I reprint this from Crux this morning. We are in ominous times and stealthy attacks and bamboozling tactics from high places compromise so much of authentic Catholicism from the top down and the bottom up! Our sure and certain Faith assures us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church.
What is so disconcerting is that the good and tireless work of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to reverse the malaise in Catholicism inherited by the wishy-washy loss of Catholic identity of the 1960's has returned with a vengenace but this time from the papal magisterium.
I know many do not like what Pope Paul VI allowed, but he never ever confirmed the silliness in the season of his papacy to be confirmed by him but he tried heroically to change course. Humanae Vitae is an example. He decried liturgical abuse of the reformed Mass, tried to get more Latin chanted in the Mass and refused to allow those who wanted to ordain women prevail on his watch. He called what was happening during his reign in terms of the destruction of Catholic identity the "smoke of Satan" which he said had entered the sanctuary of the Church. His are prophetic words that should be taken very, very seriously today.
Many people in the Church, and I include myself in their ranks, see what is happening today with the recovery of the 1960's mentality in the papal magisterium as the decisive battle between the two aging groups of the 1960's represented by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, polar opposites. Many believe the orthodox, common sense and pastoral approach of Pope Benedict will one day prevail in a decisive victory for the Church.
‘Amoris Laetitia’: Are we seeing change by stealth?
- Fr. Dwight LongeneckerJanuary 18, 2017
The main problem with the apparent “change by stealth” approach has become apparent. Because 'Amoris Laetitia' remains ambiguous, different bishops are issuing contradictory guidelines. Their attempts to clarify the pope’s teaching will therefore only cause more confusion and contradiction.
The news that the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has published the Archbishop of Malta’s controversial instructions on divorced and re-married people participating in the Eucharist has made many Catholics wonder whether Pope Francis intends to bring about change in the marriage discipline of the church by stealth.
Last September, a letter from Pope Francis was leaked to the media in which he endorsed the Argentinian bishops’ interpretation of his encyclical Amoris Laetitia. The bishops had said that in certain circumstances it might be possible for divorced and remarried individuals to “have access to the Eucharist.”
They made it clear that this meant receiving communion.
Pope Francis affirmed their reading, saying that the bishops had captured the full meaning of his encyclical and “there was no other interpretation.”
Defenders of the pope said it was a personal letter, and it should not be taken as definitive teaching. Now the official newspaper of the Vatican has published the pastoral letter of Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta which also opens the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to “participate in the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist.”
At the same time, the Holy Father has still declined to answer a request for clarity on this matter from four cardinals. Are ordinary priests and people wrong to be confused and wonder why such ambiguities continue to persist?
While L’Osservatore Romano has published the guidelines of the Bishops of Malta, one wonders why this particular bishops’ pastoral letter was chosen for publication and not one of many others that have been written.
I do not have the information at hand, but one may ask, were the Archbishop of Philadelphia’s pastoral guidelines on Amoris Laetitia published by the Vatican newspaper? Archbishop Charles Chaput’s guidelines can be read here.
Did the Vatican newspaper publish the letter by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth in England? Both Philadelphia and the Diocese of Portsmouth are many times larger than Malta.
Was the Maltese bishops’ letter chosen for its particular theological acumen? Was it chosen because there was something in the letter which promoted it to universal attention in the church despite the small size of the flock in Malta? Is there something about Maltese bishops or Maltese Catholics which makes that diocese’s pastoral guidelines more important than others?
Is it wrong to pose these questions?
L’Osservatore Romano is the official paper of the Vatican. It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that Scicluna’s letter was published because it conforms with the desired direction of those who wish to promote a more progressive reading of the pope’s encyclical. If so, then it is also difficult to avoid the conclusion that someone, somewhere in the Vatican is promoting change by stealth.
If this is so, it should stop.
Catholics have a right to expect clarity in teaching from their pastors. They also have a right to expect charity in pastoral care. To uphold the timeless teachings of Christ and his church on the matter of marital and Eucharistic discipline does not necessarily lead to a harsh, judgmental and rigid attitude.
Good pastors know how to uphold the sanctity of marriage while still dealing gently and kindly with those who have not succeeded. The guidelines of Chaput and Egan are models of how this can be accomplished.
