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Interesting article in a liberal college newspaper about American Catholics (And Christians) and how their religion has been subjected to modernism. What do you think?

http://www.mndaily.com/blogs/unfit-print...modern-age
The largest challenge facing the church today is convincing the growing body of “spiritual but not religious” people that it can fulfill their very real spiritual hunger. 

The sentence above is how the article ended and while I would agree to a point I would take it further and say that the greatest challenge facing the Church today is convincing, not just laity, but Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and priests that Catholicism is true and that, being true, it demands to be taken seriously. The Church is in the mess it is in because of a lack of faith in the hearts of the leaders of the Church. Vatican II and the 50 some odd years of bitter rotten fruit coming in it's wake are a symptoms of a massive loss of faith of Catholics in their own faith. The American Church is but one decaying outpost in the rotting and fading empire of the Roman Catholic Church. People are not convinced by those that don't really believe what they preach and by and large I don't see almost any bishop anywhere in the Catholic Church be it in America or otherwise that actually seems to really and truly believe that Catholicism is true and that Jesus Christ is God if we can judge by their actions. The Church cannot convince a world gone mad if she and her leaders can't even convince themselves. The secular world knows this and rightfully laughs at the Church. There will be no "new evangelization" until the leaders of the Church are re-evangelized and the architecture, liturgy and piety of Catholics mirrors the faith that is professed. If the Church wants to be taken seriously she must act serious the way she used to but she cannot act serious and convincing unless those who lead her actually believe in what the Church used to profess with their hearts.
Interesting point. Reminds of something I recently read from one of my favorite writers, though.

And while a rigorist might say that dissent is dissent is dissent, the fact that the church has to woo and convince and sometimes reconvert its own baptized members, rather than assuming their docility and obedience, is an opportunity as well as a burden — and a challenge that the church’s leaders and most loyal adherents should be eager to rise to meet.

And concludes rather positively

Catholicism may be damaged and divided, in other words, but it is not exhausted yet. There is rubble everywhere, and fallen arches and sagging walls and cracking ceilings — but there is also still a foundation of belief upon which a stronger church might yet be built.

That's how I feel. While the church may be relatively weak compared to how it was 500 years ago, it remains strong in the midst of such strident modernism.
[quote='MillTownCath' pid='1149365' dateline='1362018697']
Interesting point. Reminds of something I recently read from one of my favorite writers, though.

And while a rigorist might say that dissent is dissent is dissent, the fact that the church has to woo and convince and sometimes reconvert its own baptized members, rather than assuming their docility and obedience, is an opportunity as well as a burden — and a challenge that the church’s leaders and most loyal adherents should be eager to rise to meet.

And concludes rather positively

Catholicism may be damaged and divided, in other words, but it is not exhausted yet. There is rubble everywhere, and fallen arches and sagging walls and cracking ceilings — but there is also still a foundation of belief upon which a stronger church might yet be built.

That's how I feel. While the church may be relatively weak compared to how it was 500 years ago, it remains strong in the midst of such strident modernism.


I agree that the Church is not exhausted yet. There are good and holy priests and serious laymen still to be found. All I am saying is that Churchmen can talk all they want about a "new evangelization" but if they do not really believe and if the architecture, the piety and the liturgy do not reflect the Faith of old then they will ultimately convince very few and there will be no "second spring".  I think that the crisis of the Church is at heart a crisis of faith and all the tinkering with the liturgy, the architecture of churches, the books of blessings, the very language and way of governing the church etc. is symptomatic of that. As the late Dr. William Marra used to say the Church today is playing an "uncertain trumpet" and believe me, the secular world with its assorted skeptics and unbelievers and the Orthodox world with its already vicious hatred of all things Catholic are listening and taking note and filling their notebooks with more reasons why to them the Roman Catholic Church is a joke, a laughingstock and not to be taken seriously. 

