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Location: California, United States

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is there an Episcopal church within walking distance?

This from Anthony Ruff OSB in a recent post at Pray Tell, Losing faith in Catholic church’s direction ...

"[...] I admit that my impression is based more on anecdote than hard data. But the anecdotes I hear from all parts of the country are piling up. And they are very disturbing. A permanent deacon’s wife – last I knew, this traditional Catholic woman was active in the pro-life movement – no longer attends Mass ever since the Pope’s and curia’s scandalous response to the sex abuse scandal. A young Catholic couple – the wife has an aunt in a committed lesbian relationship – leaves the Church over its treatment of homosexuals. A Catholic theology professor is worshiping at a Lutheran church on Sundays. A Catholic graduate of a Catholic college choses not to baptize his child in the Catholic Church because of its treatment of gays and women. Two Catholic people long employed at two Catholic publishers ask themselves how much longer they will stay Catholic and when they will make the break with it. A young women near the end of her studies in pastoral ministry, in tears, asks herself why she wasted all this time and money preparing to minister in a Church she no longer wants to associate with. Most every week I hear at least one such story.

Then there is the data. Adult baptisms in the US Catholic Church have declined 40% since 2005. Catholic infant baptisms in Boston are down 46% since 2000, Catholic marriages down 54%. The diocese of Leeds will loose 40% of its clergy within five years. In Ireland 16 men began seminary this fall – in the 1980s it would have been over 150.

The overnight collapse of the Catholic Church in Quebec and the Netherlands is legendary. Increasingly I’m asking myself whether we are now at the beginning of such a collapse."

Sadly, a blogging friend, PrickliestPear, has recently left.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've moved from the "Titanic" to the "Lusitania": congratulations.

5:22 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I haven't moved.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I am friends with a wonderful woman who was a reporter for the New York Times for about 25 years and I often speak with her about journalistic objectivity and she has told me that it is rare. In fact, she often argued with her employer because they manipulated the facts to suit an agenda. So, forgive me if I assert that Bonnie Erbe's lacks objectivity.

Regarding PP, I too am sorry but he has to follow his path. I pray that he comes back one day and so I haven't written him off yet. St. Monica prayed for years for her son Augustine so we need to do the same for others.

I'll tell you more later because I have to get to sleep now for a 8am meeting tomorrow : (

Good night my friend.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

As someone who has given 41+ years to full-time ministry, I can relate to those stories, Crystal.

My wife -- who sits on a prominent Archdiocesan Board -- sometimes has "one foot out the door" with our Church. One of our daughters is very active here at the parish, with her family -- the other daughter married another Catholic this past summer, but they chose not to have a sacramental wedding, and don't attend any church regularly.

I often feel that I know, up close and personal, far too many of the institutional flaws of our Church for my own spiritual health... it can sometimes be so very toxic.

And yet... and yet... I do deeply believe in the life, teachings, and person of Jesus.

I remember in John's gospel, after the "Bread of Life" discourse, when the crowds all left him, Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked "Do you also want to leave?" And Peter spoke for the group, to say "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." I've always been touched by that scene, and even though our Church has WAY too many problems, I don't feel inclined to leave -- at least not yet!

4:30 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Who is Bonnie Erbe?

No, I haven't written PP off either, no matter what he diecides to do.

9:13 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


I haven't given up on Jesus but the way I feel about the Vatican is just toxic, as you mentioned. When I think back to Vatican II, though, I think it's not Catholicism that's bad, it's the guys who've been in charge ever since ... so maybe there's hope.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Hi Crystal,

Bonnie Erbe wrote the original editorial that Ruff is quoting.


9:46 AM  

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