Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diocese of Worcester: Catholic Church in Northeast is not dead or dying..many of its members have moved to the suburbs.

On June 11, 1988, Our Lady told Father Gobbi, "Satan, my Adversary, with snares and by means of his subtle seduction, has succeeded in spreading errors everywhere, under the form of new and more updated interpretations of the truth, and he has led many to choose with full knowledge - and to live in - sin, in the deceiving conviction that this is no longer an evil, and even that it is a value and a good. The times of the general confusion and of the greatest agitation of spirits has come. Confusion has entered into the souls and the lives of many of my children. This great apostasy is spreading more and more, even through the interior of the Catholic Church. Errors are being taught and spread about, while the fundamental truths of the faith, which the authentic Magisterium of the Church has always taught and energetically defended against any heretical deviation whatsoever, are being denied with impunity....In these times, in the Catholic Church, there will remain a little remnant who will be faithful to Christ, to the Gospel, and to its entire truth. The little remnant will form a little flock, all guarded in the depths of my Immaculate Heart. This little flock will be made up of those bishops, priests, religious and faithful who will remain strongly united to the Pope, all gathered together in the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart, in an act of unceasing prayer, of continual immolation, of total offering to prepare the painful way for the second and glorious coming of my Son Jesus..."

The Sons of Hell, the Children of Belial as St. Louis de Montfort refers to them, are spreading their errors everywhere. The confusion of our own time has become general. And this too was prophesied by the great Jesuit priest Father Nectou, who said that before the triumph of the Church, "The confusion will be so general that mankind will not be able to aright, as if God had entirely withheld His providence from mankind, and during the worst crisis the best thing that can be done will be to remain where God has placed us, and persevere in fervent prayer."

It was Fr. Vincent Miceli who warned that: "The West has divinized Security and Technocracy; the East, Science and Revolution. But in both camps atheistic humanism has become the State religion. And both of these systems of secular humanism eclipse the person, eliminate his freedom, deny his human-divine value and subject him to the tyranny of technological impersonalism. The alarming signs of the times testify to a fierce spirit of evil advancing everywhere. It is the spirit of rebellion against God and man. Hitherto the powers of government in each country, as yet relying on God and reason, were firm and vigorous eough to restrain this rebellion. But today many agnostic countries can barely contain that lawless spirit, while many others have actually legalized the principle of lawlessness itself, the principle of license masquerading as liberty.

We are reminded of St. Paul's warning to the Thessalonians. In the last days there will be an aweful, unparalleled outbreak of evil everywhere. This will be called the Great Apostasy. In the midst of this general falling away a certain Man of Sin, having the image of Satan and breathing hatred toward God and man, will appear. He will exercise frightening preternatural powers of destruction against the just. This Child of Perdition will be so special and singular an enemy of Christ that he will be called Antichrist. For just as types of Christ went before Jesus, heralding his coming, so shadows of Antichrist have already preceded him...."

Many Catholics, such as Father Robert Bruso, fail to read the signs of the times.  Father is concerned that some Catholics - such as this writer - believe we are in the times of the final battle between good and evil, between Gospel and anti-Gospel, between the forces of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist.  He takes exception to those who believe we are in "..a battle between the forces of goodness and truth versus the forces of evil and darkness."  See here.

While Fr. Bruso apparently cannot appreciate the signs of the times and the dire condition of the Catholic Church in many regions throughout the world, Pat Buchanan notes that: "Northern New England has passed the Pacific Northwest as the region with the highest percentage of those unaffiliated with a church.  The Vermont of socialist senator Bernie Sanders leads the nation, with 34 percent professing no religion.  Unsurprisingly, it is in New England that same-sex marriage has been most warmly received.  As the ranks of the unaffiliated grow in New England, the ranks of those attached to traditional churches decline.  'Thanks to immigration and the natural increase among Latinos, California now has a higher proportion of Catholics than New England,' says Barry Kosmin, of the American Religious Identification survey. 'The decline of Catholicism in the Northeast is nothing short of stunning.'"

Back in 2007, after interviewing 35,000 people for its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, the Pew Forum reported that since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in the United States has undergone a massive decline comparable to what happened in some northern European countries during the Reformation.  By 2007, 1 in 3 Catholics reared in the faith had left the Church; 1 in 10 adults was a fallen-away Catholic.  Father Joseph Sirba describes these losses as "staggering" and adds: "...the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all 35.4 percent - or more than one-third - of the 64,131,750 of its native-born members."

But hey, all is well.  Father Bruso assures us that we are not living in apocalyptic times. So too the diocesan newspaper The Catholic Free Press.  Back in 2008, in a May 23rd editorial entitled "New Life, New Vitality," the publication assured us that, "The Catholic Church is not dead or dying, but many of its members have moved to the suburbs." See here.  But the Catholic Church is in crisis in the Northeast.  Its members haven't just "moved to the suburbs."  They have moved toward other religious affiliation or toward no religion at all.

And many of those who do remain in the Church are not nearly as firm in the faith (fortes in fide) as their parents were.  For example, whereas a 1958 Gallup poll showed that 3 out of every 4 Catholics attended Mass on Sundays, a recent study conducted by the University of Notre Dame found that only 1 in 4 Catholics attend Mass on Sunday.

Even as half the parishes in Fr. Bruso's city of Fitchburg, Massachusetts were closed recently, the priest, whose own fidelity to Church teaching is in question, like those who produce the diocesan newspaper, seems determined to live in denial.

New life and new vitality for the Diocese of Worcester?  Or a mad descent into apostasy?


ShrewsburyCatholic said...

The Diocese of Worcester is not experiencing a revitalization. It is disintegrating and its members are leaving in droves.

Stewart said...

I'm okay, you're okay -

How far we have sunk,

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

T.S. Eliot said, more than eighty years ago, "The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse."

Modern man has opted for the flight from God. But the new Tower of Babel is indeed doomed to fail.

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