Friday, September 29, 2017

Evangelism: Out With The New, In With The Old

Since Vatican II, Mass attendance has been on the decline.  In fact, Catholic life in general has deteriorated, as those who claim a Catholic ancestry believe and live as, well, heathen.  Their level of immorality is identical to the culture of death at large as they divorce, fornicate and abort their babies at the same rates.

There was a respite in the downturn, albeit brief.  It was right after the 9/11 attacks.  All of the sudden, people remembered that God existed.  For a few weeks, the churches were quite crowded.  However, by and large, our bishops didn't know how to respond - or maybe they didn't want to see real repentance and conversions for then they'd actually have to be attentive to their duties.  I remember reading in the Catholic Standard about this return to churches when it was still in play.  Cardinal McCarrick waxed absolutely giddy and silly about the full churches.  Why?  Well, because that meant the local church would have to buy more real estate and build more buildings.  That was his focus.  Meanwhile the church hierarchy was doing absolutely zilch about meeting the spiritual needs of those who were darkening church doors after being away for so long.  I was quite exasperated at McCarrick's inane prattling, wondering why he didn't propose increased times for confession and remedial catechism for the returnees.  Not encountering real Catholicism, the returnees soon stopped returning.

So having blown what was literally a God-given field for true evangelism, the hierarchy returned to its tried-and-failed tactics.  They completely ignored the traditional means of evangelism, for those means would have entailed both fidelity to Sacred Tradition and incurring the displeasure of the world at large.  If anything, we witnessed even greater banality from the hierarchy as they tried so desperately to earn the approval of the world, particularly young people.  We witnessed priests and religious break-dancing, rap-singing, etc - all to imitate worldly fashions to trick young people into "liking us".  There have been a few who have come to the Church, but by and large the world regards these pathetic farces with derision.  Who can blame them?

There is hope, though.  A growing number of Catholics who are concerned with the Church's problems are assessing honestly the Church's failures with the "new evangelism".  They understand that the world will only respect Catholics (not necessarily like, but respect) who are in fact praying, believing and acting like Catholics in accordance with Tradition.

I recommend to your reading an article by Eric Sammons called "The Old Evangelization: Five Steps To Renew A Parish".  In a nutshell, he hits the nail on the head.  When Catholics pray and worship as Catholics in accord with Tradition stemming from the One True Faith, the world will take notice.  Conversions will happen - but more importantly, God will be worshiped as He ordered.

What Eric said about the primacy of proper worship echoes the words of both Cardinal Sarah and Cardinal Burke.  Only through authentic, proper worship will we and the world be receptive to the grace needed for evangelism and conversion.

Here is a blog piece written by Msgr Charles Pope called "Recovering The Gospel From The Notion Of Merely Happy Or Good News".  In this piece he points out that both Jesus and John the Baptist preached the entire truth.  They didn't cater to any "snowflake" wishes for "happy positive warm fuzzies".  They preached the need for repentance from sin as being crucial to the process of conversion.  Recall that in the Gospel of Mark, the first recorded word of Jesus is "repent".  Jesus and the early preachers proclaimed the joy of the Gospel, but they also proclaimed the consequences of refusal of the Gospel and preference for sin.  Some priests would do well to recall that when they are tempted to adopt some silly fad as a means of "evangelism".

Let's stop the cutesy gimmicks and return to the Traditions of Our Church.  Converts will come then, as they did earlier.

1 comment:

  1. In diocese of Lexington KY- the official rag- we refer to it as Komrade Times- had 1/2 page article this week on the BIG joint celebration they are having with protestants including a rev Joy somebody and bishop john stowe. At least in KY the leadership continue to see how many faithful Catholics it can drive away. Sad!

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