by Fr Richard Heilman | May 3, 2016 10:02 PM
“Certainly, the results [of Vatican II] seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to dissension which—to use the words of Paul VI—seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which has developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting for many. The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church.”
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
L’Osservatore Romano (English edition),
24 December 1984
I count myself among those, priests and lay faithful alike, who are exceedingly concerned with the trajectory of the Catholic Church in America – the actual loss of souls – in this post-Vatican II era.
According to the 2002 Index of Leading Catholic Indicators,
“In 1965, only one percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priestless parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns. Today, there are 8,200, a decline of 94 percent. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that three in four Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that only one in four now attend. Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers now accept Church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to Mass on Sundays. By one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is merely a ‘symbolic reminder’ of Jesus.”
And, if we hoped things were getting any better since this 2002 study, a recent CARA study found that, just since AD 2000, 14 million more Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, infant baptism has dropped by 28%, adult baptism has dropped by 31%, and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%.
To discover whether the Roman Catholic Church is sick or not, you can look at the statistics. But I am struck by the biggest “tell” … Presidential election pollsters, when looking for sections of a State strongest on Pro-Life and Pro-Traditional Marriage, don’t say, “This is a strong Catholic region.” No, it is, “This is a strong Evangelical region.”
When are we going to wake up and smell the coffee, that this “Post-Vatican II Experiment” has gone horribly awry?
What is the medicine to heal our ailing Church? Read THIS.
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