Yes, it is difficult to be a Catholic, and a good pastor will do everything he can to help the members of his flock.
However, it is also part of the gospel that one must take up the cross and follow Christ. It is also part of the gospel that the way to salvation is narrow and few there be who find it. It is also part of the gospel that the way to destruction is a broad, downward slope. Mercy is necessary, but so is discipline.
Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” Then he said, “Go and sin no more.”
The main problem with the “change by stealth” approach has already become apparent. Because Amoris Laetitia remains ambiguous, different bishops will issue contradictory guidelines. Their attempts to clarify the pope’s teaching will therefore only cause more confusion and contradiction.
Worst of all, the priests and people will find themselves picking and choosing which pastoral guidelines they prefer. “Shall I listen to Chaput or Scicluna?”
In Catholicism, everything is connected. Therefore the continued ambiguity over Amoris Laetitia will eventually undermine the principles of authority in the Catholic Church. Before long the question will not be about the pastoral care of divorced and remarried people, but about the teaching authority of the pope, and that question will unfortunately be not only papal, but personal.
The ultimate question will be, “Does the pope, the successor of Peter, believe he has the authority to define and defend church teaching or not?”
Then Pope Francis’s critics will start saying, “If he does, he should do so. If he does not he should resign.” Such criticism would undermine the good work Pope Francis has done and distract everyone from getting on with the work we are all called to do.
We obviously don’t want to go there.
We’ve had three popes once before, and it was not a success.
"FOR THOSE WHO DON'T REMEMBER HOW THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN II DESTROYED THE STRONG FAITH OF ONCE FAITHFUL CATHOLICS IN THE 1960'S, HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF TODAY SO THAT WHAT REMAINS OF PRACTICING, FAITHFUL CATHOLICS WILL KNOW WHY WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 1960'S HAS LEFT THREE GENERATIONS OF CATHOLICS UNFAITHFUL MEANING THAT TODAY ONLY 12 % OF CATHOLICS ACTUALLY ATTEND MASS COMPARED TO ALMOST 90% IN THE 1950'S"
Oh, for PETE'S sake, buy a period, a comma, a semi-colon - something to make this word salad at least partially clear.
But the salad bar got your attention happily.
I would argue that the "good and tireless work of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to reverse the malaise in Catholicism" will be effectively lost within two or three more years, and has not in any way "returned with a vengeance". The stealthy approach has been very effective over the last few decades, having already brought us various catechetical, liturgical and disciplinary novelties. Whatever one's views on these matters, it is clear that the last fifty years of Catholicism have not been a time of honesty, despite the best efforts of a couple of popes.
"If so, then it is also difficult to avoid the conclusion that someone, somewhere in the Vatican is promoting change by stealth."
Guess WHO? (Hint: The rot comes from the top.)
Gnats get my attention, too. Nothing to crow about.
Pope Francis is obviously lapping up the Spirit of Vatican II kool-aid. The Vatican is now going to honor Martin Luther by issuing a Vatican stamp with his image. The man who rent Christiandom is being honored. By by, Pope Clueless I
We will certainly be different for it. I have more faith in some ways because I believe people will learn to be more discerning in how they respect authority. The office of Pope has suffered greatly over the years at the hands of the men who held it. I think many people, if not most, already have the capacity to deal with that. What is a cause of impatience, and some doubt for me, is the huge staff of priests that are working en mass to change doctrine and praxis. At this point I do not believe that I understand the teachings of the Church in the same way as a significant and disproportionally influential portion of the clergy. I am comfortable with being incorrect, but I cant figure out how to reach the same conclusions as many, many bishops and priests even when they explain their reasoning. I should derive comfort from knowing that many clergy seem to have similar understanding as do I. But this actually causes me more concern because it means that there are agenda being followed that are not in the open and are not in concert with Holy Mother Church. At some point talk has to stop and changes made.
Fr. Longenecker needs to check his stats, as the number of Catholics in tiny Malta (400k) is nearly three times that in Portsmouth diocese (167k). Must be all that extra-marital sex...
Then what will be left after Francis? VII was way before I was born, but I saw the effects of it. I saw how generations of once faithful Sicilian Catholics jumped ship on Catholicism bc it failed them. I tried going back but have since converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and feel like I am standing outside of Rome looking in watching it burn. Truly sad
Malta once had the highest percentage of Catholics in the world, and the best ratio of priests-to-faithful.
