2019/12/27

Boiling Off

St. Bernard's

The local diocese is talking about closing the parish church I attended throughout grade school, so my family and I returned to celebrate Christmas there. The beautiful Romanesque building stands in stark contrast to the UFO churches where I live now, and in my absence someone had done the mercy of removing the garish lime green paint that had hidden the gorgeous original woodwork.

Walking into that church felt like coming home. Of course, no one in the West is allowed to have that feeling anymore. Hence that church's upcoming closure. Hard-working Irish, Italian, and German families pitched in a hundred years ago to build it and the school across the street. That demographic mix remained intact into the mid 90s. Within ten years of my graduation, the student body became overwhelmingly Hispanic, enrollment cratered, and the school closed.

The new wave of immigration destroyed what the prior immigrant wave had built. The symbolism isn't lost on our elites.

It is, however, lost on the Catholic Church's hierarchy. The USCCB gets 40% of its funding from the government for helping to resettle migrants in the US. The thinking among bishops and Catholic charity administrators alike is that they can skip the hard work of catechesis and evangelization and simply import new parishioners from majority Catholic countries. Getting paid for it is the cherry on top.

Meanwhile, the children of those imports suffer the same 40%--there's that number again--apostasy rate as native Catholics, and once thriving parishes merge into multi-church clusters presided over by one or two itinerant priests.

A recent YouGov poll shows that 40%--anyone else seeing a theme, here?--of Catholics are practically agnostic. If the bishops don't see a connection between these figures, they're even more out of touch than we thought.

None of this should be surprising. The Church's hierarchy is staffed by human beings who are susceptible to the same vain apathy that's beset all the West's institutions. The story of the West over the last 60 years is the story of leaders who inherited noble legacies from better men. Instead of safeguarding and handing down this patrimony in their turn, they tried to refashion it in their own image. Instead of consecrating the Modern world, they left a colossal mess for their successors.

Some point to these disastrous failures of leadership and declare the death of the Church. Their predictions are myopic at best. Christianity isn't going away. It may, however, be going back East.

Don't count Western Christianity out just yet, though. Generation Z is already more religious than the Boomers were at the same age. Those Zoomers who are staying with the Church crave the ancient doctrines and traditions which are their birthright and which they've been denied. And they're doing something about it.

What we're seeing in the Western Church is a process called boiling off. The Modernists and Christmas and Easter Christians are leaving as being Christian increasingly comes with a social cost. Those who remain are committed to the faith in spite of the cost. That's the stuff from which crusaders are made.

My military thriller series Combat Frame XSeed depicts a world in which such a crusade took place. Read it now!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming

17 comments:

  1. "... lime green paint that had hidden the gorgeous original woodwork."

    I'm spending a few more years in purgatory over my thoughts at reading these words.

    All those imported Catholics don't contribute anything to the parishes. We have an entire mass (and separate community, let's be real) of wetbacks and a church with broken kneelers and a parking lot full of craters.

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    1. It's really hard to imagine how the people who caused this completely avoidable crisis will avoid Hell. I pray fervently that they repent--for their sake and ours.

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  2. A man and woman at our church were unable to take their grandchildren when the mother was declared unfit. This hurt him deeply, but he came to me and said, "The foster-to-adopt parents are Church of Christ pastors. How likely are my grandchildren to remain Christian?"

    I said, "Very. CoC has the highest retention rate I've seen among denominations."

    "I can handle this, then."

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  3. You know, they say Judas was the first Catholic bishop to accept a government grant.

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    1. Judas also killed himself. I'm not suggesting these people do the same, but he did at least feel guilt.

      How these people sleep is beyond me.

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    2. The rapidly dwindling Silents among the hierarchy still think it's 1950 and the Church is as respected and powerful as US Steel. Susan tells them so whenever she drops of their dry cleaning.

      The current crop of Boomer bishops are like Conservative Inc. with Roman collars instead of bow ties. They think they'll get invitations to the cool kids' club--or at least preferential treatment in the camps--if they make enough concessions to Modernism. They're wrong.

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  4. They always close the traditional, religious-inspiring architecture parishes over the community hall lowest bid built parishes. They hate their predecessors that much that they can’t even admit the older stuff is more beautiful and faith inspiring.

