably going to humiliate their Democrat opponents at the polls. I happen to be fairly conservative and I am not excited at all by this. Why? Because I've learned exactly what to expect: The Republicans are not going to reverse any of the mistakes the Democrats have made. They will be milk toast legislators and the Democrats will have a field day in the next election, telling us how the Republicans have destroyed the country, when in fact, all they will do is apply some brakes in a mild manner to the social revolution we are suffering from.

So too it goes with our Church. I got excited when Benedict was elected Supreme Pontiff and we actually saw some better bishop appointments and got Summorum Pontificum. But the sex abuse crisis was never dealt with in a meaningful way (perhaps not his fault) the best bishops were sent to B-List dioceses and the Archdiocesan bishops of big cities continue to be bureaucratic careerists, Summorum Pontificum was almost immediately ignored or trampled upon by the modernist majority of bishops and all the teeth we once had to fight the world, the flesh and the devil, remain pulled. We can look forward to a weak, namby-pamby Church for at LEAST one more generation until the good ol' boy network of bishops finishes their fiddling and we get some serious Catholics in the bishops' chairs. Until then, we can wail all we want, but the "fiddling" will continue. And the artery-hardened leaders and pastors will continue to deny their revolution has failed and continue to impose their failure upon us.

Do I sound cynical? You bet. The more things change, the more they stay the same,.

Anonymous said...

You got it exactly right, JBS. Talk about diverse causes and sources is just obfuscation. I was there, close up, when it happened. People in the pews lost faith directly as a consequence of liturgical chaos. They will regain it only when liturgy that compels and forms faith is restored. In the meantime, nothing else will make much difference.

Cameron said...

The only thing I can say about a resurgence of the 1970s mentality is that younger Catholics are having nothing of it.

These are the only two kinds of young Catholics in large numbers:

1. fallen away young Catholics
2. very devout young Catholics

For young people it is not possible to be a lukewarm Catholic. I'm 21. While lack of reason may be a complaint about young people today regarding their social choices, it can't be complained that young Catholics are illogical. They are perfectly logical, unlike their parents and grandparents.

There are no young "cultural Catholics." They don't exist in any large numbers. I'm sure there are a few—actually, I know there are—but the overwhelming majority of young Catholics can be fit into one of the two categories I laid about above.

In the case of 1., these Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is repressive, out of touch, unmodern, etc. Their commitment to these views are varied in strength, but the view itself is pretty consistent.

In the case of 2., these Catholics believe that the Catholic Church contains and enshrines the totality of truth and that if they have problems with an aspect of Church teaching, it must be a personal issue/defect that has to be fixed with grace.

There are no young cultural Catholics. This is extremely important for Church leaders to understand, at least as far as the scene in the US is concerned. Cultural Catholicism is dying and has, thankfully, not been passed on.

There are no young cultural Catholics.

Anonymous said... you heal the sick and cast out demons? (I'm WELL acquainted with your "preaching".)

Jdj said...

Yep, JBS, as Henry said...
I too was there, close up, when it all happened. Liturgical chaos formed the perfect storm with escalating social upheaval. I will never forget how quickly pews began to empty, first mentally/spiritually, then physically.
But Father, I don't know why you are blaming the laity at the time--we were pretty clueless in 1969 about Vat II and astonished by the liturgical changes.

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think those cardinals will be exiled. I think someone of incredible intelligence, in Rome, has the "J. Edgar Hoover file" on Francis and is waiting for the appropriate time to use it. This person will not allow Francis to destroy the Church or the papacy.

I predict another resignation in the near future. It's not going to be pretty.

Marie said...

Thank you, Fr. Allan, for this wonderful post. God bless you.

Православный физик said...

Father JBS is absolutely right....until the Liturgy is recovered, we'll be stuck in this crisis, weak Liturgy gets weak Catholics, it's really simple. But re-inventing the wheel is the human mentality sometimes.

CPT Tom said...


I agree that the clergy and religious who perpetrated the myth of the "Spirit of Vatican II" will have much to answer for in the next life. The fact that a once great diocese like NY is now reduced to 12 % attendance rate is stark testimony of the damage they caused. I lay resposibility at their feet since even though they had willing lay quislings, many of those were also being obiedient and thought they were doing what the council said, "because father said so." So many good and faithful priests, religious, and laity have been marginalized and abuse over the years because of their faith it is not surprising we are where are.

Jdj said...

Yes, CapTom, another very good post.
When I said earlier that I too was there, close up, I meant not just the time period of 1969-, but also that I was in the NYC area. I remember all those dissident priest-theologians waxing eloquent, so excited to be on the forefront of the "new" Catholic Church. And the liturgy? Fahgeddaboudit! Trashed...seemingly within a moment's time. You can excuse a lot of clergy as merely acting out of obedience, but not those "theologians". They were on top of their game, bless their little dissident hearts!

George said...

There are so many saints of the church who had very little formal education and minimal catechesis-St Joseph of Cupertino, St Germain Cousins, St Gemma Galgani,St Catherine of Siena.St. Angela of the Cross and St Andre Bisette just to name a few. And many Blesseds as well. They had the Mass and the Eucharist and that sufficed. So those here such as JBS and Henry who speak to the importance of the liturgy and how it is celebrated should not be dismissed out of hand.

Unknown said...


Ah yes, the theologians...the mischief makers. Them especially I fear will be burning on the lamp posts of H*ll. They who formed their own magisterium and have undermined the real magisterium. I pray that that they see the error of their ways before their judgement before our Lord God. I am sadden by the reality that their pride will probably prevent that. +JMJ+

Anonymous said...

As Pastor Gene might say, Jusad "refuses to say whether he heals the sick and casts out demons".

Gene said...

Anonymous, Jusad probably does not rate your post worth a reply.