Father McDonald said..."I know many do not like what Pope Paul VI allowed, but he never ever confirmed the silliness in the season of his papacy to be confirmed by him but he tried heroically to change course. Humanae Vitae is an example. He decried liturgical abuse of the reformed Mass, tried to get more Latin chanted in the Mass and refused to allow those who wanted to ordain women prevail on his watch. He called what was happening during his reign in terms of the destruction of Catholic identity the "smoke of Satan" which he said had entered the sanctuary of the Church.?
His Holiness Pope Francis has promoted Humanae Vitae. On July 28, 2013 A.D., just four months or so after having been elevated to the Throne of Saint Peter, Pope Francis declared in regard to the ordination of women to the priesthood: "The church has spoken and says no ... That door is closed."
Pope Francis has, time and again via his very actions, promoted liturgical sobriety, as well as Latin/Gregorian chant. The problem is that more than a few Latin Church bishops and priests, at least in regard to Latin/Gregorian, have refused to follow Pope Francis' example.
Pope Francis has time and again warned us that Satan is real and determined to destroy our relationship with God. I believe that Pope Francis has spoken more frequently about satan and the need to go to Confession than any Pope (beginning with Pope Saint John XXIII) who reigned during my lifetime.
I don't perceive that Pope Francis is somehow more lax in uphold the Faith than his predecessors.
Now, speaking of the return of so-called 1960s Catholicism...
...sorry, but so-called 1960s Catholicism flourished during the reigns of Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II. In fact, said Popes continued, in various ways, 1960s reforms that, in reality, had been launched during Pope Venerable Pius XII's reign.
Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II promoted to the hilt Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement, liturgical reform, opening of the Church to the world, and overall remaking of the Church (that doesn't mean that the changed the Faith) that emerged in major fashion during Pope Venerable Pius XII's reign.
Beyond Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II, bishops, priests, religious, and laymen who were (or represented the aims of) ageing 1960s "hippies" who promoted "1960s Catholicism" were rampant throughout the Church. Said folks promoted 1960s Catholicism loudly and fearlessly.
They floated constantly trail balloons related to women's ordination, condoms, endless liturgical reform, homosexuality...
...along with Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II, they praised Martin Luther, prayed/worshiped in Protestant churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Such major figures in regard to the promotion of 1960s Catholicism as Fathers Drinan, Kung, and Curran, which some of us have discussed here during the past few days, operated openly and boldly.
The priests in question were never suspended a divinis, excommunicated...their bishops proclaimed them as men in good standing with the Church.
1960s Catholicism-type nuns paraded about in T-shirts that read "Nuns For Choice."
Priests exercised the internal forum to administer Holy Communion to D/R Catholics.
I fail to see where Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II restored to any appreciable degree strong Catholic identity throughout the Church.
In fact, Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged that during his watch, Catholicism faced virtual extinction in many parts of the world.
Pope Benedict XVI: "...in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel."
Sorry, I don't believe that, at least to any great extent, that Pope Benedict XVI (and Pope Saint John Paul II) reversed "the malaise in Catholicism inherited by the wishy-washy loss of Catholic identity of the 1960's..."
In regard to the notion that His Holiness Pope Francis has somehow returned the Church to a time or style, thanks to Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul iI, had disappeared supposedly...
Incredibly, of all people (or publications), the folks at The Remnant offered the following:
-- In Defense of Francis
Written by hristopher A. Ferrara
"With the major exception of his “mercy offensive” (discussed below), nothing Francis says or does is, in substance, as unprecedented as it might appear.
"What is unprecedented is the nuancefree, shockingly blunt manner in which Francis pursues a relentless progressivism quite in line with the disastrous “new orientation” of the Church since Vatican II and the course already set by his two immediate predecessors.
"A simple list confirms the intuition that Francis is hardly the first Pope to venture the novelties he almost daily presents in their rawest, most unvarnished form:
• Rampant ecumenism? Nobody has ever outdone John Paul II in that department.