    And yes, as Heian-kyo noted, we have separate parish communities in our parishes. If you have a Spanish or Korean Mass, and Spanish ministries paralleling the English ones, and even separate Baptisms...how is that a united parish? Ridiculous too when in the 1950’s, Rome and 5e USCCB told the German Catholics in northern USA to stop using German where the vernacular was permitted because it was divisive and un-American. Then 40 years later, your community was racist and un-American if it didn’t offer liturgy in Spanish.

    If your parish does multiple language Masses, or TLM/Other Rite Masses and the NO, try to get the parish to release the collection basket amounts.

    As for belief in the faith, I ask all Catholics, how can the next generation believe in the Eucharist if in the NO, everyone gets up to receive the body of the a Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God in the flesh like he’s a cracker at a tasting station in Costco? Oh, and 99% of the congregation goes up to receive yet if you go to Confession, it’s clear that not nearly that many of the congregation go to receive absolution.

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  5. It's going to take a full generation after the Boomers are gone to start building anything up again. Too many minds have been poisoned, and too many things deliberately cast off to be fixed right away.

    There is so much spite from that generation over dead men that it's almost (and is, in many cases) demonic. I bet if you showed the older generations what this one is doing now they wouldn't be able to believe it. This level of hatred is just not natural.

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    1. We'll see sweeping change for the better when the current generation of new priests start becoming bishops. Those guys are solid.

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    2. In retrospect, Boomer Church was a harbinger of Clown World. As Durandel notes, once you've crossed the Rubicon of disrespecting the Real Presence, anything is fair game.

      It stands to reason, then, that today's Trad Church, with reinstalled communion rails and parishioners who listen to Father Chad Ripperger podcasts, is a harbinger of a better tomorrow.

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    3. Boomer Masses at Boomer Church with our Boomer clergy is a quick shorthand that summarizes why we are in the state that we are...and why even the Protestants and some of the Eastern Churches in the West are experiencing a similar crisis. We are in the dessert. Just need to wait it out until our Joshua is in charge.

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  6. As the boil-off progresses, it might be helpful to remember that not everyone who disappears is gone forever. Some folks wander off for a while, until the Good Shepherd fetches them back into the fold. To make a long story short, I've been failing miserably as the spiritual leader of my home for most of our marriage, but we finally found and joined a church again, just recently. For a long while, we weren't even "Christmas and Easter" Christians. We were "Married in church but haven't gone in years" Christians. We'd go at the holidays, sometimes, if we were visiting family, but we didn't have a church home of our own. We had been saying for years, "we should go back to church," but not doing it. Now we have.
    It would not surprise me if, as the cultural church-goers leave because the price of confessing the Faith rises and the flocks that remain faithful to the Shepherd stand out for their faithfulness, that those who seem to have gotten lost find their way back into those churches. I expect, conversely, that converged churches that have given up on the Gospel completely will wither and die, because they have cut themselves off from the vine.

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    1. First, praise God for the grace of conversion.

      Also, the data does tend to back up your supposition. About half of those raised Catholic leave the Church, and of those about 10% return, for a total apostasy rate of 40%.

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    2. I am grateful indeed that Our Lord has been so very patient with me. Truly, His mercies are made new every morning.

      That number keeps popping up. Is it possible God will not bless, and refuses to use, as it were, that 40% that came to the USCCB not from the hands of Catholics giving freely and personally out of their incomes, but from Uncle Sam? I wonder if the pattern holds for other denominations taking money from FedGov.

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    3. 40 is the Biblical number of testing/refinement and of punishment. Not saying that’s why it keeps popping up, but it is interesting to note.

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    4. Whether it's a sign or not, treating it as one will bear good fruit.

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  7. My parent's church is full of families, young men and women as well as the elderly. It thrives. The music is traditional as is the liturgy. This Sunday's lesson was the Holy Innocents and we sang all 15 verses of From Heaven Above to Earth I come and the pastor preached that Planned Parenthood was the 21st century Herod. But Herod loses, and Rachel will be comforted because Christ has come.

    My mom says they get Catholics attending. They cannot join the Church or take communion, but at I set they can hear the word of God.

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