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"Springtime of Vatican II" Update

Turning the Company Over to the Clerks

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Imagine a business company whose CEO does nothing to stop the company’s massive loss of customers, and is so incompetent that he cannot even attract a minimal number of executives to run the company’s affairs. Imagine that this same CEO, in desperation, decides to turn to clerks and secretaries to perform the company’s executive functions since competent executives cannot be induced to work for the company. Obviously, such a company would be finished, and its bankruptcy and dissolution would be inevitable.

Such is the condition, humanly speaking, of the "renewed" Church of the Vatican II "springtime." After forty years of liturgical and pastoral "renewal" there are almost no priests for the next generation, the remaining priests are dying off rapidly, and the parishioners are continuing to desert the parishes in droves.

Take a report in the News Telegraph of London, England (May 26, 2005), for example. In that report, Jonathan Petre, the paper’s Religion Correspondent, notes that in the diocese of Westminster "Lay people are to be encouraged to take on huge new responsibilities in the Roman Catholic Church, from running parishes to officiating at church services. Under proposals drawn up by the Diocese of Westminster, the laity will increasingly assume many of the traditional roles of the parish priest as clergy numbers continue to decline." That is, the secretaries and clerks are being asked to serve as managers of the company because no one else is available.

And who is the genius who came up with this proposal? None other than Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster. As Petre notes: "Traditional Catholics are likely to resist the changes." Of course they are, because traditional Catholics expect their prelates to provide them with traditional Roman Catholicism. But that is the last thing Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has in mind. He prefers a basket of stones to a loaf of bread: "Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor … said the Church should encourage ‘the gifts of all the baptized.’"

In other words, the Cardinal has presided over the destruction of his own archdiocese, which he is now trying to paint as a "discovery" of the "gifts" of the laity. But the statistics bear witness to his utter incompetence and that of his immediate predecessors after the Council: "[T]he number of priests in the diocese fell from more than 900 in the 1970s to 623 this year. The projected number in 2015 will be 471. … As a result … there were too few clergy for every parish to have a priest in residence, and priests would increasingly look after clusters of parishes with the help of lay people, who would take over a range of tasks."

So the Cardinal proposes to turn the management of his company over to the clerks  —  while remaining CEO with all the perks, of course (as long as they can be squeezed from the collection basket). This desperate gimmick, which is being adopted in diocese after diocese, is a vain attempt to retard the death spiral of the Novus Ordo establishment, from which it is quite apparent God has withheld priestly vocations. With only half the priests today that it had in the 1970s, and with most of the remaining priests nearing retirement age, the Diocese of Westminster is facing extinction. And the same is true throughout the "renewed" Church of Vatican II.

The evidence of failure is overwhelming, and yet the architects of this failure persist in their "renewal" of the Church. Only a great Pope, capable of imposing his will for a restoration of the Church, can reverse the Novus Ordo death spiral. But such a Pope will first have to do what Heaven commanded at Fatima. Until then, the Church will continue to suffer the chastisement predicted by Our Lady 88 years ago.