Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren
#51
(10-04-2012, 07:10 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(10-03-2012, 08:09 PM)JuniorCouncilor Wrote:
(10-03-2012, 05:04 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Regarding the postive versus negative tones, I think the distinction lies in the object of the pronoucement.  In my experience--and this lines up with what I've read from a lot of saints--is the dire warnings work better to keep good Catholics as good Catholics.  When interacting with someone outside the Church, or someone with little care for sin, or someone who already thinks he is saved, etc., the dire warnings don't do much--the positive bears many more fruits.  The pre-Vatican II Popes and Councils tended to be doing just what the negative approach works best for--they are addressing Catholics and intervening to keep them Catholic.  From Vatican II on, the Council and Popes have also been addressing the whole world, and I think that accounts for the change in tone for better or worse (personally I think said change in tone is a mixed bag).

This is an interesting idea, and seems likely enough prima facie.  However, I strongly suspect that we have not only a high rate of people falling away (which would be bad enough) but also a drop in conversions as a result of this "positive" attitude.

Scriptorium,
I'll be the first to admit that I'm negative to a fault in some ways, but that this is one of them is definitely not obvious to me.

The bottom line is we need both, and in balance.  The modern hierarchy's "focus on the positive" far outweighs any focus on the negative among people who are trying to be good Catholics.

Here's the thing: the most rapid increase in conversions to the Catholic Church in history is actually after Vatican II.  Not in the West, generally, though no slouch there, but the crop of conversions since the Council has actually been enormous worldwide.  The trips of JP II to Africa and the rest of the developing world coincided with the conversion of tens of millions to the Catholic Faith.  In pragmatic Evangelical terms, that is impressive.

The most rapid increase?  If you can give me a cite, I would be interested.  I could believe largest numbers-- since population now is greater than it's ever been-- but greatest rate of increase?  That seems difficult to believe.  If it were true, I would suspect it was because the "reforms" of V2 took place more slowly there.  We can see how the liberals were interested to conquer the first world first.

In any case, the most rapid exodus of priests and religious also took places after Vatican II.  You can argue post hoc ergo propter hoc on that if you want, but then it would apply to your argument as well...
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#52
(10-04-2012, 09:35 PM)Walty Wrote: But I don't think we can take this to mean that there isn't bad juju involved with paganism.  We're still to refrain from engaging in New Age practices, Wicca, witchcraft, magic, etc.  That isn't just to avoid scandal.

No.  But I won't lose any sleep over worrying if I inadvertently ingested Halal meat, either.
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#53
(10-04-2012, 09:39 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(10-04-2012, 09:35 PM)Walty Wrote: But I don't think we can take this to mean that there isn't bad juju involved with paganism.  We're still to refrain from engaging in New Age practices, Wicca, witchcraft, magic, etc.  That isn't just to avoid scandal.

No.  But I won't lose any sleep over worrying if I inadvertently ingested Halal meat, either.

Well sure, but you're not an Apostle or a Vicar of Christ.  It's one thing for you to eat something inadvertently.  It's another thing if the whole Church was watching you sit at the table.
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#54
On paganism, what would we say about the fact that ritual actions and devotional language from the mystery cults were taken up into Christian liturgy? One could also point to the way in which methods of depicting Sol Invictus were borrowed by Christian artists. All of this would seem to fall alarmingly short of a full condemnation.
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#55
"Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[6] (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[7] (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[8] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%.[9]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_p...atholicism

The number of priests is, incidentally, on the rise and has been for some time.  Just not among Westerners, whose culture is in decay:

"The number of bishops in the world went up from 4,541 in 2000 to 5,002 in 2008, an increase of 10.15%.
The number of priests also increased slightly over this nine-year period, passing from 405,178 in 2000 to 409,166 in 2008, an overall rise of 0.98%. In Africa and Asia their numbers increased (respectively, by 33.1% and 23.8%); in the Americas they remained stable, while they fell by 7% in Europe and 4% in Oceania."

http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-29058

"Decidedly more dynamic is the situation in Africa, where Catholics have almost tripled: in 1978 there were around 55 million and by 2004 had risen to almost 149 million. This growth, only in part attributable to purely demographic factors, reflects a real increase in the presence of baptized believers: in fact, Catholics, who made up 12.4% of the population of Africa in 1978, represented almost 17 % twenty-six years later. "

http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_10812_l3.htm

Let it be noted, that between the death of St. John and the rise of Constantine, the Church grew, on average, about 3% or so a year, by the best estimates: http://www.amazon.com/Cities-God-Christi...0060858427

I won't make a case that it is the highest rate of growth, that was perhaps hyperbole, but the fact is the missionary effort of the Church has flourished after Vatican II, and especially under JP2.
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#56
See, Vatican II actually bore good fruit!
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#57
(10-04-2012, 10:11 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote: See, Vatican II actually bore good fruit!

Correlation is not causation; but the fruits of the time are more mixed than is often admitted.
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#58
(10-04-2012, 09:46 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: On paganism, what would we say about the fact that ritual actions and devotional language from the mystery cults were taken up into Christian liturgy? One could also point to the way in which methods of depicting Sol Invictus were borrowed by Christian artists. All of this would seem to fall alarmingly short of a full condemnation.

I think you're overstating the influence of the pagans, almost as if the early Church took more from them than simple dates and symbology.  Be careful not to fall into that Jack Chick nonsense.
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#59
But the Church did borrow much more than dates and symbols. It's an historical fact.
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#60
Parmandur:
The world's population of Catholics held constant at 17% over the last 50 years.

So there wasn't any growth.  (Heck, there was negative growth because most of those Catholics don't actually ...  act Catholic)

:eyeroll:
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