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Education is one of the hallmarks of Western civilization, brought to everyone by the Catholic Church. But now, after 50 years of selling out the Faith, Catholic education is falling lower and lower.
The West was built on the prayers, sacrifices and examples of monks, nuns and sisters. Just as that's the case, the fall of the West is also squarely on the shoulders of the religious.
In 1966, women's religious orders in the United States peaked, having more than 180,000 members. The Church's latest council, Vatican II, was touted as bringing a new springtime into the Church.
At the time, Catholic schools were completely stocked with young sisters wearing habits. Entertainment media showed stereotypically stern nuns who'd whip students' hands with rulers. What we didn't hear is that these women joined religious orders to help educate young souls, and most of them truly loved their vocations.
But it wasn't very long after the conclusion of the council that religious stopped living the common life in monasteries, convents and friaries. They stopped praying together, they cast off their habits and went into the world — becoming little more than glorified social workers.
Catholic schools then had to start hiring laypeople to replace the religious and pay them a living wage. Schools became much more expensive. But that's not the only thing that happened.
After the council, theological and liturgical innovations were injected into parishes and schools, and over the next few decades, the Catholic identity became watered down.
As a result, people began claiming they went to eight years of Catholic grade school, followed by four years of Catholic high school and then four years at a Catholic university — all while learning next to nothing about Church teaching. They may even have come out less Catholic than when they went in.
And after that, these people became part of the 80% of U.S. Catholics who don't attend Mass.
Another reason for the failure of Catholic education goes back to the early 1960s. When the council started, there were whispers going throughout the Church claiming the council would change Church teaching. One of the main teachings the laity had been hoping would be changed is the declaration that artificial contraception was a sin. When they did bring this concern to their priests, they were often told not to worry about it since it wouldn't be an issue for much longer.
Even though the council didn't actually change the teaching on contraception, many Catholic laity fully embraced the mortal sin of contraception, having fewer children. And compounding fewer children, with the watering down of Church doctrine and the exodus from the religious orders, all became a perfect recipe for spiritual disaster.
To learn more, watch today's episode of The Download — Cratering Education.