Saturday, December 20, 2014

The "Francis Effect" is not rooted in fact....

There are many Catholics who have gushed with excitement over what they referred to as "The Francis Effect."  We were told that finally we had a "pope of the people" and that Catholics were returning to the Church because of this.

I found such statements to be offensive to the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI and the memory of Saint Pope John Paul II. Not to mention all of the truly outstanding popes of the modern era and throughout the Church's history. Now of course we have the statistical data which highlights the fact that the "Francis Effect" was nothing more than wishful thinking.

From the Pew Forum:

"Pew Research surveys conducted over the past year found no change in the share of U.S. adults who identify as Catholic, or in self-reported rates of Mass attendance."

Patrick Buchanan writes, “The 1950s were America’s Catholic moment.  The moral authority of the Pope and America’s bishops was never higher.  Long lines formed outside confessionals on Saturdays.  It was standing room only at Sunday Mass [the same Mass now disparaged by the progressives today].  Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Rosary Crusade (‘The family that prays together stays together’) drew huge crowds.  The most visible prelate was Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, whose television ratings bested those of Milton Berle.  ‘He’s got better writers than I do,’ quipped Berle.  Notre Dame’s legendary gridiron teams had millions of ‘subway alumni.’  Four out of five Catholics cast their votes in 1960 for John F. Kennedy, who became our first Catholic president...Half a century on [since Vatican II], the disaster is manifest.  The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists.  Catholic colleges and universities remain Catholic in name only.  Parochial schools are closing as rapidly as they opened in the 1950s.  The number of nuns, priests, and seminarians have fallen dramatically.  Mass attendance is a third of what it was [broader participation?].  From the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to vice president Joe Biden, Catholic politicians openly support abortion on demand...

Four decades after Vatican II, a quarter century into the pontificate of John Paul II, Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis pulled together a slim volume of statistics demonstrating that the fears traditionalists who warned that the council was courting catastrophe had been justified.  And they exposed as naive those who insisted that the council would revitalize the faith, reconcile Catholicism with modernity, and make the Church more appealing to our secular world.  Here are Jones statistics on the decline and fall:

Clergy.  While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000 between 1930 and 1965, between 1965 and 2002 that number fell to 45,000 and is on course to sink to 31,000 in 2020, when more than half of all Catholic priests will be over the age of seventy.

Ordinations.  In 1965, 1,575 priests were ordained.  In 2002, the figure was 450.

Parishes.  In 1965, only 1 percent of parishes were without a priest.  In 2002, 15 percent, or 3,000 parishes, were without priests.

Seminarians.  Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of more than 90 percent.  Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries operating at the end of Vatican II have closed.

Nuns.  In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns.  By 2002, that number was down to 75,000 and their average age was 68.  By 2009, their numbers had fallen to 60,000, a loss of two-thirds in four and a half decades.

Teaching Nuns.  In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns.  Today, there are 8,200.

Jesuits.  In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests.  In 2,000, the figure was 389.

Christian Brothers.  The situation here is even more dire.  Their ranks have shrunk by two-thirds, while the number of seminarians has fallen by 99 percent.  In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers.  In 2,000, there were seven.

Religious Orders.  The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.  For many religious orders in America the end is in sight.

Diocesan High Schools.  Almost half of these high schools operating in the United States in 1965 had closed by 2002, and student enrollment had fallen from 700,000 to 386,000.

Parochial Schools.  In 1965, there were 4.5 million children in parish grammar schools.  By 2000, the number had plunged to 1.9 million.  In the first decade of this century, the number dropped again, to 1.5 million, a loss of two-thirds of Catholic parochial school enrollment since Vatican II - in a country whose population grew in that period by over 100 million.

In 2007, after interviewing 35,000 people for its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, the Pew Forum confirmed what Jones had reported.  Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in America had undergone a decline to rival what happened in some northern European countries during the Reformation.  By 2007:

One in three Catholics reared in the faith had left the Church.

One in ten American adults was a fallen-away Catholic.

