Crux News reports: "...the total number of Catholics in the United States dropped by 3 million since 2007, now comprising about 20 percent – or one-fifth – of the total population.
And perhaps more troubling for the church, for every one Catholic convert, more than six Catholics leave the church. Taken a step further, Catholicism loses more members than it gains at a higher rate than any other denomination, with nearly 13 percent of all Americans describing themselves as 'former Catholics.'"
This should come as no surprise. Years of witnessing corruption of various kinds (material and moral), not to mention a lack of leadership and charity, have turned young people- and people of all ages- off of the Church.
In many parishes, orthodox Catholics are subjected to hatred and violence. For example, when I called for reverence in the liturgy and advanced the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI that applause has no place within the liturgy, I was threatened with violence by "leaders" at Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol and banned from the parish's Facebook page. See here.
We've had enough of a preaching which leaves Zebulun and Naphtali in the shadow of death. We've had enough of a Cotton-Candy Catholicism which offers Chicken-Soup Homilies and asinine theatrics rather than the solid meat of sound preaching and liturgical reverence. Sadly, so many of our priests haven't caught on to this. And so they continue to spoon-feed us the unsatisfying pablum.
The time for lying is over. I have been saying this for years. Back in 2009, Archbishop Charles Chaput noted that, "40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected...We can't talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we've allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other..."
The lying must stop. For this to happen, we need priests and Bishops who fear God more than they do men. Cowards will not lead us out of the valley of death. Neither will homosexuality or effeminate clerics who cannot relate to men. Only shepherds who have the spiritual strength, the Cardinal Gift of Fortitude, to brave the risk of worldly criticism, will be able to lead the American Catholic Church out of the valley of the Culture of Death and back on the road to the Civilization of Love which Pope John Paul II spoke of so often.
Why have so many priests succumbed to fear? Why is it that their preaching no longer points out sin? Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange provides us with an answer:
"The reason for this is not difficult to find. A sermon is the result of the combined effort of all the priest's powers; it reveals his entire person; it is his struggle against the vices of the surrounding world." In other words, if the preaching is unsound, it is because the priest's spiritual life is unsound. Fr. Lagrange continues, "Everything in the priest cooperates in his preaching - study, reflection, his powers to compose and revise, the activity of his intellect, his imagination, his memory, his feelings, his voice. Therefore, when he preaches, the priest stands exposed for all to study; some will be attracted, others will not. Some will accept what he says, others will simply criticize. So if the priest approaches his task from the human angle, he will say to himself: 'I cannot afford to lose my reputation; people of weight in the parish who take offense easily must be spared their feelings and not provoked; I must proceed warily so as not to incur criticism.' In that way Christian eloquence is invaded by a profane eloquence in which the preacher looks after his own interests, not the glory of God or the saving of souls." (The Priest In Union With Christ, p. 156).
Forty years of lying has wrought so much damage to the American Catholic Church. Archbishop Chaput is right, we are merely reaping the fruit of what we've planted. St. Paul tells us that, "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.." (Galatians 5: 22). But what fruit have we witnessed in the American Catholic Church? The Church has been infected with dry-rot as so many Catholics have succumbed to the works of the flesh.
We need heroic shepherds. Men who, like Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J., are willing to give their very lives for the Catholic Church and her teaching.
Sissy clerics aren't getting the job done. And this Lavender Mafia will never acknowledge this. The Cult of Softness will not- IT CANNOT - examine itself. It is too fat, too lazy, too corrupt, too proud. It has become a haunt of demons where every manner of filth and immorality is welcome and faith and purity are treated with animus.
Large segments of the Church in America are simply lost.