• Interreligious dialogue? John Paul II’s Assisi events are the apex of that scandalous novelty. Nothing Francis has done, not even his ludicrous “Prayer for Peace” with Jews and Muslims in the Vatican gardens, or the even more ludicrous Soccer Game for Peace, comes even close to Assisi 1984 and 2002 for shock value.
• Twisting Scripture to suit modernist notions? It was John Paul II, for example, who so famously reduced the teaching of Saint Paul on the husband’s headship of the family—“Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph 5:2223)—to a mere cultural artifact “profoundly rooted in the customs and religious tradition of the time” but which is now “to be understood and carried out in a new way: as a ‘mutual subjection out of reverence for Christ,’” quoting Eph 5:21, which has nothing to do with the husband-wife relationship but rather with Christians generally being “subject to one another” in charity.
• Religious indifferentism? It was none other than John Paul II, in Redemptoris missio, who sounded the post-conciliar theme: “different peoples, cultures and religions are capable of finding common ground in the one divine reality, by whatever name it is called.” Whatever name! It’s all good.
• Popes visiting synagogues? John Paul II was the first, Benedict the second. Francis finishes a dismal third in that novelty contest.
• Popes visiting mosques? John Paul II did it first, followed by Benedict XVI, who set “a new papal record” for mosque visits: twice in seven years.
• How about Popes visiting Lutheran churches and participating in a liturgy? John Paul II and Benedict XVI had both been there and done that long before Francis arrived from Buenos Aires.
• Surely the “exclusive” papal press interview originates with Francis? No, both John XXIII and Paul VI were pioneers of that innovation.
• How about the airborne papal press conference? Benedict XVI did it first in 2007 and again in 2010.
• Papal environmentalism then? Here John Paul II beat Francis to the punch by at least 24 years, coining the very phrase “ecological crisis,” followed by Benedict XVI, who declared (in fine Bergoglian style) that the “ecological crisis shows the urgency of a solidarity which embraces time and space…”
• What about papal liturgical abuses? Not even the Pope Francis Beach Party Bingo Mass in Rio outdid the repellant liturgical spectacles over which John Paul II and Benedict presided on their various journeys.
"I could go on, but surely the point is made: Francis follows in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors, continuing along the downward path of the past fifty years, which Benedict made some effort to reverse but to which Francis has returned with renewed determination to continue on the declivity right into the abyss that now looms before us."
Father McDonald, with all respect, I disagree that Pope Francis immediate predecessors had placed even a dent into the 1960s mentality (1960s spirit, 1960s Catholicism, modernism, liberalism, whatever the term) that has been with us for decades.
I believe that the "spirit" of 1960s Catholicism existed long before the 1960s.
I also wonder about the "strong faith" that had existed supposedly within the Church prior to Vatican II. If one reads traditionalist literature from the 1940s and 1950s, such folks as Father Leonard Feeney paint a bleak picture of the Church and Catholic identity at that time.
Of course, that is their opinion. Just as today, traditionalists then perceived that the Church was filled with heretical, apostate Catholics, weak Catholic identity...everywhere traditionalists turned, they found conspiracies, Church-hating bishops and priests who wished to overthrow the Faith...same old stuff as today.
Today, traditionalists claim that communists and homosexuals had flooded pre-Vatican II seminaries. They claim that "modernists" had taken control of a great many seminaries. In light of that, if traditionalists are correct, the stage for the wild changes within the Church, that surfaced most definitely during the 1960s, was set decades prior to Vatican II.
It is certain is that the clamor for radical Church reforms prevailed within the Church long before Vatican II. The question is whether those who advocated radical reforms were, by and large, Modernists or Churchmen of goodwill.
Without a doubt, prior to Vatican II, alongside "Modernists," Churchmen of goodwill also believed that radical changes were required to renew the Church.
As Pope Benedict XVI noted, the horror of World War II convinced Churchmen, in particular, those who lived in Europe and experienced up close and personal the ravages of the war, that the time had arrived to "raze the bastions" of the Church...to end the Counter-Reformation...to open the Church to the world.
They believed that the time had arrived to enact major Church reforms to accommodate "modern man" and changing times that, in turn, had rendered obsolete certain ways in which the Church had acted and presented the Faith.
Pope Venerable Pius XII had throw in with that thinking. He launched in earnest the major reform of the Church that, in effect, is the "spirit" of so-called 1960s Catholicism, which exists in strong measure throughout the Church.
