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!

You can read the script for this Vortex here; I’ll give you a summary and few excerpts

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.

Catholic wedding:
a rare event
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!


  1. I am perplexed. I don't understand why this info is being posted. I concur with the logic of the commentary posted. As a former, long-time, faithful, devout, conservative RC, the info in this post is a primary reason for me to stay away from the RC church.

    However, if you are trying to get me to return, I am still waiting for a good reason. If I am struggling in the water, trying to be saved, why would I position myself with others who are in worse shape, including lifeguards who aren't guarding?

    This is not the kind of post to draw people back to the church or its remnant.

    This is not a complaint but rather an observation.

    For those who are still practicing RCs, I suggest a more thoughtful approach that emphasizes the positive aspects of whatever is still valued in your local RC church and perhaps some tips on how to find a faithful RC church. I've seen Cardinal Dolan (and before him-Cardinal Egan) and I don't want to be in the same boat with them. I'd rather take my chances and throw myself at the mercy of the Judge (and his mother) than support characters like Dolan and the bishop of Albany, etc.,etc.

  2. If we don't make ourselves aware of what's going on, the Church will continue to spiral downward, though of course the gates of Hell will not prevail against it (that doesn't mean the Church will survive in the US forever, though).

    My target audience is not fallen-away Catholics, though I am happy for them to listen in; this blog is really more for faithful Catholics of a traditional mindset, because that's what I am and how I write. The Vortex has much the same audience, I think. For myself, I find Michael Voris inspiring; he encourages me NOT to give up and leave the Church! It helps me to know that there are others who see what's going on, and who are willing to step up and say "The emperor has no clothes!" Yes, it's discouraging to see what's going on, but the Truth of the Church - the Church instituted by Christ himself - is still there, regardless of the shepherds who are really wolves. If we point out their errors, at least we can help people become aware of the truth. And maybe the shepherds will correct themselves.

    If people come into the Church because of a particular person, they are not coming in for the proper reason. Similarly, leaving the Church because of a particular person is wrong. The Church is full of sinners, and the hope is that they will grow in holiness; that's true for the laity and the clergy. The failings of the clergy do not reflect any failings of the Church.

    That's why Michael Voris urges, essentially, self-catechesis. There are many sources (including Church Militant TV) for learning about the Truth of the Church. Since our shepherds are not providing proper catechesis or examples, we have to find the Truth ourselves.


Please be courteous and concise.