Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When The Bar Of Excellence Is At The Same Level Of A Sewer Pipe...
Don't be surprised by what you get

This story from Catholic World News should come as a surprise to no one.

Survey shows Italian Catholics ignorant of faith
Apr. 9, 2007 (CWNews.com)

A survey of Italian Catholics has discovered a startling lack of basic information about the content of the faith.

A poll of 600 Catholics, conducted by the firm Ferrari, Nasi and Grisantelli for the newspaper Il Giornale, found that just 50% of respondents knew that Jesus Christ had composed the “Our Father,” while 56% could correctly identify the Holy Trinity, and 23% did not know that Easter is the feast celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. 59% were unable to name the four evangelists while 24% do not recognize that Jesus is both God and man.

While 60% of respondents identified themselves as very or moderately religious, only 9% answered all survey questions correctly; 17% were wrong in their answers to every question.

I posted not too long ago concerning some of the embarrassingly dismal stats pertaining to the state of The Church here in America.

From the Kenneth Jones book Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II (stats and studies from sources such as the USCCB, Fordham University, the Jesuits, etc.

Here's a wee bit --

The same is true for the once-proud religious orders of men. For example, in 1965 there were 5,277 Jesuit priests and 3,559 seminarians; in 2000 there were 3,172 priests and 389 seminarians.

There were 2,534 OFM Franciscan priests and 2,251 seminarians in 1965; in 2000 there were 1,492 priests and 60 seminarians.

There were 2,434 Christian Brothers in 1965 and 912 seminarians; in 2000 there were 959 Brothers and 7 seminarians.

It does not require special training in statistics to conclude that by 2050, if these trends continue, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Christian Brothers, will be the virtually extinct in the US.

Other statistics on the life of the Catholic Church in America tell the same story. At the time of the Council there were 4.5 million students in US parochial schools; now there are 2 million.

Before the Council there were less than 400 marriages annulled by Catholic diocesan tribunals in an average year; now there are 50,000.

Before the Council 3 out of 4 Catholics attended Mass each week; now the figure is 1 in 4.

"Springtime of The Church"? Yeah... right.


Anonymous Edmund C. said...


You should know better than to base stuff on statistics... What happened from 1965-2000 was a mess, but are things still getting worse? What about the orthodox orders and seminaries that are fill to bursting? It's sad that the Jesuits and Franciscans are dwindling, but to extrapolate that to the whole church just doesn't compute.

That's making the same mistake as the global warming nuts who look at a trend for a short period of time (not to mention having little reason to think humans are to blame for it) and keep extending it without good reason for doing so.

It may not be the springtime, but I think there are plenty of signs that things are better today than they were in 2000.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Excellent points you raise, indeed! But I ask you to consider the following....

Few disagree that there wouldn't be a resurgence present day of orthodox (small case "o") Catholicism, if it were not for Pre-Vatican II (traditional) Catholic theology and practice. Specifically, the Tridentine Latin Mass.

Love, hate or indifferent towards him, the credit for saving the Latin Mass was Archbishop Lefebre of the SSPX.

Without Abp Lefebre, modernist inspired Roman Protestantism would have simply run riot.

Give a moments objective thought to where we'd be right now if it were not for the courage of Abp Lefebre.

Much like St Athanasius, one day Apb Lefevbre will be raised to the altar as a Saint.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Much like St Athanasius, one day Apb Lefevbre will be raised to the altar as a Saint."

Agreed! Although I am not affiliated with SSPX, never attended an SSPX Mass, and only rarely attend Tridentine Mass - I truely believe that (in time), Abp Lefebre will be recognized as a key person who had strength of character, and stood fast against improper change. Check out the post "Why some priests wont learn the Latin Mass," a story of a priest who couldnt handle some heat (criticism) from the faithful in a certain community, and gave up celebrating the Latin Mass. It is this lack of character, steadfastness, and backbones in our current episcopate that allows doctrinal errors and liturgical abuses to scandalize our church. If only we had more young priests with the strength that LeFebre demonstrated years ago.

8:31 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, SSPX has broke union with Rome?? Is that not like all the protestants--to not agree with some part of the Holy Catholic Church--so they break union with Rome--and take what they believe and start their own church? And Abp Lefebre should be a saint??

8:36 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

During the Arian heresy, over half the bishops believed it. Although he suffered much during his life for keeping "the Faith," St. Athanasius held out for the truth and was ultimately vindicated.

What exactly do you mena when you say SSPX has "broke union with Rome"? More than one high-ranking Vatican officicals have stated SSPX is NOT in schism from the Church. They say the smae traditional Mass that is said at "indult" churches (and which the Church has used for over 1,500 years). They pray for the Pope, as we all do, at every Mass. They simply believe -- as do many -- that certain things were implemented after Vatican II that the Council NEVER required or promulgated.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Please keep in mind that I prefaced it with "love, hate or indifferent towards him...). And the bottom line is that the one who really did save the Traditional Latin Mass (and just about everything concerning pre-V2 practice and theology) was in fact, Archbishop Lefevbre.

And yes, I do believe that one day he will be made a Saint. Remember, St Athanasius was considered "excommunicated" (when he was sent into exile for 17 years by his own brother bishops) in the early years of The Church. Do you think anyone would have even dreamed that he would be made a Saint one day? After all.... he was a disgraced, excommunicated ex-bishop.

But I'm glad you brought up the so-called "excommunication" of the SSPX.

On one hand, the SSPX has been excommunicated.... but on the other, Rome referes to the SSPX as "an internal matter of The Catholic Church". ~ Cardinal Cassidy (President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity): "The situation of the members of this Society [SSPX] is an internal matter of the Catholic Church.

How in the world can the SSPX simultaniously be within AND without?

Also, we have Msgr. Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission stating; (http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm)

"1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X."

His second question was "Is it a sin for me to attend a Pius X Mass" and we responded stating:

"2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin."

So which is it??

I could give many other examples of double-talk coming out of Rome concerning the SSPX. But I'm sure anyone could find them as easily as I did.

10:07 AM  
Blogger tara said...

You guys are probably ten-thousand times smarter than me, I heard that SSPX was excommunicated--I want to be in complete union with Rome--so if someone is excomunicated--I would steer clear of them. Also, the Arian heresy was so far away from truth, I think a variation on the form of Mass is not that big a deal--as long as truth remains.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Tara, me amiga... I'm not arguing that an excommunication never took place. What I'm arguing is, is that there are definatly mixed signals coming out of Rome.

When it comes to the SSPX, Rome is speaking out of both sides of it's mouth.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cavey et al, ya'll need to tell Gerald at Closed Cafeteria this! He talks about Absp. Lefevbre as if he were Hitler.

-Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae

8:58 PM  

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