Despite all this there is hope but it is the hope of one that is stuck in a dark night that trusts in the obscure light of faith and Providence more than anything else. All I know is that even with some good things going on the situation is still pretty desperate in the Church and what is needed very much is a strong no nonsense Pope willing to be a laughingstock in the world media, not for kissing korans and praising post temple Judaism or lending an air of respectability to evolution but for being an anachronism, a man of faith in a world gone mad---a church gone mad--with modernism, skepticism and compromise. What will make the world listen is a Church not on the defensive but on the offensive for souls come hell or high water, but that can only come with a Church whose architecture, liturgy, piety and leaders all reflect the perennial Catholic faith.
It comes down to this: nobody will believe you if you don't really believe it yourself. That's true of anything.  Clergy have to believe in Catholicism themselves before anybody is going to follow them into it.

In the 50's the church was a shining city on a hill. The clergy REALLY believed in all the things we traditionalists believe in now, and the whole world, it seemed, was converting. Today, they finesse the meaning right out of every doctrine, and people aren't convinced by that kind of wishy-washy religion.
(02-28-2013, 01:56 AM)charlesh Wrote: [ -> ]It comes down to this: nobody will believe you if you don't really believe it yourself. That's true of anything.  Clergy have to believe in Catholicism themselves before anybody is going to follow them into it.

In the 50's the church was a shining city on a hill. The clergy REALLY believed in all the things we traditionalists believe in now, and the whole world, it seemed, was converting. Today, they finesse the meaning right out of every doctrine, and people aren't convinced by that kind of wishy-washy religion.

So do you attribute the decline of church influence in the modern world to more the church itself than anything else?

The author seems to blame the laity/culture for changing and not being obedient rather than the bishops themselves. I tend to agree with him.

Though I do think things like the confirmation process (or lack there of - I had a horrible experience myself) need to improve and provide
students with a stronger foundation for faith.
(02-28-2013, 09:04 AM)MillTownCath Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-28-2013, 01:56 AM)charlesh Wrote: [ -> ]It comes down to this: nobody will believe you if you don't really believe it yourself. That's true of anything.  Clergy have to believe in Catholicism themselves before anybody is going to follow them into it.

In the 50's the church was a shining city on a hill. The clergy REALLY believed in all the things we traditionalists believe in now, and the whole world, it seemed, was converting. Today, they finesse the meaning right out of every doctrine, and people aren't convinced by that kind of wishy-washy religion.

So do you attribute the decline of church influence in the modern world to more the church itself than anything else?
The author seems to blame the laity/culture for changing and not being obedient rather than the bishops themselves. I tend to agree with him.

Though I do think things like the confirmation process (or lack there of - I had a horrible experience myself) need to improve and provide
students with a stronger foundation for faith.


I would say yes, the decline of the Church has more to do with the Church itself than anything else. As Charlesh says, if you don't really believe what you say you believe people see through it. The modern Church in everything from architecture, music, liturgy, the wording of blessings, the words and actions of bishops, etc. betrays a lack of faith in traditional Catholicism or even a real living faith in the God of the Bible at all. Vatican II and it's aftermath are laid firmly at the feet of the leaders of the Church. They lost faith in Catholicism and tried to change the Church and darn near everything about her in order to fit in with the modern world. If that isn't a symptom of a massive loss of faith than I don't know what is. Since the Church is indefectible she will rise again but not until she returns wholeheartedly to what worked for the nearly 2000 years prior to 1965.
*subscribing* I don't have time at the moment, but I do want to return to this topic and add my opinions.
(02-28-2013, 01:56 AM)charlesh Wrote: [ -> ]It comes down to this: nobody will believe you if you don't really believe it yourself. That's true of anything.  Clergy have to believe in Catholicism themselves before anybody is going to follow them into it.

In the 50's the church was a shining city on a hill. The clergy REALLY believed in all the things we traditionalists believe in now, and the whole world, it seemed, was converting. Today, they finesse the meaning right out of every doctrine, and people aren't convinced by that kind of wishy-washy religion.

This is an excellent description of the problem.