Sunday, April 29, 2018

WHEN IT WASN'T BROKEN THIS FIXED IT AND NOW THAT THE RESULTS OF THE FIX IS IN, IT REALLT IS BROKEN!


Pittsburgh diocese to reduce 188 parishes to 57



We don't need to fix what's not broke.
We don't need to fix what's not broke.
Yes, Pittsburgh in the short term has no alternative but to try to fix an abysmal situation created over the past 50 years. But going forward it would do every diocese in the world to go back to 1964 and undo every fix that has led to this sad state of affairs in almost every diocese today or in the very near future:

“For the past three years, we have labored to discover how best to position our parishes for the future. We have been called to respond to the reality that populations in our region have shifted, that many Catholics have drifted away from Mass, and that we will have fewer priests. These realities are opportunities for us to think about and create new ways to share and mobilize our resources to draw people deeper into the faith and serve those in need,” Zubik said.






Press here for the full Crux article.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

The total population of Pittsburgh dropped from 2,167,138 in 1980 to 1,915,363 in 2010, a decline of 11.6%.

The Catholic population in the same period went from 993,404 to 644,938, a decline of 35.8%.

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, experienced a different shift. In the same period, the population rose from 1,723,961 to 2,224.542, a 29% increase. The Catholic population increased from 216,972 to 233,181, a growth of 7.5%.



TJM said...

Harrisburg has a population of 48,904 and Pittsburgh is 306,000 where did you get your figures?

Henry said...

Did someone ask what were the Fruits of Vatican II? Or when the glorious New Springtime of the Church started?

Anonymous said...

My numbers were for the dioceses - should have stated that.

TJM said...

nonymous,

I wondered about that. Even so the Diocese of Pittsburgh is closing 70% of its parishes for a 35.8% decline in its Catholic population. I think there is a lot more going on than just population loss. You would think the bishops might think, gee, what happened 50 years ago that might have disturbed a well functioning Church. Vatican Disaster II, on a cost/benefit analysis would be deemed a major flop, kind of like the New Coke. The difference is businessmen are forced into a correction/damage control mode, where clerics just keep doing what they're doing. No worries, that glorious new Springtime is just around the corner!

Anonymous said...

One would think. But then one would set aside ones preconceived notions about the decline in Mass attendance and look at the actual data and evidence.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh, LOL. You are always for evidence until you aren't for evidence when someone challenges you on some of your assertions. Just keep up doing what doesn't work!!! If you had watched Archbishop Sample's celebration of the EF, you might learn something. But like most liberals, your mind is closed like a trap. Not very scientific!

Anonymous said...

TJM - Evidence is not your concern.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

When we were in seminary (1981-1985) Pittsburgh had, I think, just over 1000 priests.

A couple of years ago I visited my sem classmates I New Hampshire. Gary Belliveau, pastor in Portsmouth, noted that when he was there 25 years earlier for a summer seminary assignment, there were 11 priests in that city. At the time of our visit, he was the only one. Just recently I read that the three city parishes are consolidating into one. Portsmouth has lost about 25% of its population since the 1960 high of 26,200.

Another NH classmate, Rich Roberge, was sent to his home town, Berlin, NH, with the task of consolidating four parishes there into one. The timber industry that was the economy of northern NH collapsed long ago and there are only 10,000 folks left. The highest population was in 1930 - 20,018 - but has been declining ever since, dropping by around 1,000 every ten years.

God love him, he did such a good job in his home town, Berlin, his bishop assigned him to Concord, the state capital, to consolidate three parishes into one. While Concord has seen a slow and steady population increase, there were just not enough Catholics to sustain all the parishes.

The evidence in many northern states indicates that population declines have been the driver in the closing of many institutions, including churches. In places where one industry - timber in the case of N New Hampshire - collapses, the declines have been terrible.

