Sunday, October 12, 2014

The decline and fall of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia


14 more parishes in this broke archdiocese might close or merge. Getting out an electric bullhorn and going to wherever the archbishop lives, now that the archdiocese has sold the archbishop's mansion: HOW'S THAT "RENEWAL" WORKING OUT FOR YOUSE? Holy Cross is a huge postwar expansion building two towns from me, next to my stomping grounds in Clifton Heights. St. Adalbert's is the flagship of Polish Port Richmond; guess other parishes would be merged into it.
His Grace is simply making up for 20 years of mismanagement, neglect and ignoring the obvious. Much of his retrenchment is LONNNNGGG OVERDUE! BTW, "ignoring the obvious" is a very obvious trait that uncle Screwtape considered the most convenient of vices in humans.
Well, our archdiocese has long been mischaracterized as "conservative" when it's really "complacent and parochial." It bought the Vatican II bullshit and just assumed its huge following and infrastructure would remain. Living off its past capital just like the downtown Episcopal parishes with their endowment funds. Time's up; party's over. Fail.

Remember 30 years ago when the great white hope of the archdiocese was the charismatic renewal? "Do you speak in tongues?" How's THAT working out for youse?
Very true. Historically the AD of Philly is simply intransigent and appears traditional or conservative for ALL the wrong reasons. St. Charles is still a pretty good place for an M.Div or an MA for laity but the AD as a whole needs much reform.

What's obvious is that the Church is in terrible shape! Re-trenchment is necessary because of the loss of members with what gains are claimed are so much due to immigration to the United States rather than the conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism. This wasn't a shot against the Abp. but against what has happened to the Church in the Modern Age. Ignoring the state of the Church--done by too many hierarchs and other Catholics in the American Church--is one of the most convenient of vices.
Right; our numbers nationwide are artificially high because of Mexicans. White ethnic numbers have cratered just like the mainline. And St. Charles is on the ropes too; they want to sell off half the campus.
That retrenchment is also very long overdue. The current Abp. from the start has been enacting LONG overdue reforms that his predecessors and their advisors continued to ignore.
Sounds like the archdiocese has been a Potemkin village for at least 20 years, its once-great parishes empty shells.

Because we have Benedict the Great's reformed English Novus Ordo, unequivocally orthodox, I say we American Catholics are at Defcon 4. Defcon 5: Pius XII's Vatican and Cardinal Spellman's New York. Defcon 3 was the quagmire 30-40 years ago. Defcon 2 would be if locally the official church goes into formal heresy: I'd head to the SSPX in Eddystone. Defcon 1 is ISIS or the KGB knocking on your door; go underground like Catholics in the Soviet Ukraine did.
That entire campus could have been filled by now, not retracted, with the most faithful of teachers and students, but... "The mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle..."
A "vibrant parish community" was Most Blessed Sacrament in West Philly when it was Irish; rich beyond belief 50 years ago. Now belly up and not just because of white flight.
I live in Northern Bucks County.
Any trad option up there? Not necessary thanks to Benedict the Great's reform but nice to have.
There are no true traditional options up here. If there was a Byzantine Catholic parish I might easily be seduced. But there are no real places that offer a theocentric liturgy.
Byzantine Catholics of different kinds are thin on the ground here, unlike the rest of the state, and and getting thinner. White flight and assimilation including absorption by the Novus Ordo are taking their toll. I'd LOVE it if the dominant Catholicism here were that, not Novus, but it just won't happen.
The AD of Philly needs real reform and true renewal. I took heart when Abp. Chaput was named as our Ordinary. They could easily sell "The Twos" downtown and move elsewhere (like the empty halls of St. Charles) but I do not think they're ready for such a move yet. Giving up the Cardinal's residence and more than half of St. Charles is a big move already; not sure the Cathedral rectory types can handle much more.
Sure. Next step, which Benedict the Great ALMOST did: admit V2 was a mistake. I predict in 50 years as the church both shrinks and gets more conservative as the libs die, you'll hear that. From the archdiocese, etc., unthinkable 10 years ago.

A valid council about policy, not doctrine, so no problem shelving the thing.

Maybe Bishop Fellay won't get the cardinalate he should but in 100 years Archbishop Lefebvre will be raised to the altar as St. Marcel.
The current synod may send more to Bishop Fellay. Not sure what to make of the latest, seemingly cordial, dialogue between them and the Vatican.
I would go IF and only if the official church tries to allow divorce and remarriage and IF the archdiocese buys it.

If we get another Benedict the Great, one who stays the course for 20 years, then the SSPX will come back. Like I said, in a century, St. Marcel Lefebvre.
I do not believe the synod will change doctrine, "both sides" have already admitted this. What I fear is "pastoral language" that will allow the praxis of 2nd marriage.
Right, like the Orthodox' "economy" garbage: don't change the doctrine but don't enforce it either as The Remnant predicts.
I just don't see how they can use "pastoral language" to undo in effect or should I say nuance the theology of marriage out of existence. What I see them doing is making it easier to abuse the process to judging applications for ecclesiastical nullity of heretofore valid/sacramental marriages. IOW, doing what JP-II complained about . . . making it little different from divorce and even easier to obtain. The result? More people supposedly married in the Church (for 2+ marriages) in actuality living in objectively adulterous unions. Where's the grace in that?
The Remnant scenario is unlikely. More likely, they'll make annulments easier to get. Not formally heretical but it would be on the consciences of people who know better.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds as if Apb. Chaput was left holding the bag when he was appointed as Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Philly. He's theologically orthodox and IIRC he spoke out publicly against some of the problems with Amoris Laetitia. That could get him removed by the hippie Pope.

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