Monday, May 2, 2011

Look in the Mirror

This article from Catholic Culture is a classic, reminding a priest who challenges the Church, to also take a peek in the proverbial mirror.

An excerpt.

“Father Tom Reese [a Jesuit] has discovered the Pew Forum’s figures showing a startling exodus from the Catholic Church in the US. Writing in the National Catholic Reporter, the former editor of America sums things up: ‘One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic. Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.’ [emphasis added]

“Well, Father Reese, what about an institution that lost two-thirds of its members? In the US, the Society of Jesus went from 8,400 members in 1965 to 2,650 last year. The decline continues with no end in sight. Yet the American Jesuits have not only refused to study the problem of catastrophic decline themselves, they have gone out of their way to knee-cap scholars whose explanations were unflattering.

“Just ask Peter McDonough, the co-author of Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits. The late Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, was not terribly fond of the book; he criticized its implicit liberal bias. Yet Cardinal Dulles still recognized Passionate Uncertainty as “a wake-up call” for the Jesuits.”