Monday, April 17, 2017

Predictions about the American Catholic Church

Prophetic? Marie-Thérèse Power writes:
In 20 years' time the people who thought it ['70s-'80 Catholic liberal low-church] was "really nice" will have gone to their reward, and their children won't be bothering to attend. Those who were irritated by the duck soup will still have to travel an hour to get to a traditional Mass, but those will be the only Masses on offer.
That reminds me: 30 years ago here in the Philadelphia area, a priest, very knowledgeable and from before Vatican II, on board with the liberals but not too obnoxious about it, claimed to me, "By the time you are in your 50s the church will be completely different." He didn't elaborate. I'm in my 50s. Let's see if that has come true. The teachings of course can't change. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is shrinking (and hasn't bottomed out yet; more parish closings and mergers) because it has spent down its financial and social capital from before the council (whilst claiming the "renewal" is a smashing success). Thanks to the Holy Ghost and Pope Benedict XVI the Great's reform, like in England 30 years ago you can now find old-fashioned Western high-church if you are looking for it. My parish is a reform-of-the-reform shop now run by an always-conservative order, which happens to do the Tridentine Mass too, my home base, and there's the ordinariate (which is not part of the archdiocese; they have their own bishop) for Anglican alumni who like the old Prayer Book, their symbol of saying no to the Sixties revolution, just like the Tridentine Mass. (I can join but it only has my moral support; going there isn't practical and Cranmer was a heretic. But the lasting lesson from it is Western traditionalism doesn't have to be in Latin.) The charismatic movement, "the future of the church," fizzled. The Byzantine churches here are slowly dying (I don't want that to happen; I'm there part-time) due to age, assimilation, and people moving away (almost exactly like the Orthodox except some people become Roman Rite).

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