Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013: Year in Review

At the Universal level: 

This year saw the election of a new pope. Though much has been made of various actions and quotes of the Pope; I suggest that we take to heart his remark that the Church is in "grave crisis". Cardinal Ratzinger too, prior to his election to the Supreme Pontificate wrote of the crisis perhaps being the gravest in history; at the doctrinal level. At times during the Pontificates of Paul VI and John Paul II, the curtain of blunt honesty would be momentarily drawn back, and admissions of disaster admitted; only for the curtain to fall again, and the official party line of renewal be trotted out. An attempt by some in the "traditional" movement to return to the fantasy of the 1950s won't work. In fact, the decadence of that time and the early 60s bred the post-conciliar disaster. The rot had set in years before the Council. The Council can be thanked for blowing away the myth of 1950s Catholicism in all its gooey, feel-good go-along-to-get-along nonsense. Catholics have taken to abortion, contraception, sexual deviance like the rest, because there was little to distinguish them from the rest. 

We shall have to wait well into the new year to determine the general trajectory of Pope Francis' reign. The input, the Pope's implementation of his and his advisors plans will manifest to us what we can expect over the next few years. How, when, if the Supreme Pontiff moves against the "gay lobby" will tell us about the general spiritual health in Rome.  

At the Archdiocesan level: 

This year saw the unveiling of a Pastoral Plan that is cause for grave concern. It is quite evident that the local church (abstracting from copious amounts of bricks and mortar) is, to quote again Pope Francis, "in grave crisis". This was horrifyingly confirmed through the double lives led by far too many young people. The public internet archiving of sin (all the while Catholic youth oblivious to the sense of sin) is also a public testimony to the pastoral failure of clergy, parents and school teachers to transmit the Faith to the younger Generation. One has to ask, how much of the Faith did these hoped for transmitters have to leave such devastation? The tragic evidence suggests that the local church is due for a near total collapse over the next 25 or so years. There is nothing in the pastoral plan of a sense of extreme urgency, of a crisis at hand.


Freyr said...

You are quite right. Some of my memories of the pre-conciliar church are not pleasant ones. When I moved out of the city we ran into the phenomenon of suburban mega churches. Long Island has some of the largest parishes in the nation. We ran right smack into the post war suburban building boom. My experience from age 9 through 18 was a gradual estrangement from the Church culminating long before the council's effect began to be felt in the 70's. My parents were alienated from the local parish by the high cost of parochial school tuition and the solicitation of pledges to support the building of the local church. As new home owners they had little to spare for such things. Often I was sent to mass and told to bring back a bulletin to prove I had been there.

Luciano Toscan said...

"The rot had set in years before the Council. The Council can be thanked for blowing away the myth of 1950s Catholicism in all its gooey, feel-good go-along-to-get-along
nonsense." What an amazing statement and not my personal experience at all, having been born in Northern Italy in the 50's in a culture totally immersed in Catholic values and practices.
The older I get the less sure I am of what we are to thank VII for as the results of the rupture are all around us. But then I always struggle with the rupture being by VII or the misreading of VII. I do however feel that the liturgical changes were not all good and this did lead to a loss of the sense of sin and reverence for God.