Catholics remained 24 percent of the U.S. population only because of immigration.  Forty-six percent of all immigrants are Catholics.  As Irish, German, Italian, and Polish Catholics leave the Church or die, the pews fill up with Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese.  Were it not for immigrants, Catholics would have fallen from a fourth of the population to 18.4 percent, or less than one fifth...

Catholic losses have been ‘staggering,’ writes Fr. Joseph Sirba, ‘if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, 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....

The Catholics who remain in the Church are not nearly as firm in the faith or devout as their parents were.  The institutional shrinkage mirrors a spreading disbelief in doctrines that define the faith....Where a 1958 Gallup poll revealed that three of every four Catholics attended Mass on Sundays, a recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that one in four Catholics attend Sunday Mass today.”

Is this the “broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church” that Vatican II was said to have accomplished?

Shall the lying stop now?


Unknown said...


The Ship of Peter is torn apart
Martyred in its Holy Teaching
It sinks and sinks, no work of art
The bottom though never reaching

Dissidents are screaming loud
Leaving behind an awful niff
Pretending to be proudly stout
Gearing the Ship into a cliff

Jesus shows His wounded Heart
Smitten with a deadly dart
Peter the Rock in desolation
Deploring severe desecration

Wake up, you Christian Brother
Show now your truthful face
With Mary our Heavenly Mother
We'll reach that Peaceful Place

In allegiance to the Holy Father (still Benedict XVI)
United in prayer and fasting
No victory will claim, but rather
Satan's defeat be everlasting.

Rita Biesemans, 01-02-2011

Unknown said...


Penance Penance Penance
to avoid Divine vengeance
for not showing any remorse
and trying our will to enforce

The reign of the IMPOSTER has arrived
the Church, of TRUTH is being deprived
the whole world hangs on his lips
while being readied for a total eclipse

The true followers of Christ
trying to pull off the heist
are persecuted for non-compliance
and being countered with defiance

When it will seem that all is lost
everything sacred has been tossed
God will deliver us from our agony
and reign forever in all His Majesty


Rita Biesemans, December 19 2013

Athol/OrangeCatholic said...

It's all a lot of smoke. Michael Brown at Spirit Daily was running articles suggesting that Pope Francis was bringing Catholics back into the Church. The plain fact is that the Church is bleeding members as never before. Even Bishop McManus knows this. In last week's CFP, page 7, he admitted that he didn't care to release the Mass attendance statistics for the Worcester Diocese.

I'll bet. Parishes are in free fall or struggling just to stop the bleed.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

"Adding insult to injury, Obama mentioned “His Holiness Pope Francis” as a driving force behind this exercise in poor diplomatic judgement. This was also to be expected. Francis has opened the doors of the Vatican wide open to Marxists, Atheists, and others– who march to the beat of the United Nations.

For nearly fifty-six years the world has watched the slow agony of the Cuban people– and very few have stepped up to the plate to denounce it. The international community has no problem uniting with vigorous opposition to programs such as Operation Condor, which was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. But they remain silent when it comes to the horrors committed in Cuba.

Is it any wonder that Alan Gross, the American citizen who was finally released yesterday from a Cuban prison after five years, was met with a picture of Che Guevara at his lawyer’s office in Washington DC?

Do you want to know who Che really was? He was a blood-thirsty Marxist torturer who personally signed the execution of hundreds– if not thousands– of innocent Cubans, in the political prison where I remember seeing my father for the first time."

- Marielena Montesino de Stuart

Unknown said... watch this 2.41 min video about a FIESTA organized in a Church in Brussels by the auxilliary Bishop of Mgr. LEONARD in Belgium. He is telling that he is oh so timid. There are many ways the reach the people and he likes it the modern way : opening churches for Fiestas, Dinners, homeless sleeping and eating: that's always around Christmas. This particular event was on Pentecost.
It almost makes me vomit when I see the Churches being misused like that : I hear them say already to me : "WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE" Jesus, my God, I feel so for You, how long will You still wait to interfere. I know that Your timing and acting is always perfect, I just keep praying for Your Coming rather sooner than later. Riki

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