Friday, February 10, 2017

"The renewal is too a success!": Rebuttal


Feedback from this yesterday. More rewarmed '80s leftovers:
With all due respect many of the closed/empty churches are the ones with traditional liturgies. Take many Byzantine Catholic churches for example. There are plenty of Latin Rite churches that have tried to be faithful to Vatican II that are packed and doing beyond well. Try visiting St. Joseph in Downingtown, PA for example. They have gone through three church buildings because they outgrew the previous one. Anyway, examples of growth abound.
Byzantine decline in America isn't because the liturgy's traditional; it's because it's a foreign minority culture. It may well disappear here, and that includes the Orthodox. They lose their kids and grandkids to assimilation. In the Latin Rite, old-fashioned is a magnet: my parish and St. John Cantius in Chicago, for example. Not having been, I credit a few things for St. Joseph's, Downingtown: fidelity to the church's teachings, the real gospel, plus a suburban concentration of Catholics in an already Catholic metropolitan area, boosted in this exurb partly due to white flight from the city and from inner suburbs such as mine in Delaware County. (White flight is also partly why Eastern-rite parishes are dying.) A friend and I were just talking about this: he pointed out that it's easy to hide decline and even simulate growth by concentrating your remaining people in fewer parishes and reducing the number of Sunday Masses so the remaining ones fill the building. Potemkin villages.

5 comments:

  1. We have three parishes in my town and the one I attend is packed; though half the congregation are Asian or African. We have a very charismatic African priest, which is a big pull factor.

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    1. If they follow the teachings of the church and don't try to stamp out my culture, good for them. I'll all for inculturation but not syncretism.

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  2. African priest--Catholicism I have read is thriving in the Dark Continent. Funny thing is, this is another sign of the decay of the Faith in the West, the U.S. in particular. We have to practice a sort of "brain drain" and import priests from Africa. We had this very thing in the parish I attend for mass. In another parish, we had priests from India serve in our Archdiocese. They came over so in return the Archdiocese helped fund their Order's activities in India (they were Carmelites), specifically their orphanages.

    A charismatic priest from Africa is a good thing; the parish is surely blessed to have him, but this example pretty much makes John's point instead of refuting it.

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    1. I was not necessarily trying to refute John's point. I apologize if it came across that way.

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    2. In that case I retract my statement. Oh BTW, the "foreigner" priests whom I have encountered in American Catholic parish settings as a whole are a pretty decent lot. I am very grateful for their presence here, but at the same time, the American Church is doing something wrong in taking them away from their own people who could use their services and witness to the Faith. It would also seem to me that their presence in American Catholic parishes suggests that the U.S. now is mission territory for the Church, a bit of a turn-around from previous times, 'eh? hah hah hah hah

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