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Monday, April 15, 2013
Vortex: Wolves in Shepherds' Clothing
Well, leave it to Michael Voris to succinctly summarize just exactly why the lack of faith we see in our Church is at an all-time low!
Voris starts out by reminding us that the faith was once transmitted in three ways: the family, the pulpit, and the classroom. He goes on to elaborate a bit on each, but I think most of us can immediately recognize that those three paths of transmission are not doing the job they once did.
As far as the family goes, even though there are 17 million MORE (alleged) Catholics in the US today than there were 40 years ago, the rate of Catholic marriages has seen a 70% decrease: from 8.6 marriages per thousand baptized Catholics to 2.6 currently. The real problem is not that Catholics aren’t getting married; they are. But they are not getting married in the Church. Therefore, we can assume that there is not a whole heck of a lot of catechesis going on in these “Catholic” families.
As for the pulpit as a path of transmission of the faith:
If being Catholic means MORE than just being baptized – which it does – then you wouldn’t know it from most Sunday Masses. So very little of what is preached from the pulpit is strictly Catholic. References to the Real Presence, Confession, the Saints, devotion to the Mother of God, Sin, Hell, Satan, the Holy Trinity, the Divinity of Our Lord and so forth barely get a mention.
What is heard almost non-stop is generic Christianity, vague references to the faith, if you’re lucky with a heavy dose of social justice and watered-down expressions of the faith. Again, if you’re fortunate, that sound more like what the Presbyterian group down the road preaches than anything resembling the Catholic faith.
That is certainly true in my experience.
As for Catholic education, Voris notes that what happens in Catholic schools and RE classes is “largely just [an extension] of what has happened in the pulpit: gobbledly-gook nonsense that obliterates any sense of the authentic faith.” Just subscribe to the Cardinal Newman Society’s email notifications to see the state of Catholic colleges and universities. Sigh.
Voris sums up:
It’s clear that many people charged with the transmission, the passing on of the faith over the past generation either don’t believe it, or don’t believe it ENOUGH to make it their reason for living – and that is the ONLY way to live the Faith – it must be or become our major goal .. our sole reason for breathing.
… We know of course that lack of zeal is always a problem among the laity owing to their close association with the secular. But when leaders begin exhibiting the same lack of zeal – or their zeal is transferred from love and devotion for Our Blessed Lord to a devotion to the bureaucracy of the establishment Church – then disaster is sure to follow. When secular poison infects the clergy and seizes hold causing indifference and lack of charity for the sheep, then the sheep must step up and remind the shepherds of their duty; they must try and reawaken the zeal and snap them out of their clerical comas.
…It’s not so much wolves in sheep’s clothing we need to watch out for today, but rather wolves in shepherds’ clothing – a much more dangerous proposition.
Pray for our shepherds!