The U.S. Catholic Church Is Sinking Fast

June 2007

The March 9th National Catholic Reporter (NCR) reported on two recent sociological surveys of Catholics.

One survey, conducted by Vincent Bolduc at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, collected data on more than 1,600 students at five Catholic colleges. According to NCR, "Bolduc said young Catholic students he studied are steeped in a national culture that often regards the Catholic sexual prohibitions against premarital sex, artificial birth control, abortion, divorce, women priests and homosexual behavior as anachronistic." These are the future Catholics.

The other survey (the full report is in NCR, Sept. 30, 2005) was conducted by William V. D'Antonio, James Davidson, Dean Hoge, and Mary Gauthier.

They found that, among highly committed Catholics, 62 percent support priestesses.

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New Oxford Notes: June 2007

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Luke (Posted by: luke June 12, 2007 11:05 AM EDT ) states that “Well, basically, there are two Catholic churches - the one which trusts the Magisterium on matters of right and wrong, and the one which believes whatever the hell (and I mean that) it wants.)

While I believe in the teaching of the true Magisterium, nowadays it is difficult to discern whether what emanates from the Vatican is from the Magisterium or from “hell (and I mean that).” For example, is this nonsense about limbo from the Magisterium or from hell?

And it is not only the teaching that seems to emanate from hell but the appointments! One new bishop is worse than the other.

The true Church seems to be forced underground to survive this coming winter (and I don't mean the season from November to March!).

Posted by: blueskies
August 09, 2007 09:53 AM EDT
Although it is not fair to say that all of the Church's current ills are due to Vatican II, it is also not unfair to say that Vatican II was an adrenaline rush to the liberal Vatican II-nicks who were already pushing the Church in the wrong direction.

And, it's much more than the "Spirit of Vatican II"; no, let's be frank: it's the documents themselves, poorly written and ambiguous as they are, which led to this thrust. There are also fine passages in VII. A council of a few thousand Bishops is bound to produce some good fruits. And I'm not saying VII was an invalid council. But not every word from a council carries the impart of infallibility. That is just a reality. Learn your Church history, because I don't have the time or space to explain it here.

Vatican II, according to Pope Benedict XVI imparted itself on the "modest" level of a pastoral council. We need to respect it to a degree, but we do not need to bend our knees to the altar of, say, "ecumenism" as if it is a solemn dogma of the Church. See, this is where many faithful Catholics begin to get scared. They don't want to be "schismatic", like those "awful SSPXers", even though, really, SSPX is just living the tradition of the Catholic Church (at least for know, they, too, need to be mindful of the possiblity that their rightful indignation at post-conciliar novelty might spill over into pride.)

I am becoming more and more horrified at the average Novus Ordo Mass that I go to. It is a valid mass (or, at least, mostly so) but God should not be worshipped in a happy-clappy protestantesque manner, where people and priest perform a poor rendition of the Johnny Carson show....
Posted by: conlee
August 09, 2007 12:53 AM EDT
For the post Vat Catholics expressing non Catholic positions-76, 44, 59 % there is a still a sizeable group taking the Catholic position on the matters surveyed- 24%, 56%, 41%. Within that cohort there is a group of Orthodox Catholics, many married and having children. These are the ones attempting to forge a Catholic counterculture for their families and friends. They are consciously trying to catechise their children despite the liturgical and ecclesial disaster zone around them. Our experience is that many Bishops and priests have no interest in helping this cohort or their children. Even when they must know here in Australia how Catholic Schools have in the main sought to undo every effort of these families to raise their children Catholic, they continue to defend the system. It would be politically difficult but it would seem to many of us that a lot more could have been done to at least offer a couple of orthodox Catholic Schools to the families of each diocese. It would also seem that some effort should be made to offer some strategically placed parishs around each diocese that offer authentic liturgical experience, catechesis and social support consciously directed at these families. If our children dont grow up Catholic then who will be there in 50 years?
Oh- and as for the few young adults, the Millenial generation, who are still holding on to their Catholic faith despite the post modern cultural sludge in which they are swimming, it would be nice if we could offer them more than a few youth leaders and a once in every few years WYD experience. But no, here in Australia, many of our priests have decided, in the interests of expanding their long weekend, to cancel the Sunday night Massess. They are happy to keep the Saturday evening "vigil" mass going even though this is the most recent innovation. Surely these priests know that many young people have work committments on Saturday evenings and also social committments that can compete for their allegiences when their faith is not very strong. The tendency of young people to attend Sunday evening Masses goes back to the Tridentine Rite days Many young people gained much needed social and pastoral support through attendence on Sunday evenings and it is probably safe to say that many Catholic marriages got started at Sunday evening Masses and the youth gatherings that have accompanied them. It would seem to me that we should make strong efforts to hold these young people long enough to give them good catechesis and support, but it would seem that in many parishes they are now being written off.
Posted by: aconway
June 09, 2007 03:49 AM EDT
I just finished my first year of homeschooling (3rd and 4th graders) and have tapped into a wonderful group of true orthodox Catholics! My kids had been in Catholic Schools from the very start, but the education they were getting was clearly secular. Most Catholic school parents like the idea that Catholicism isn't being "shoved down their kids' throats" and are merely using the schools as an alternative to public schools. I wanted my kids to really know their faith and love it like I do, but for years I was afraid I would not be able to teach my own kids. Our first year has been a HUGE success. My only regret is that I did not do this sooner! Catholic parents out there.....home-school your can do will be surprised to find many families out there just like you! We are blessed with a very orthodox parochial vicar who uses many of the Latin prayers during Mass. My kids are very proud that they know all these prayers and the English translations! Posted by: rpkammerer
July 17, 2007 10:36 AM EDT
My kids go to a Maria Montessori private school. Maria was a devout Catholic, and even wrote a book on teaching the Latin Mass to children! However, the school my kids go to is not religious. We find the diversity a great opportunity to teach eternal values to our kids. We don't equivocate. We tell and teach our kids: your catholicity cannot be compromised, it is your (and the world's) path to eternal salvation. But people believe differently, and we must live in a world of different beliefs, even if we know ours is the Truth.

I have cousins who were homeschooled religiously, and are not the archetypes of devotion, but are, at least, not into drugs, etc., as young adults.

Homeschooling is the preferred method, I agree, if you can swing it, but I think a lovingly strict religious upbringing in general is more important in forming future Catholics.

Think of recent Catholic saints, such as St. Therese of Liseux. She was not homeschooled, but the Catholic religion permeated her home life.
Posted by: conlee
July 17, 2007 09:50 PM EDT
As i have said so often "the fruits of Vatican 11,and 40 years in the desert. Posted by: sharie
June 11, 2007 11:57 PM EDT
This is encouraging for me in the sense that it vindicates my decision to have as little to do with the novus ordo world as I can. Find a traditional priest or bishop if you can, live your faith, and weather the storm. Posted by: charlesmary
June 12, 2007 02:26 AM EDT
Same picture in the UK. Spain is another problem area. Ireland has been devastated whilst France (as always) offers a vision of the future: huge tracts of the country have simply no priest at all.

It is my view that the intertia of Anglo-Saxon bishops at V2 was in part responsible for this chaos. They simply didn't have the confidence to face down continental European intellectuals. Apparently the Americans made no contribution at all to the 1st session of V2 and were simply ill-prepared for what was taking place.

The (vocations website) is instructive of the level of V2 spin still in operation within the Church. The figures for the declining priesthood suggest that the ratio of priest to laity is 1:750 whilst in the past it was generally 1:400 ergo we need more priests.

These figures are completely false. In the past upwards of 60/70% attended Mass on a regular basis in the UK. Now the figure is less than 20%. Even using their own figure you can deduce that the ratio of priest to church goer in the UK was, during healthier times, 1:300 whilst now the ratio is about 1:150. In other words we have more priests (and many more bishops!) in this country per church goer than at an point since Catholic emancipation in the 1830s!
Posted by: caesium
June 12, 2007 05:00 AM EDT
Well, basically, there are two Catholic churches - the one which trusts the Magisterium on matters of right and wrong, and the one which believes whatever the hell (and I mean that) it wants. There is basically a schism occurring within Catholicism itself - just as all the Protestant churches and Anglicanism are schisming on issues of abortion, divorce, sexual morality - basically on all areas of personal and consensual morality. The only advantage the Catholic Church has is that it will not change what it believes - no matter how many schismatic and amoral priests and groups within the Church want it to.

