I am not the most optimistic person in the world. So looking at the situation of the Church, I often despair that it will all come tumbling down. Reading stories like this one which tells of how the Archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain is combining parishes to form 48 new parishes down from 375 in 1950. When I read Ratzinger’s 1969 “prophecy,” originally a radio broadcast, now published in his Faith in the Future book, I tend to agree that the Church of the future will be much smaller institutionally.
Talking to seminarians I have sometimes posited that these young men might not always have a parish “plant” (to use the U.S. term) at their disposition. They may not have their own church, parish house, school, parish centre, and even a steady salary at their disposition. I have suggested that they might to get a regular job and welcome the local Christian community into a chapel in their homes on weekends.
It is clear that Catholic Mass attendance in this country (and after the pandemic) is as low as 10%, if not less, in some parts of the country and as high as 25% in other parts.
Of that percentage, I think it would be incumbent on bishops to commission a study of the few practicing Catholics and ascertain what these Catholics actually believe about what the Church teaches, believes and practices to be revealed by God.
It would be good, too, to compare EF Catholics with OF Catholics, the two forms of being Catholic in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I suspect that in Extraordinary Form parishes, the Catholics there will believe what the Church teaches about the Catholic Faith and will be more committed (rigid) to accepting and sharing these teachings. Not so much in Ordinary Form parishes, although there are certainly very committed (rigid) Catholics to be found in Ordinary Form parishes.
The clergy of EF parishes will be more orthodox than OF parishes although, certainly there are more orthodox (rigid) priests in orthodox parishes.
And when it comes to what the Church believes about the Mass as sacrifice and that the Sacramental real presence of the Risen Christ is truly made real under the “accidents” of Bread and Wine—that is, the Risen and Glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, EF parishes will be far, far, far ahead of Ordinary Form Catholics although even here, there will be faithful (rigid) Catholics.
Why is it that EF parishes produce more faithful (rigid) Catholics who believe in the Mass as Sacrifice and the Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist and those in Ordinary Form Parish don’t?
THE WAY YOU WORSHIP IS THE WAY YOU BELIEVE—PURE AND SIMPLE!
Distribution of Holy Communion at OF Mass where anyone may do it: