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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:58 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
I can only speak from my experience.
The standard response that I have heard repeated many times here is that personal experience has no value.

I'm sorry that you had such a negative experience in your 8 years of Catholic schooling. Of course your experience has value; it is what formed you to be the person that you are today and, dare I say, your attitude toward the Church. What your experience doesn't do is prove that the Church is not true or even that your experience defines Catholic education.

I too am the oldest of 6 children and attended Catholic school for 8 years, slightly after you (in the 60's), and I would say my experience was quite different. Like you, I am the only one that attended all 8 years, each sibling following me attending less than the one before, but for a different reason than in your family. Since we would be going to public high school because of the cost, my parents felt that the public junior high would prepare my brothers better and offer more opportunities as we had no elective type classes (wood shop, etc) or even gym, foreign language, or algebra at the Catholic school. Eventually, they just pulled everyone out at the same time.

I'm very happy that I was first and got to go to Catholic school all 8 years. I loved it and recall it fondly. I had religious sisters every year except 3rd and 4th grade, and I'd have to say that the lay teacher was probably the sternest teacher that I had there. At the same time, she was a good teacher and not unfriendly. My first and 7th grade teachers were probably the friendliest and smiled the most. The 7th grade teacher also taught 8th grade science and math and I think everyone loved her. We had a reunion a few years back and invited her and she came. The only bad teacher that I had was in 5th grade and that was only because she was too old to be teaching and was somewhat senile.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Jackie wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
I can only speak from my experience.
The standard response that I have heard repeated many times here is that personal experience has no value.


What your experience doesn't do is prove that the Church is not true


That is a different subject all together.
That wasn't even in my thought process when I posted.

The topic is: "Why the Church is in Decline"

I was responding to that from my experience.

I would not dispute anything that you say... but none of what you said speaks to the topic... it seems, OTOH to attempt to refute/ minimize my experience and replace it with yours.

It is a Catholic that started the topic. Not me. Other Catholics here as well as authors of articles they cite seem to affirm the topic.

There are many thoughts as to the reason for the decline.
I mentioned above that my experience, and those I have talked to who left the RCC, lead me to conclude that the most common denominator in all of the reasons is that there was no love.

I posited that the root, of the issue of decline, is that a number of people in positions of leadership "left their first love" ... as illustrated by my long experience... Which was acknowledged as a possible reason in at least one response from a good Catholic.


To address your specific point, as well as expand on the subject of love...
I know that the argument arises, as you stated in your response, that the Catholic Church, instituted by Christ, is and always will be true. It is an often used/ standard defense against all shortcomings ...

The Bible states; They will know they are Christians by their love...
The question arises in my mind.. If love is the defining principle of Christianity and, If there was no discernible love in all those years, but only fear of what the next moment might bring (a child knows when it is loved) ... How does that fit into the definition of Christianity?

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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:04 am 
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In the West, Christianity in general is experiencing a decline & not just Catholicism. I think individualism is the root cause of the problem. Individualism has led to the rejection of church authority & replaced it with self reliance. Christianity began its decline the moment people vested themselves the authority to make scripture mean whatever it suited them to mean. So now, 500 yrs after the revolution we have denominations calling themselves Christians who accept same sex marriage, condone abortion & subscribe to a different set of values to the Gospel. In effect they have built for themselves a golden calf.

The Catholic church has not been immune to this phenomena. Our parishes are full of "protestants." The liturgy has become orientated towards the people rather than to the worship of Christ. The priests water down the gospel message so as not to upset & drive away the donating "protestants" that make up the bulk of the congregation & faithful Catholic refugees go in search of parishes that resemble what they know to be Catholic.


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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:31 am 
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cjg wrote:
... faithful Catholic refugees go in search of parishes that resemble what they know to be Catholic.
Although I don't quite agree with your thesis that individualism and self-reliance is the principle reason for Christianity's problems, I agree that parish shopping is rampant. In both directions. I know several cradle Catholics families who have changed parishes several times. Usually led by the wife who decides that the current parish is too patriarchal. Or that the priest speaks too strongly against birth control and abortion.

Or, in our case, to the most traditional parish in two cities.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:11 am 
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Highlander wrote:
cjg wrote:
... faithful Catholic refugees go in search of parishes that resemble what they know to be Catholic.
Although I don't quite agree with your thesis that individualism and self-reliance is the principle reason for Christianity's problems, I agree that parish shopping is rampant. In both directions. I know several cradle Catholics families who have changed parishes several times. Usually led by the wife who decides that the current parish is too patriarchal. Or that the priest speaks too strongly against birth control and abortion.

Or, in our case, to the most traditional parish in two cities.

[Emphasis mine.] Guilty as charged. After three wonderful weeks in our geographically-assigned parish - traditional, peaceful, and beautiful - Timmy grumbled about the Gregorian chant done by the priest and the boy choir as "too much singing and too monotone" and expressed the possibility of going back to the parish with the complete drum set and the "flying Jesus" over the altar. :x Even though I'd just left Mass, I wanted to choke him at that moment. Instead, I just reminded him that, at least with the Gregorian chant, he's not expected to sing when the priest and the choir do. I also reminded him that each Sunday we've attended so far has been a solemnity: Ascension Sunday, Epiphany, and Holy Trinity. Corpus Christi is next Sunday, and to be fair, we need to see what happens once we go back to Ordinary Time. That's bought me at least two more weeks to convince him we need to stay where we are.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:39 am 
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cjg wrote:
In the West, Christianity in general is experiencing a decline & not just Catholicism. I think individualism is the root cause of the problem. Individualism has led to the rejection of church authority & replaced it with self reliance. Christianity began its decline the moment people vested themselves the authority to make scripture mean whatever it suited them to mean.


I agree with you but I think I would label it with a broader term. I would call it revolutionary liberalism or simply modernism. It began with the "Reformation" but was followed by the "Enlightenment" the ideas of which were put into action with the French Revolution from which all the other evil "isms" of modernism, have sprung. In essence, the Christian faith has been in a titanic struggle against these liberal/secular revolutionary ideas for centuries and long before 2017, long before the 1960's, the liberal and secular revolution....won. At least for the time being. The Church has been on the losing side of this struggle since the Enlightenment placed man & science at the center of Western life, replacing God & heaven.

btw, on a related note, if one wants to understand the rise of fundamentalist Islam, it is directly due to this same conflict in the West, which became global after WW2. Radical Islam is in many ways, their struggle against what they see as a binary world of the evil West (moral relativism, capitalism, secular-atheism, materialism, modernism, etc.) pitted against the only true faith left standing; Islam. They would also state that the Christian faith lost and surrendered to those ideas long ago. and that the world has only those two choices, the West or Islam. I know that argument may make some feel mightily uncomfortable, (is does me. :oops: ) but I do think it has merit.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Desertfalcon wrote:
cjg wrote:
In the West, Christianity in general is experiencing a decline & not just Catholicism. I think individualism is the root cause of the problem. Individualism has led to the rejection of church authority & replaced it with self reliance. Christianity began its decline the moment people vested themselves the authority to make scripture mean whatever it suited them to mean.


I agree with you but I think I would label it with a broader term. I would call it revolutionary liberalism or simply modernism. It began with the "Reformation" but was followed by the "Enlightenment" the ideas of which were put into action with the French Revolution from which all the other evil "isms" of modernism, have sprung. In essence, the Christian faith has been in a titanic struggle against these liberal/secular revolutionary ideas for centuries and long before 2017, long before the 1960's, the liberal and secular revolution....won. At least for the time being. The Church has been on the losing side of this struggle since the Enlightenment placed man & science at the center of Western life, replacing God & heaven.



I goes back much further than the Reformation or the Enlightenment. Both Protestantism and modern militant atheism are merely byproducts of anticlericalism, and anticlericalism goes back to at least the 10th and 11th centuries, when monarchs like Holy Roman Emperor Henry II and Philip the Fair of France declared all out war against the Papacy and you had the spiritual Franciscans denouncing the alleged 'wealth' of the papacy (wealth which was always largely non-existent) and calling the Pope 'antichrist.' Indeed, many of the most pernicious myths about the alleged 'wealth' of the Church and the 'corruption' of the papacy which are still widely circulated today were invented out of whole cloth by Henry II's propaganda machine.

And there are myths of the alleged 'evils' of the Borgias, including the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, including claims of incest, assassinations and black magic and orgies in the Vatican, which were invented out of whole cloth by Alexander's political enemies and which are still widely circulated today, most recently in a Showtime series 'The Borgias' which regurgitated all of the myths, including the supposed incest between Pope Alexander and his daughter Lucrezia. No serious historian of the era believes any of the rumors, least of all the claims of incest, black magic, and orgies but they are still widely distributed and widely believed.

And there are similar myths about the alleged 'evil' of Pope Julius II.

None of this stuff can be blamed on either Protestants or atheists, although both have spend centuries making use of these lies for propaganda purposes. No, the origins of this false 'black history of the Church' is to be found in political factions in Medieval Italy, who were at least nominally 'Catholic' who resented the political power and authority of the Church.

Medieval anticlericalism, that is where it all started.


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 Post subject: Re: "Why the Church is in Decline"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Doom wrote:
monarchs like Holy Roman Emperor Henry II

You mean St. Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor? Today is his feast day by the way.

Quote:
Philip the Fair of France

13th century

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