Florida, on the other hand, .... St. Augustine was est as a diocese in 1870. Then came Miami (1953), St. Petersburg AND Orlando, a day apart (!), in 1968, Pennsacola-Tallahassee in 1975, and Palm Beach AND Venice, a day apart again(!), in 1984. The nuncio was veddy veddy busy on those days.

In 1870, all of Florida had 188,000 people. (2.8 persons/sq mi) Today there are 21.5 million (327 persons/sq mi).

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

And evidence is not YOUR concern. We are all on to your little game.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

What evidence? Studies please, reports from credible sources!!

Anonymous said...

TJM - You are not interested in evidence, no matter where is comes from.

What you seek is someone to tell you that what you already think and what you already believe is true. You prefer the echo chamber.

Evidence has little, if any, place in your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Back in 30327---we had our pastor present his annual report of state of the parish yesterday and noted there are over 1.2 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In 1956, when we were split off from Savannah, there were around 23,000...yes, 23,000 (seems ridiculously small for a diocese). And the current estimates do not include lots of unregistered Catholics (mainly Hispanic).

So,,, is the Archdiocese of Atlanta growing because it is very conservative, and the Pittsburgh diocese is shrinking because it is very liberal?

I think not......

Or, doubtless the Catholic population in Richmond County (Augusta) is shrinking while that of adjoining Columbia County is growing...are Catholics in Richmond County that much more liberal than those in Columbia.

I think not.........

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous 11:31 My nephew and his family live just south of the 30327 in the Howell Station neighborhood! When I am there on a weekend, I drive downtown to Sacred Heart for mass.

WABE did a good story on the archdiocese's growth back in 2015.

https://www.wabe.org/number-catholic-latinos-increasing-atlanta-archdiocese/

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

I want the evidence. You just can't back up your assertions so you engage in dilatory tactics!!

Anonymous said...

TJM - No evidence will move you.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

Yes, unlike, you, evidence would move me. But it's clear your mind is closed like a rusty, old trap. You are invested in failure.

Anonymous said...

TJM - When I've offered evidence , you've ignored it. No evidence will convince you of anything.

ByzRC said...

Population shift certainly has had an impact, no question. However, that and the obsession the average diocese has with the false profit "vibrancy" always seems to outweigh any consideration whatsoever as to why those that are left have in such great numbers stopped attending mass or, have abandoned the faith altogether.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh, you have offered no evidence for your assertions neither to me, John Nolan, or Bee. I guess supporting the Abortion Party has eviscerated your sense of right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

TJM - Several times I have posted evidence. And you have ignored it.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Anonymous at May 1, 2018 at 5:24 AM said:
"TJM - Several times I have posted evidence. And you have ignored it."

I am assuming the response was written by Fr. Kavanaugh.

Back on March 26 Fr. Kavanaugh said in a comment:
"The point is that there is no significant advantage to using Latin as our language of worship...."

"For others, being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshippers [sic]."

I asked for proof, evidence or studies that confirm this statement. Perhaps I missed your response. I certainly didn't ignore it. If you did provide the proof, would you please point me to it again?

God bless.
Bee

Anonymous said...

"The point is that there is no significant advantage to using Latin as our language of worship...."

You are asking me to prove a negative, that being "no significant advantage."

Proving non-existence is a logical fallacy. Generally, the burden is on the side of the person saying something does exist, that being "there is a significant advantage."

As to understanding a foreign language, let's do a little experiment. I will post phrases in languages I suspect most of us cannot speak or understand. (If you do speak the language, you are not a part of the study group.) Without using any translation programs, please post what you consciously understand the phrase to mean and how you might actively respond.

1. Ha ke tsebe hore na temana ena e bolela'ng

2. مجھے یہ نہیں پتہ کہ یہ متن کیا ہے

3. Does gen i ddim syniad beth mae'r testun hwn yn ei olygu

4. Fogalmam sincs, mit jelent ez a szöveg

5. Ég hef ekki hugmynd um hvað þessi texti þýðir

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

In response to Fr. Kavanaugh/Anonymous at May 1, 2018 at 11:53 am.

