One of the talks I must give is on the New Evangelization, specicifally evangelizing Catholics. This bemused me; I thought that was the whole point of the New Evangelization anyway. It's a tacit admission by the Church that she has been failing rather spectacularly at passing on the faith to the generations that came after Vatican II without pinpointing the cause. And much like Vatican II itself, the term is ambiguous enough that it can mean whatever the speaker intends for it to mean:
Francis of all people should know the old Latin-American joke: "What happened when the Church opted for the poor? The poor opted for the Pentecostals." It's not a coincidence that the Church has hemorrhaged membership since she made a paradigm shift from speaking about man's eternal destiny to worldly problems like nuclear disarmament, youth unemployment, and climate change. We've pretty much allowed the world to make a colossal reframe of religion. In the past, we demanded the world accept our frame instead. We can speculate about how deeply the faith held the people, but the verifiable facts are we had much greater Mass attendance, participation in the sacraments, and priestly vocations back when we were supposedly withdrawn inside Fortress Katholicus as Mark Shea derisively calls it. I'm not opposed to trying out new paaaaastoral strategies in principle, but there comes a point where you need to accept that it isn't working. The Springtime of Vatican II passed its sell-by date thirty years ago.
But I'm just another Trad blogger. All I can do is stay in a state of grace and offer my best for those members of the next generation it has been my privilege to work with. Archbishop Lefebvre - whom, for the record, I consider one of the greatest Catholic heroes of the 20th century - said that the Church will return to its traditions some day. It won't have a choice; there won't be anything else left. I wish my five loyal readers a good weekend and I'll see you in a few days.