I can tell you as a parent - I do NOT want my children raised to believe that murdering ones baby is fine, or that a man's sodomizing another man is fine, or that divorce is AOK, or that sex is just about playing around with each other. It's so, so, so obvious to any thinking individual that the celebration of all these types of behavior leads to death, disease, degradation, and the rotting away of families and of what it good and Godly and right by children. You just have to look at society today to understand why God calls us all to something higher and different.

Given that the milque-toast 'leaders' of the Catholic Church do not have, for the most part, the fortitude and courage to confront the radical degradation of society and its ardent supporters, we're really just going to end up with two churches with the Church. There will be 'real' Catholics, and 'fake' Catholics. My teenage son, already, when he meets Catholics, categorizes them into one of those two groups. He has to - because he is confronted everywhere by so-called 'Catholics' who believe in whatthehellever.

As for me and my household, we will seek to associate and live our lives with real Catholics. We will hold out real Catholicism to those who reject it, in love, but we are NOT going to continue to attend churches and Masses with heterodox 'fake' Catholic priests, and with all sorts of evil held out to our children as good and Godly. I love my children too much to expose them to such crap.

It's unbelieveable to me and my wife that the Church has allowed itself to fall so much in love with the degradations of the world, but it has. Every moment of lack of courage by a priest or Catholic to state truth and defend it leads society into further degradation. We see now the results of years of failing to proclaim the Gospel of Christ unabashed and unafraid in every situation. My family is paying the price for years of cowardice and pride and idiocy and imprudence on the part of many Church 'leaders.'

So sad. I want so, so much better for my family.

I doubt I'll ever get to see it.

Posted by: luke
June 12, 2007 11:05 AM EDT
The Church is being destroyed from within. The "inclusive" morality of progressives and the drum beat of "stewardship" week in and week out echoes in empty hearts and minds. "If we stay busy and reach out to one another, touchy-feely like, we will all be one." Too many are at church for entertainment. At any given parish you find 10, 20, 50 ministries, yet porn addiction amongst men is estimated at 30 % in the pews and rarely addressed in the pulpit. It's the lay people loyal to tradition who will bring back the True Church.
Our Church is dying. Maybe this needs to happen so a remnant of the truly faithful will save Her, with Divine assistance.
Posted by: clandr56
July 15, 2007 06:38 PM EDT
I've said it before and I'll say it again - "Take your kids out of Catholic and public schools and home school them yourselves. We do it and we both work. It's not impossible to do. For more info go to That is the curriculum we use and it is very orthodox and strictly faithful to the magisterium. If you are looking at home schooling as a possibility but are unsure feel free to contact me at for a bit of guidance and reassurance. We stood where you are standing now at one point, and now, we are very happy with our decision, as is our son. Posted by: gespin3549
June 28, 2007 06:29 AM EDT
It is , indeed, a sad situation. Once, in a discussion with a young seminarian back in the early 60s, he said that many are coming into the priesthood for the wrong reasons. Apparently those are now our church leaders. I do wish that the Catholic media would refrain from calling all of these groups - Catholic. What practising Catholics do and believe is of considerably more interest to me than the cafeteria Catholics. That is also the trouble with the polls above. Just whom does it represent? Polls are a problem in that, although we have the technology to determine a lot of information about attitudes and habits etc., the questions are formed so that the poll results are more a representation of the interpretation of the pollster than the aggragate responders. The article and the comments make me wonder just what are priests taught. My brief experience with priests suggests that most are not businessmen, the sunday sermons do not suggest they are schooled there and they certainly don't appear ready to be apologists for the church regarding our current issues. Of course, back when I was growing up, they didn't need to be most of those things. They said Mass, taught religion with the Baltimore Catechism and whether the parish was out/in debt was an indication of their leadership/business acumen. Perhaps they need the help of the lay people now. The attitudes of the millennial group reflects as much on their parents as on them. The impact of the country on them, e.g. Senators Kennedy, Leahy, Durbin, Pelosi in the house etc. are the result of them being elected - to the extent those parents voted them in, they are also contributing to the corrosive environment the young find themselves in. Posted by: wunsch
June 28, 2007 02:38 PM EDT
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