THERE HE GOES AGAIN! YOU CAN GUESS WHO WROTE THIS!
“From today’s crisis will emerge a church that has lost a great deal. It will no longer have use of the structures it built in its years of prosperity. The reduction in the number of faithful will lead to it losing an important part of its social privileges. It will become small and will have to start pretty much over again. It will be a more spiritual church and will not claim a political mandate flirting with the Right one minute and the Left the next. It will be poor and will become the Church of the destitute.
When we built in "prosperity, I wonder if we were building wisely, or were we just caught up in the moment when the wood was green. Or did we not think beyond a few decades or maybe a century...
"Social privileges." I'd like to know what BXVI (then Fr. Ratzinger) was thinking of. Catholicism established as the "state" religion? Immunity from taxation? Priests who speed not getting tickets from State Troopers on South Carolina backroads?
"More spiritual." Well, that happens when you no longer spend your limited resources on structures we built in prosperity or on maintaining social privileges.
Flirting with the Left AND Right has been the cause of much self-inflicted suffering for the Church. From the moment Constantine decriminalized Christianity and Theodosius made Nicene Christianity the "official" religion, there have been unnecessary struggles.
This "prophecy" is not the final word, however.
Vatican II, the self-inflicted wound.
I agree with Fr. K that then archbishop Ratzinger's assessment of a smaller church is not a sure prophecy but it might help explain Europe's cultural exhaustion. They've tried totalitarianism and they've tried nihilism. But JP2's heroic Catholicism never caught on among the "elites" (though it did fire the imagination of the youth in the World Youth Days and movements). But that's precisely the attitude we need to strike against the dying secular hedonistic west and the absurd but young and dynamic Islamic South.
I don't buy it for a second that we're doomed to be reduced to essentially the Amish in the catacombs. I don't doubt for a second that plenty of SJWs and various Leftist racialists (control left and the tiny alt-right) would love the Church to be eclipsed and reduced to a shadow of the status quo - that would make their ambitions that much easier to seize total power.
In a conflict between true believers one needs to have confidence in one's faith or you will lose to any barbarian who actually believes in his camp's ethos.
That is, a leaner and cleaner Church, mercifully shorn of the present hordes of Protestanized Catholics-in-name-only, clueless as to the meaning of the Catholic Mass, flocking en mass to receive communion not only casually and thoughtlessly, but sacriligeously, not having been to confession in years, but full of the spirit of Vatican II.
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