When we started our sister organization, St. Michael’s Media, almost 10 years ago, we became aware of a very frightening number: For every person who came into the Catholic Church, four left the Faith. Today, for every person who comes into the Church, close to seven leave the Faith. Those are the findings from the latest research from the well-respected Pew Research Forum.
In 2005, one out of every 10 Americans was a former Catholic. Today, it’s one out of every eight. Ten percent of the population in 2005, 13 percent today — an increase of a few more million former Catholics.
Two rather well-known former Catholics — Michael Coren and Rod Dreher — are just recent examples. And even though Coren is a Canadian, his case still serves as a shining example of episcopal incompetence.
I was a guest on one of Coren’s programs a few years back, and he told me privately before the taping that he had inquired of a certain Canadian prelate about me. He told me that the answer he received was that the opinion of bishops in Canada (and elsewhere) about me and our work here at Church Militant was the pithy little phrase “too much clarity, not enough charity.”
And that sums up quite nicely everything that has gone wrong in the Church in the West: a stunning lack of theological rigor and insight on the part of the very men who are the ones supposed to be protecting the Faith.
It is such an absurd statement — “too much clarity, not enough charity.” First, it puts truth in opposition to itself. Since when is being clear opposed to being charitable? To be clear is to be charitable when matters of the Faith are involved.
Secondly, what good has all the bishop’s supposed charity accomplished? Nothing.
Their silly little games and new evangelization projects and committees have zero to show for their efforts. They have embraced evil in the name of charity and people have left and are leaving in record-setting shattering numbers. Again, recall: one out of every eight Americans is a former Catholic. One out of eight! And we thought it was incredible ten years ago when the number was as bad as one out of every 10 Americans.
The truth is this simple and blinding: The Catholic Church is shedding members like crazy, and absolutely nothing the bishops do or say works in getting people to stay or come in. For all the non-stop bluster and blather about the New Evangelization, it’s all baloney; it’s a big corporate smoke-screen, a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The number of fallen-away Catholics in the U.S. is closing in on 40 million and growing every day. Why is this?
Two reasons — and the hierarchy is to blame for both. Their Church of Nice mouthpieces have got to stop defending the bishops’ lack of zeal, faith and action, and face the music. Most of the leaders of the Church are simply ineffective and little else than bad businessmen. On a corporate level, nearly the entire lot would have been sacked long ago by their board of directors.
The two reasons are: first, the inability to deal with anything straight on. In short, they do nothing except dither around. They do not have the stomach for a fight owing to their own desperate desire to be adored and liked. They have kept their mouths shut while the culture decayed and rotted around them, willing to spend their time in pursuit of being accepted by the world instead, with their pathetic social justice programs, for example.
The second reason is that they neglected the youth, for two and going on three generations now. And that youth has now grown up and walked out of the Church — in droves. What pathetic attempts they occasionally muster aimed at young Catholics is some sorry knock-off of the local protestant rock band hanging in the sanctuary at the Sunday evening Mass.
The U.S. hierarchy has refused to teach the Faith for decades, hopped in the ecclesiastical bed of false ecumenism, presided over the greatest watering down of the Faith since heretic Arius in the fourth century, refused to rein in dissident clergy who have spread their poison among the faithful and embraced the sin of sodomy on an unprecedented scale. And now, their rotten fruits are evident for all to see.
In short, the hierarchy, for a variety of reasons, abandoned the faithful, and so small wonder the faithful are now abandoning them. This is the new normal — and the hierarchy needs to accept that they have failed, and the results of their failure are only going to magnify. A group of decent men would resign and give way to others who at least cared.
The culture has grown wicked and evil and is plowing under their sheep because the bishops have seldom stood against that culture. Even many of the bishops considered “good” have not stepped up to the plate when the call was sounded. For example, where is all the brotherly support for San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has been left on an island to battle the homofascist storm troopers and their well-financed PR machine? Not one bishop has come to his defense, and his defense of the Faith.
Too many American bishops have accommodated every errant philosophy, theology, psychology and sophistry that the culture could summon forth and have allowed the Faith to be reshaped and molded into something decidedly UN-Catholic.
There is no turning back from this. The Church in the U.S. is on its last legs, humanly speaking. It is only a few years away from being irrelevant. Most of its wealth will have been sold off, its members walked out, and its presence barely registering a blip on the national radar.
The Church in America needs to be returned to its former missionary status and most of its hierarchy sent packing. The leaders have directly or indirectly taught the flock to turn away from the supernatural and think merely of the natural. And now they are reaping what they have sown.
GOD have mercy on them. And God help all of us for what lies ahead.