When he revolutionized, for example, the Church's Eucharistic Fast, Pope Venerable Pius XII justified his reform via the following argument:
"It should nevertheless be noted that the times in which we live and their peculiar conditions have brought many modifications in the habits of society and in the activities of common life.
"Out of these there may arise serious difficulties which could keep men from partaking of the divine mysteries if the law of the Eucharistic fast is to be observed in the way in which it had to be observed up to the present time."
In major fashion, Pope Venerable Pius XII, a holy man and, in countless ways, a great Pope, had launched the Church into major reform mode. His reforms, which were radical enough (and, again, enacted in goodwill), had opened the door to additional radical reforms that surfaced during the 1960s and beyond.
So-called "1960s Catholicism" (or the "spirit of the 1960s) which, supposedly, His Holiness Pope Francis has revived, was just as prevalent within the Church today as was the case during the reigns of Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II.
Popes Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II practiced 1960s Catholicism.
Our Popes have long-practiced "1960s" Catholicism, which, in reality, existed decades prior to Vatican II, and was launched in earnest by Pope Venerable Pius XII.
In that regard, Pope Francis is in line simply with his immediate predecessors.
If pre-Vatican II Catholic identity was strong, then why did millions of Catholics who had worshiped for decades via the TLM, and had grown up with Popes Pius XI and Venerable Pius XII, look with great favor upon the Church radical reforms of the 1960s...
...why did millions among said Catholics go way beyond that as they had abandoned the Faith? No matter what, why would a Catholic imbued supposedly with strong faith leave the Church?
During the 1960s, the very Churchmen who had been promoted through the ranks by Popes Pius XI and Venerable Pius XII, had grown up with the TLM, had, as priests, offered the TLM exclusively, were the Churchmen who initiated one radical reform after another.
If Catholic identity was so powerful prior to Vatican II, then why did tens of thousands of priests and religious, by about the mid-1960s, begin to go "wild" within the Church?
Priests offered wild liturgies, donned street clothing...religious exchanged their manner of dress...beyond that, thousands of priests and religious abandoned their ministries and even the Faith.
Just a few years earlier, they had been TLM-raised Catholics, many had probably gone on pilgrimage to Rome. In Saint Peter's Square, they applauded Pope Venerable Pius II and waved white handkerchiefs in his honor.
If strong Catholic identity was prevalent during the days of pre-1960s Catholicism, then what explains all of the above?
Thanks for these posts. I think you put a lot of work and prayer into them and I think they amount to a decent counter-argument.
If JP2 and B16 were more 60's than F1, why pray tell, didn't all those events you cite led the secular world to praise them as the secular world has co-opted F1?
Why weren't they embraced by the modernist/progressives rather than treated with dissent and considered Grand Inquisitors? If - as you argue - JP2 and B16 were the true trail blazers, why no hurrah from the usual suspects?
And personnel = policy... if they were modernists why the elevation of traditionalists to high office?
Why the encyclicals Evangelium Vitae or Dominus Jesus and promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which has been a bulwark against the theological "alternative/parallel" magisterium or the budding national churches of the 1980s?
Look, I don't know how old you are, but some of us were adults in the 1980s and remember precisely what was going on back then and who the main players were and what was said to whom about what. Some of us have been reading "The Wanderer" and the National Catholic Reporter for decades.
Yes, JP2 and B16 have done some fishy things with respect to ecumenism etc. and yes they both didn't live up to their reputation as Grand Inquisitors. But during their ministry Catholics knew what the Church taught and there was no existential crisis of identity EXCEPT among the modernists. Now it seems everyone is grappling with what is and is not "Catholic teaching" and all is in flux.
Mark T., that is an excelent question. I think the answer is they forgot the strength that comes with a poverty of spirit. They got drunk on hubris. I understand it tastes like apples.
