Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Vatican Council II has given us.

"Certainly the results (of Vatican II) seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which has developed for the most part under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church." — Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 1984.(Present Pope Benedict XVI) "Priests: After skyrocketing from about 27,000 in 1930 to 58,000 in 1965, the number of priests in the United States thereafter dropped to 45,000 in 2002. By 2020, there will be about 31,000 priests — and only 15,000 will be under the age of 70. Right now there are more priests age 80 to 84 than there are age 30 to 34." "Ordinations: In 1965 there were 1,575 American ordinations to the priesthood, in 2002 there were 450, a decline of 350 percent. Taking into account ordinations, deaths and departures, in 1965 there was a net gain of 725 priests. In 1998, there was a net loss of 810." "Priest-less parishes: About 3 percent of U.S. parishes, or 549, were without a resident priest in 1965. In 2002 there were 2,928 priest-less parishes, about 15 percent of U.S. parishes. By 2020, a quarter of all parishes, 4,656, will have no priest." "Seminaries: Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700 — a 90 percent decrease. Without any students, seminaries across the country have been sold or shuttered. There were 596 seminaries in 1965, and only 200 in 2002. There were over three times as many total seminarians in 1930 as in 2002. There were over seven times as many religious order seminarians in 1945 as in 2002. There were over three times as many diocesan seminarians in 1945 as in 2002. There were more seminaries in 1955 than in 2002. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of U.S. diocesan seminaries decreased by 33 percent. In that same thirty seven year period, the number of U.S. religious seminaries decreased by 75 percent." "Religious Orders: The religious orders will soon be virtually nonexistent in the United States. For example, in 1965 there were 5,277 Jesuit priests and 3,559 seminarians; in 2000 there were 3,172 priests and 389 seminarians." "Parochial Grade Schools: There were 10,503 parochial grade schools in 1965 and 6,623 in 2002. The number of students plummeted from 4.5 million to 1.9 million." "Mass attendance: A 1958 Gallup poll reported that 74 percent of Catholics went to Sunday Mass in 1958. A 1994 University of Notre Dame study found that the attendance rate was 26.6 percent. A more recent study by Fordham University professor James Lothian concluded that 65 percent of Catholics went to Sunday Mass in 1965, while the rate dropped to 25 percent in 2000." Jones points out that "Mass attendance of U.S. Catholics fell precipitously in the decade following the liturgical changes and has continued to decline ever since." Source: Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II Kenneth C. Jones

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