27 May 2014

Some sobering statistics

Sub Tuum.

Propaganda is everywhere. As a bishop who is trained in economics, mathematics, and statistics, I often find statistical analysis is a good way of getting at the truth. In this era of rampant modernism, we see Catholics divided into two camps. On the one hand is the numerically-superior Novus Ordo. On the other hand is the category broadly described as traditionalist, as it maintains the age-old traditions of the Catholic Church. The traditionalists may be within the Roman Communion, in which case they are often (but, to be fair, not always) chided and treated with hostility by their Novus Ordo counterparts, despite the statements of Benedict XVI that they should be left in peace. Other traditionalists are not in the Roman Communion. These include the SSPX (founded to preserve the traditional mass), the Duarte Costa line (traditional Catholics originating in Brazil), Old Roman Catholics (who never left the Catholic Church, but have administrative autonomy), and others. These are often called "non-Catholic" or "not Roman Catholic" by the modernist establishment. Yet, if a member of the Novus Ordo calls a traditionalist "non-Catholic," they are really saying that the traditionalist is not like them. That is, they are saying that the traditionalist is not in line with the new definition of Catholicism according to the Novus Ordo. In that sense, traditionalists ought to be proud to be called "non-Catholic" by the Novus Ordo, for indeed they are different. The traditionalists refuse to "get with the times" and refuse to abandon the mass of the ages for something contrived in the 20th century. After all, as the great playwright from Stratford wrote, what's in a name?  The meaning of words can indeed be perverted and changed, but the truth remains constant!

So how can we cut through the propaganda and see the truth more clearly? One need only look at the statistics of the Catholic Church in the United States to see the devastating impact of the abuses following the Second Vatican Council. (Note that I do not say the Council itself, for its provisions were greatly abuses by others to promote a specific agenda.)  Here are some statistical results calculated from data provided by Georgetown University. They pertain only to the USCCB parishes/dioceses except where stated.

From 1965 to 2013, the following occurred within the clergy: 

The total number of priests decreased by 32%. 
The number of diocesan/secular priests decreased  by 26%.
The number of religious priests decreased  by 46%.
The number of priestly ordinations decreased  by 48%. 
The number of major seminarians decreased  by 56%.

The permanent diaconate has been on the rise and is a way that the Novus Ordo has tried to compensate for this massive decline in clerical vocations. 

From 1965 to 2013, the following occurred within the religious communities:

The number of religious brothers decreased by 64%.
The number of religious sisters decreased by 74%.
In 1965, there were almost 180,000 religious sisters in America!

From 1965 to 2013, the following occurred within parishes: 

The percent of population that is Catholic decreased from 23% to 21% according to Catholic sources.
The percent of population that self-identifies as Catholic remained roughly 24%. 
      None of the above details participation in the mass or parish life. A Catholic poll suggests that mass attendance is approximately 24% of Catholics. However, another independent study suggests that this number is overstated. 
The number of parishes per capita decreased by 65%. 
The number of parishes without a full-time priest INCREASED by 547%!
     3554 parishes in the US did not have a full-time priest. 

From 1975 to 2013, the following occurred within Catholic education:

The number of Catholic elementary schools per capita decreased by 54%. 
The number of Catholic secondary schools per capita decreased by 49%.
The number of students in Catholic elementary schools decreased 44%.
The number of students in Catholic secondary schools decreased 33%.

So there it is. The numbers don't look good for the Church in America since the Second Vatican Council. The Church has become increasingly Protestant and influenced by freemasonry, not to mention modernism. There are some bright lights, though, such as the FSSP (which says the traditional Latin mass) and the newly-established Anglican Ordinariate, whose converts tend to be quite strongly on the traditional side. But, those are both in the vast minority. As America goes increasingly secular, I cannot help but believe that the widespread abandonment of that thing that Satan fears greatly, the mass of the ages, the Mass of Pius V, contributed greatly. I cannot help but believe that the great reduction in priestly vocations and a reduction of those in the clerical state overall contributed greatly. The solution is clear. More priests now! But, these priests must be trained in that liturgy that makes demons run and lifts the spirit of the faithful up, joining them with the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross - the Mass of Pius V.