It someone we know has heretical notions or ideas we can and should correct that person, if we are able to do so. In such a case it is hoped that the person is not so confirmed in his or her error as to not be open to correction. It is not within the prerogative or responsibility of a layman to do more than that, other than to pray for the person. The Bishop of Alexandria after a rather lengthy period of time did excommunicate Arius, and this because he had the ecclesiastic authority to do so. Within a much shorter period of time, after he posted his theses, did the Church excommunicate Martin Luther. These actions and other like ones were taken against individuals down through the centuries, because it was apparent that the fires of their heretical ideas were doing much damage to the Church, and would inflict much greater damage if expeditious action were not taken. In our own time. it is not so much heresy within the Church among certain wayward theologians or progressive clerics that has done the most damage, but the prominence of the counter-catechesis of secular humanism, situational ethics, an widespread moral depravity, aided and abetted by power and influence of modern media and popular entertainment, which has led to much apostasy,the abandonment of the Faith,even by many priests and religious.
Jusadbellum said..."Yes, JP2 and B16 have done some fishy things with respect to ecumenism etc. and yes they both didn't live up to their reputation as Grand Inquisitors. But during their ministry Catholics knew what the Church taught and there was no existential crisis of identity EXCEPT among the modernists."
In 2003 A.D., during Pope Saint John Paul II's reign, Archbishop Alfred, then of New Orleans, Louisiana, painted a bleak picture in regard to the lack of basic knowledge of the Faith and Catholic identity, in particular, among millions of young Catholics in the United States.
With Father McDonald's permission, Part 1 of 2.
Here are Archbishop Hughes' comments in question.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, 24 DEC. 2003 (ZENIT).
Nearly two-thirds of high school catechetical materials used throughout the United States are not in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans, chair of the U.S. bishops' ad hoc committee for the Implementation of the Catechism, reported the results of the committee's evaluation of catechetical books at the episcopate's conference last fall.
Archbishop Hughes' comments:
"There are relatively few high school texts that have received a conformity judgment by the committee.
"Close to two-thirds of the conformity reviews we have conducted on high school catechetical materials have ended with a judgment that the materials were not only inadequate for conformity but also could not be amended.
"The greatest concern for the members of the committee prompting my report to the bishops is that many of the materials found to be inadequate are still in wide use throughout the United States.
"Some of the texts found to be inadequate are relativistic in their approach to the Church and the faith. Students, for instance, are readily led to believe that one religion or church is as good as another, and that the Catholic Church is just one church among many equals.
"In many of the texts we have found that there is an effort to state clearly the doctrine and the Church teaching. Unfortunately, this doctrine and Church teaching is sometimes introduced with a formula such as: "Catholics believe this or that ..." This tentative language gives the impression that the teaching is just one legitimate opinion among others, rather than a matter of truth.
"Sometimes the impression is given that the community baptizes or confects the Eucharist.
"The unique presence of Christ in the Eucharist is often obscured.
"They may be led to believe that the sacramental power to forgive sins and anoint the sick was once shared by all the faithful.
"In some texts, the teaching about the Church's restriction of ordination to men is ambiguous or even misleading.
Part 2 of 2.
Archbishop Hughes' comments about the state of Catholic catechesis in the United States.
"Often the moral life is not adequately presented. There seems to be a reluctance to name premarital or extramarital intercourse as sinful. Virtue may be encouraged primarily in order to make personal life or the world better. The relationship between living a moral life and eternal life is often not treated.
"The ideal church is sometimes presented in such a way that a student would be led to believe that we should live without reference to the role of the hierarchy in the Church.
Archbishop Hughes' takeaway comment:
******* "Unfortunately, the widespread use of these books perpetuates a religious illiteracy that is all too prevalent in the Church today." *******
That very bleak assessment of Catholic identity and lack of knowledge about the Faith among young Catholics within the United States came 25 years into Pope Saint John Paul II's Pontificate.
Jusadbellum, I don't know as to how your comment that during the reigns of Popes Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, "...Catholics knew what the Church taught and there was no existential crisis of identity EXCEPT among the modernists," holds up against the bleak findings question that were relayed by Archbishop Hughes..
But please understand that I believe that the Popes in question presented the Faith to the Church. Unfortunately, their teachings often were obscured by poor catechetical training that millions of Catholics had received, at least in the United States.