1) I am not asking you to prove a negative. I am asking you for the substantive evidence for the assertion, "...being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved..."

The phrase, "...is more realistically achieved..." is the one I am asking you to support with some evidence, or studies.

2) Wouldn't trying to prove your point by having me participate in a language experiment be merely anecdotal evidence? Often here in these comments when someone offers you experiential or anecdotal evidence for an assertion they make, you reject it out of hand as not substantive.

God bless.
Bee

ByzRC said...

Anonymous at 11:53 AM -

Your experiment is illustrative of the tower of babel the Church has become. Priest resources are already thinly stretched and I'm sure your subset of languages in which Mass is to be celebrated adds additional strain. Latin wouldn't be as obsolete as it has become if it was still relied upon as a unifying element. Instead, it has been made redundant, mocked in addition to being turned into a dividing force when, as I said, it formerly served the opposite purpose.

In the Christian East, the Slavic Byzantine Churches, Church Slavonic either hangs on or, is outright used and functions as a unifier. I cannot claim to be even remotely close to fluent but, were I to go to many countries in Eastern Europe, I can follow enough of it that the liturgy would have meaning as opposed to being a blur of language that I do not understand with me relying solely on the actions of the priest as my guide.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."The point is that there is no significant advantage to using Latin as our language of worship...."

You are asking me to prove a negative, that being "no significant advantage."

Proving non-existence is a logical fallacy. Generally, the burden is on the side of the person saying something does exist, that being "there is a significant advantage."

As to understanding a foreign language, let's do a little experiment. I will post phrases in languages I suspect most of us cannot speak or understand. (If you do speak the language, you are not a part of the study group.) Without using any translation programs, please post what you consciously understand the phrase to mean and how you might actively respond.

1. Ha ke tsebe hore na temana ena e bolela'ng
2. مجھے یہ نہیں پتہ کہ یہ متن کیا ہے
3. Does gen i ddim syniad beth mae'r testun hwn yn ei olygu
4. Fogalmam sincs, mit jelent ez a szöveg
5. Ég hef ekki hugmynd um hvað þessi texti þýðir"


This post actually states the case for, and shows the advantage of, a unifying language such as Latin.

The "significant advantage" of Mass in Latin is unity.

As a result of grouping people according to language, we now have parishes that practice a form of apartheid, where the majority of the people in different language groups don't worship together even though they belong to the same parish.

And it is a demonstrable fact that the majority of Spanish Masses, at least in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, are slated at times that most people consider to be inconvenient.

It is difficult to understand why a priest would think that dividing his parish in such a manner is a good thing.

DJR

Anonymous said...

How does a language that almost no one in the congregation understands unify that congregation?

The only "unity" that seems to result is that everyone is unified in not understanding.

"And it is a demonstrable fact that the majority of Spanish Masses, at least in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, are slated at times that most people consider to be inconvenient."

This comes not from a priest thinking that dividing his parish in such a manner is a good idea, but from the fact that he cannot celebrate two Masses, one in English and one in Spanish, at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Bee, you and others are entirely disingenuous is asking for evidence. When others here have done the same, your comments, and theirs, have been, "Evidence is not needed - Common Sense is what is required," or words to that effect. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Be that as it may, yes, the proposed experiment is hardly 1) scientific or, due to the very small sample size, 2) statistically insignificant. It would fit the definition of "anecdotal."

I suspect, though, that if a similar experiment were carried out with 2,000,000 individuals under rigorous experimental controls would reveal that people cannot engage actively, fully, or consciously in languages they do not understand.

By the way, the phrases all translate to "I do not know what this text means."

DJR said...

Anonymous said... How does a language that almost no one in the congregation understands unify that congregation?

How does separating people by language unify that congregation?

DJR

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Fr. Kavanaugh/Anonymous on May 2, 2018 at 8:19 AM:

"Bee, you and others are entirely disingenuous is [sic] asking for evidence."

