fredag 16 augusti 2013

Collapse of Catholic Church began 1965

Statistics collated by the Latin Mass Society show unambiguously how the collapse of the Catholic Church in England began in 1965 and that the decline has continued steadily ever since. This will accelerate as priests now in their fifties and sixties retire and there are no younger men to replace them. An increasing number of parishes will now be without priests, a state of affairs that is unsustainable and will ultimately lead to a wave of closures.

Of course there are wider social factors behind this phenomenon but the liturgical and other changes that followed the Second Vatican Council must be a major cause. In my own experience of three parishes where I was a regular Mass attender, the exodus began not with the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass but with the replacement of a Novus Ordo Latin liturgy with Gregorian chant by an English liturgy with hymns. At least one-third of parishioners would depart immediately, followed by a steady trickle after that. Some became refugees in neighbouring parishes but eventually there was no refuge to go to. At the same time, young people who had left the church as teenagers but thinking of returning in their twenties and thirties found a church they could no longer recognise. And so the decline has gone on, with the hierarchy in denial that there was a problem. Yet on the few occasions where traditionally-inclined priests such as the Oratorians have taken over moribund parishes, the Catholic communities have quickly come back to life.

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