Again, where have you been? What sources of Catholic media do you consume? If you have been reading your Wanderer since the 1980s and watching EWTN since the 1990s you'd know that the Church in the US has been LARGELY institutionally led by liberal/progressives ensconced in dioceses, K-post grad school systems and the religious orders of women and men. The dissent against Humanae Vitae was a Jesuit and other major religious order run thing. Most of the big "Catholic" universities attended the Land O Lakes event and declared their independence from the Bishops and began the "long march" through the institutions of liberal progressives, hiring non- (and subsequently, anti-) catholic professors, teachers, etc.
It was these dissenting voices that gutted our churches, overthrew the Liturgy and replaced it with clown masses and felt banners. It were these dissenting leaders that dumbed down catechism - jettisoning the Baltimore Catechism for the ugly and shallow Sadler versions big on fluff and emotionalism but light on doctrine and explanation of doctrine.
It was these dissenting leaders that shut down Marian devotions, closed Eucharistic chapels, whitewashed mosaics, and chased away the organic spirituality of countless parishes to re-organize the hapless laity into a haphazard array of groups.
It sure wasn't JP2 style priests encouraging the laity to use the Pill in the 1980s! It wasn't JP2 style priests running the seminaries either.
Have you not read the books detailing the corruption of the US seminaries - awash in open homosexuality throughout the 1970s and 80s? Where do you suppose those gay seminarians went after ordination? They've been salted throughout the entire Church.
We've just lived through 40 years of quiet schism and here you are arguing that JP2's traditionalism was ineffective because look at all the debris from the pews? Good Lord Almighty, who do you suppose were the CATECHISTS lo these past 40 years? Who discouraged ANY discussion of contraception being wrong?
The surprise isn't that a majority of American Catholics are ignorant of the basics of the faith, the surprise is that ANY have kept the faith at all!
It took a plucky remnant of folk - despised, hated, attacked for decades - to cobble together a few dozen Catholic universities like Franciscan University of Steubenville (responsible for 13% of all ordinands in the USA in 2014 according to CARA) or Thomas Aquinas College. It was the bottom up poor and middle class that cobbled together the Pro-life movement (*unsupported by CCHD money since forever). It was the poor to middle class that cobbled together the homeschooling, charismatic, and Movements that have resulted in renewed interest in Eucharistic adoration, Marian devotion, pilgrimages, and belief in the supernatural.
These are the overwhelming number of those actually still in the pews.
If you wanted to do a mass mailing to the Catholic market in the USA you'd need to rent or 'swap' for mailing lists. List brokers acquire their names from religious orders, national charities, etc. and they select them by religious and ideological affiliation and responses. Of the 6 million available households in the Catholic direct mail universe, 5.5 million are among the "traditional/conservative/center" part of the spectrum. Only a tiny fraction are from the Commonweal, NCR, America wing of the spectrum.
This means the MOST engaged Catholics tend to be the conservative/traditionalists not the "democratic party first and always, progress = jettisoning Christendom" bunch who are now moving into the whole LGBTQ ideology as the next great thing.
It was the work of a lifetime to slog through heretical homilies and almost zero support from the hierarchy to keep the kids Catholic in a hostile culture. But we could count on edifying examples, words, and clarity of teaching from the Pope when no other light was available.
Please note that I said that "I believe that the Popes in question presented the Faith to the Church. Unfortunately, their teachings often were obscured by poor catechetical training that millions of Catholics had received, at least in the United States."
Jusadbellum, are you aware, however, that many traditionalists denounced Pope Saint John Paul II in scathing terms?
The following horrific portrait of Pope Saint John Paul II was painted verbally in 1986 A.D. by Archbishop Lefebvre (and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer). They accused Pope Saint John Paul II of having ruptured "with the previous Magisterium of the Church..."
From the SSPX:
Many traditionalists don't agree with you and I in regard to Pope Saint John Paul II's strong defense and promotion of the True Faith.
Mark Thomas, I am sorry, I am sure you mean well but I have yet to come across a more skewed view of Catholicism than that that you exhibit. The closest I have come across is that expressed by some (I stress some) SSPX who vilify Popes St John Paul II The Great and Benedict XVI while overlooking the catastrophic mess that Francis has created. Liberals of course also vilify all recent popes except Francis. I can't decide whether you are a closet SSPX member or a liberal, plain and simple. Then again perhaps it's all the sugar you say you consume or perhaps climbing flagpoles has left you dizzy and confused.
Post a Comment