THE VORTEX: GETTING NOWHERE FAST – Except down
December 6, 2017
The pope’s recent trip to South Asia has, of course, prompted worldwide media attention on the Church in that region of the world. It also has given rise to reports about the condition of the Church in other parts of the world, namely Europe. Those articles found their way into Catholic publications in Asia, and what a sorry report it must have been for Asian Catholics to read about the near-death knell of the Faith in formerly Catholic Europe. Here was the headline and sub-headline: “All over Europe, Churches Creatively Rethink as Numbers Plummet: A huge drop in church membership and participation since the 1960s has accelerated over the past decade, despite determined Church efforts to reach out with new forms of evangelization.”
Ouch! Tiny minorities of Catholics in other parts of the world are recognizing what many Catholics in those very same parts of the world have their heads buried in the sands over. It’s interesting if you read through that article, that perspective. Catholics in Asian lands, for the most part, are not dealing with anything of what Catholics in the West deal with, namely Protestant-begotten, philosophical atheism.
That dynamic is hardly present at all in their countries, so it is an interesting take they bring when they look on the Church in the West, Europe in particular. And their forecast for the Church in Europe is pretty bleak, as that blaring headline screams out: “[the drop] has accelerated over the past decade, despite determined Church efforts to reach out with new forms of evangelization.”
Yes, it sure has. There is a lesson here for the Church in America as well. All these new-fangled, high octane, explosive evangelization efforts are proving futile. On Friday, we talked about the failure of a copycat Protestant template in South America to lure tens of millions of Catholics back into the fold —epic fail. Now, here is an article in a small corner of the Catholic world in Asia saying the exact same thing about the Church in Europe. All these so-called reforms and gimmicks and spirit-filled movements and new exciting initiatives are going nowhere fast because they are not authentically Catholic, Catholic to their bone. They are Catholic lite at best.
The problem is, there isn’t any real creativity here in the thinking. Leaders are just reacting to the chaos, not getting in front of it. It’s all organizational and establishment restructuring which is not the primary issue. That’s just all resource management. They don’t care about the need for Catholics to re-establish an authentic Catholic spirituality and devotional life. They don’t talk about Hell. They don’t preach about the need for personal holiness as a calling and to avoid Hell. This is why the Bp. Barron garbage of “reasonable hope all men are saved” is so monstrously dangerous.
The entire mission of the Church, Her entire reason for existence, is compromised and being eliminated by the modernist cabal in the Church who are re-engineering the Church into a “resource center.” But a resource for what? Certainly not salvation. How about a resource center for tennis? If you want to see what the Church in Europe is becoming, look at this video.
This is or was Milan’s Church of the Conversion of St. Paul, where you can now play tennis in the nave instead of worshipping Our Blessed Lord. Just watch this video in silence for a few moments, if you can stomach it, and let it sink in. It’s part of a civic art project in the decommissioned church that allows visitors to take racquets and play or just observe the game in front of statues and paintings of saints.
Yes, sure, it’s a good thing we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, and there’s no crisis in the Church.