"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fr Paul MacDonald Opines On Our Crisis



Our diocese is using our parish to pilot a new program called "Strong Catholic Faith, Strong Catholic Youth."

It really isn't a program per se but a way of being parish that strives to make the family unit the Church in miniature and to give the family the support they need to be strong Catholic families handing on the strong Catholic faith and thus forming strong Catholic youth. Sounds simple, well no.

Just one more example of what Vatican II's wrong implementation has done to us as a community of believers, as Catholic families and as the Church we can see the steady decline in families with Strong Catholic faith and strong Catholic youth as we compare the Catholic Church's ability to hand on a strong Catholic faith and to form a strong Catholic youth to other denominations and religions.

Today this is the ranking in order of success:

1. The Mormon Church--their institutional Church has a consistent way of helping their families stay engaged with the faith, form strong Mormon youth and teenage boys are expected to do two years of missionary service. They have one night dedicated to the family which is Monday with materials they use. They don't allow a gray world to mis-color their faith.

2. Conservative Protestant denominations

3. African American Protestant denominations

4. Mainline Protestant denominations

5. Catholics

6. Jews

7. non believers

So we as Catholics rank nearly at the bottom with secular Jews doing worse than us and non-believers doing almost as well.

But this was not always the case. Up until Vatican II, Catholics like the Mormons had a strong set of guidelines to live the Catholic faith at home. It entailed:

1. The obligation to attend Mass every Sunday with daily Mass highly encouraged and weekly confession

2. Strong Catholic parishes that were geographical with strong parish schools that Catholics were expected to use even under the penalty of sin if they didn't. Nuns in habits that staffed these schools and weren't paid hired hands, thus making the school an extension of the home and like homeschooling

3. Divorce forbidden except for the most extreme pastoral needs and everyone who divorced knew they were forbidden from receiving the sacraments if they remarried outside the Church or led a life of sin after divorce

4. Catholics were highly committed to their Church, seldom if ever denigrated it, sought to reform it or thought what they had wasn't good enough

5. Catholic parishes and Catholic schools, especially the sisters encouraged vocations to the priesthood and religious life and there was an abundance

6. The Liturgy and sacraments were universal and in the same language, Latin for the Latin Rite (how novel!) and not fragmented by the quirks of inculturation. However inculturation was important for popular devotions which were very rich but varied from culture to culture and appreciated by all the cultures

So, how did the wrong implementation of Vatican II harm our Catholic identity and thus our Strong Catholic faith and thus weaken our Catholic youth?

1. The loss of respect for the observance of religious law, such as the 10 Commandments but especially for the precepts of the Church, canon law and this was promoted by the hierarchy and theologians in the catechetical materials that were used and approved by them and by preaching from the pulpit and by the rebellion of priests and religious that went unchallenged by the hierarchy of the Church. Thus Mass as an obligation was denigrated, weekly confession mocked, popular devotions squelched and the formality of the Mass with strict Latin thrown out. Inculturalation infiltrated the Mass and its music and fragmented the Church into competing camps not only from parish to parish but within the same parish!

2. Catholics began to pick and choose their parishes not out of geographical location but out of how well parishes did church and celebrated the sacraments, which usually meant lively music regardless of the sacramental aspects. Cafeteria Catholicism began to develop and later extended even to doctrine and dogma.

3. The Church's pastoral care for divorced Catholics became very liberal and calls for relaxing the Church's teaching in this regard as well as for contraception and individual priests giving permission to Catholics to divorce and receive Holy Communion even after remarriage and giving permission for artificial birth control accelerated divorce in the Church as it became less and less taboo and sometimes promoted by the local parishes. The loss of the sense of sin and scandal in this regard accelerated the sexual revolution and its denigration of traditional Catholic sexual morality as it concerned contraception, fornication, adultery, masturbation, pedophilia, ephebophilia and all the other philias. Everyone's sexual orientation and desires were seen as God-given and to be celebrated out in the open or behind closed doors and with or without winks and nods.

4. Catholic renewal or reform became high individualistic as did personal morality thus fragmenting the Church even more and creating a culture of denigrating what had been the basis of a strong Catholic culture, strong Catholic faith and strong Catholic youth in pre-Vatican II times. Criticism of the Church became an art! The damage that Catholic public figures have done to the Church both in politics and entertainment cannot be underestimated, especially when it goes unchallenged by bishops that look the other way or wring their hands and fail to excommunicate or place censures against them

5. The collapse of religious life led to the closing of many Catholic schools and hospitals and this collapse can be traced to the wrongheaded type of reform these religious promoted and continue to promote. Catholic schools became totally lay operated with teachers' salaries needing to be on par with public school teachers which thus jacked up prices for Catholic education where the religious component was then watered down and Catholic education was seen as a commodity that is purchased by those who can afford it and for a good secular education with religious identity superficial.

6. The Mass became very horizontal and casual dependent on the cult of the personality of both the priest and the congregation and their warmth, caring attitudes and the sounds and gestures they make and it is fragmented by a multiplicity of languages that divides rather than unifies our Catholic communities both in spoken and sung formats.

All this and much more promoted as renewal by a generation of rebellious clergy and religious who are now in their late 50's and older accounts for the Catholic Church being at the bottom of the totem pole with the atheists rather than at the tops above the Mormons where we once proudly stood. What is the difference today with the Mormons and the Catholics? The Mormons did not promote in any active way a reform of the their faith that caused it to lose its strong Mormon identity, whereas the Catholic Church's misimplementation of Vatican II did precisely that, activate and steamroll the loss of Catholic identity through wrong-headed reform.

And as a sign that gross denial about the deleterious effects of the misapplication of Vatican II in the Church has caused, this same group continues to spout for the same thing which is the surest sign of a mental illness--doing the same thing over and over and thinking there will be a better outcome.

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