Father, I contend it is you who are entirely disingenuous, because you make statements that are entirely speculative and probably incorrect. When anyone here expresses opinions contrary to your own, you demand empirical proof for substantiation, and consider yourself the winner of the debate if they cannot provide it. Yet you don't seem to see that you too express mere opinion, without proof, and are indignant when someone calls you on it.

"I suspect, though, that if a similar experiment were carried out with 2,000,000 individuals under rigorous experimental controls would reveal that people cannot engage actively, fully, or consciously in languages they do not understand."

Ah, the subtle and sly change of subject you are famous for, which you usually use to squirm out of what you originally said, in order to seem to be right. But Father, we are not talking about ANY language, or ANY arena, or ANY 2 million people, but Roman Catholics and the Roman Catholic Mass. We all know that missals were more than adequate to help people learn the Latin prayers, and once they knew the prayers of the unchanging parts of Mass in Latin, they could dispense with the missal, and read the changing prayers of the Mass in their own language. (And note, changing to the vernacular did not dispense with a missal; now we have those attractive missalettes, that everyone shares, and people use to follow the Mass in their own language. So what's the gain?). And when Roman Catholics used only one language, Latin, no matter what your native tongue, one could attend Mass anywhere in the world and know what was being said and done. No one seemed to have a problem with this except the modernists who wormed their way into the Church.

But Father, I never was arguing your point about using the vernacular in Liturgy. I suspected from the first you could not substantiate your claim, and we in the Church have been victim of this false belief regarding the use of the vernacular, popularized by modernists, based only on their faulty logic. I simply wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, and was truly interested in any studies showing the vast positive benefit of switching to the vernacular, because I don't see it. And so it becomes evident you cannot substantiate your claim. And you don't want to admit it either.

In any case, may God bless you.
Bee

Anonymous said...

Bee - When empirical evidence has been presented here, it has been ignored. So the idea that you or other here are honestly seeking evidence is simply not the case.

In fact, I was talking about ANY language. 2,000,000 people, when presented with a language they do not understand, be it Latin, Swahili, Urdu, or Hungarian, will not be able to participate fully, active, consciously in any conversation, ritual, poetry reading, play performance, etc., that uses that language. There is no need for you to offer me the "benefit of the doubt" to know that people who don't understand Latin - or any other language - can't be fully engaged in whatever uses that language.

Using a language that makes possible that full, conscious, and active participation the Church desires is to be preferred to reading along in a missal or to reciting memorized prayers.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

I ask again Father, where is the empirical evidence for this? I will not ignore it. I will look at it and thy to understand. The truth is, there IS no empirical evidence for you assertion.

Father Kavanaugh, it seems absolutely obtuse of you to deny the ability of people to learn another language, or learn enough of another language to understand what is being said, especially in an unchanging ritual. How absurd!

I even would suspect a common language was chosen in the early Church to facilitate the celebration of the Eucharist among the very diverse people of different languages coming to accept Our Lord, and the Church finding using one language for everyone facilitated unity, instead of the separating each to his own kind.

The faulty logic being applied by you and those who agree with you is that every Roman Catholic speaks the same language. Where is that true, even in a small city?

Absurdity.

And as I said, you cannot prove or even support your contention that the result of going to the vernacular has improved that "full, conscious, active participation" you think it will achieve. In fact, if you and those who believe like you do were honest, you would look at the actual results of what your experiment has done: divided Catholics by language and culture.

So smug, even in your errors.

God bless.
Bee

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Bee - I do not deny the ability of people to learn another language, nor have I ever suggested such. Even I have managed to learn more than a fair bit of Spanish!

"The faulty logic being applied by you and those who agree with you is that every Roman Catholic speaks the same language."

I never applied any such "logic" because that isn't "logic." It is a simple matter of fact that every Roman Catholic does NOT speak the same language.

God Bless.