Fri 25th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 24th Apr 2014 at 20:30pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

Debate: Why do Catholics lapse?

Is it primarily the fault of the Church or of the Catholics who have left it?

By on Thursday, 17 November 2011

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

This week Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York spoke to his fellow bishops about the “chilling” rates of lapsation among US Catholics. He said:

Fewer and fewer of our beloved people – to say nothing about those outside the household of the faith – are convinced that Jesus and His Church are one.

So they drift from her, get mad at the Church, grow lax, join another or just give it all up. If this does not cause us pastors to shudder, I do not know what will.

The topic is on our own bishops’ radar, too. Last weekend they launched a national campaign to reach out to Catholics who have lapsed.

One bishop has suggested that people are lapsing because they are simply too busy to go to Mass.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton was indirectly quoted by the Guardian as saying the cause was

… more likely to do with laziness and children’s extra-curricular commitments than controversies surrounding the pope or clerical sexual abuse scandals.

But is the Church itself, or at least its members, not to blame? Abuse scandals, poor communication of the Church’s teaching, bad preaching, the failure to defend the Church in the media – surely these are all big factors in pushing people away?

On the other hand, as Archbishop Dolan said, the sinfulness of Church members is never a “reason to dismiss the Church or her eternal truths”.

And in many situations lapsing from the faith may just be the easy option.

So, why do Catholics lapse? And is it the fault of the Church or the Catholics who have left it?

  • Anonymous

    Where does one start?

    I’m angry: It’s all been such a farce for the past fifty years.

    [Incidentally I recommend Michael Voris's reports from Rome this week
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/u/11/rFOPN2uGiew
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/u/7/SI7gAtKqAYU
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/u/5/qHC9FHGxH1w ]

    Bishop Conry accusing the lapsed of laziness?
    What bitter delusional irony!

    They didn’t walk: They were pushed.

    In so many ways they were told you’re not  important, you don’t belong, you’re not worth the effort and you’re not wanted.

    I could write for weeks on the issue but I’m sure others have plenty to say

    But here’s a message for our ‘deeply concerned’ hierarchy and all their hand-wringing professional clerical and lay hangers-on:

    “You didn’t care about them while they were here ; you certainly didn’t care about them while they were going – so please stop pretending that you care now that they’ve gone”

  • AnnieB

    I rested for 20 years or so – why? Because no one bothered to teach me my faith. I grew up in70s and left my convent school in 1984 with little understanding of Christianity and virtually none of Catholicism. In my mid 40s I started coming to mass again and after a powerful conversion experience and after meeting lots in the charismatic renewal I finally get it. The same pattern was being repeated by my daughter until an old boy decided to teach the teens dogmatics, after much resistance, and she is now getting it.

    We need to teach those who sit in the pews about faith, about Jesus and the rest will follow. I have mixed feelings about Michael Voris but he is so right about this issue.

    We have so much and we hide it.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to add to paulpriests comments by adding the statement:

    ‘Liberal Catholics destroy souls’.

    I talk about Liberal Clergy and Liberal Laity. The buck stops with them.

    It is time for the hierarchy (and to be honest all of us) to realise that the church is presiding over a spiritual holocaust of souls which we will all be held to account for on judgement day.

    The time for discussing lapsed Catholics and evangelisation is over. It is time for us ALL to sort this shambles out. However, there is a desperate need for leadership. Glib statements from Ecclestone Square are no longer acceptable.

  • James

    Two reasons. They either do not understand, or reject the faith. No-one who understands and accepts the faith could ever lapse.

    Acceptance comes from within, but it is a scandal that so many do not understand. THAT the Church could do something about.

  • Anonymous

    To add to my last comment.

    If you are sick and tired of liberals and lay ‘hangers on’ killing your churches and stopping programmes from happening which may be successful and bring back lapsed Catholics and even new Catholics – then now is the time to confront them at Parish council meetings and quite literally tell them that they are failing their parish.

    At your next parish council meeting or AGM:

    1.  Don’t allow them to pass the buck to someone else
    2.  Don’t allow them to move on the agenda
    3.  Don’t allow them to add it to ‘things to be discussed at the next meeting’
    4.  Don’t allow them to say “If you are willing to do something then it can happen”
    5.  Don’t allow them to make any excuses what so ever.
    6.  Don’t allow them to say we did something, but it was not very well attended so we will not do it again’
    7.  Don’t allow them to say ‘time is running out so we have to move on’.
    8.  Don’t allow them to say this is not the time to discuss this issue.
    9.  Don’t allow them to say that we have not got the facilities or the training
    10.Don’t allow them to start a sub group to deal with it.

    Tell them:

    1. They are the elected representatives of the parish and that they are failing in their duties to provide spiritual welfare for their parish and those outside the parish who have lapsed and those who may wish to find out about the Faith.

    2. Tell them that they are the elected representatives of the parish and that it is their responsibility to put on events and to make sure that they put in the HARD WORK required to make sure that it is a success and if they don’t don’t like it they should not have put themselves up for election in the first place.

    I think you will find that the above advice will go some way to getting back lapsed Catholics but, above all hold them to it.

    For the record I am practising what I preach and am currently in the process of taking these actions.

    Enough is enough.

  • Mark_H

    The lapsed haven’t rejected the Faith, they’ve rejected Liberal Modernist version that has passed for the Faith these past decades, New Mass and all. God has cursed this Vat. II ideological project and the Catholic in the pew has voted with their feet.

  • Anonymous

    Bad liturgy and the Church not being clear enough about the obligation.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, Catholic schools are now – mostly – hardly Catholic in any sense at all. Why do we continue to pay for them? All but the best should be closed and we should sell the properties and use the funds to save or even re-open parishes and evangelise.  

  • Anonymous

    All kinds of reasons. Mostly laziness, oh yeah, and the fruits of Vatican 2 !

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s difficult to know why people lapse, especially as the reasons they give (if they give any) may or may not be the true reasons. I am a lapsed atheist who became a Christian and ultimately a Catholic, but I’m not sure that I really understand myself what caused me to lapse from my atheist beliefs.  I’m inclined to believe that emotion and sentiment play a big part in such changes of belief or lesser changes of habit – rationalization to self and others come later.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Hughes/100000562751914 Jack Hughes

    I’m not lapsed per se, but the lack of respose on the part of God to my prayer requests is damaging my faith

  • Anonymous

    Have they lapsed in part due to the overwhelming mediocrity within the clerical ranks? 
    Liberal lefty clerics do not inspire. Their liberalism is the exit door from faith.The right leaning clergy get uptight about the nuances of the new liturgy amongst other things.
    Church leaders tainted by scandal won’t stand down.
    We appear to have a good pope in Benedict but I despair when I view the antics of the ‘princes of the church’ and others inside and outside the Vatican. Do they not read their gospels?
    As for the faithful, many of them don’t seem to proclaim Christ without equivocation, the head of our Church, not the Pope, not the bishops.
    It surprises me that many Catholics are unclear about Christ. In their faith conversations no mention seems to be made of Christ and the gospel message. A personal relationship with Christ appears missing. Someone, as St Paul says, we can boast about.
    When I do hear the celebrant boast Christ and His holiness in his homily it sounds so inspiring and refreshing.
    When one has that personal friendship with Christ, lapsing would seem like betraying a very good friend.

    Just a personal observation.Max

  • Iainw9

    Laziness yes from the bishops, new church priests, uninspiring liturgy and sermons, lazy teaching with little catholic teaching, weak leadership I could go on. Bishop Conrys comments are way off the mark and a disgrace.Vatican 2 has been a disaster and The Church has failed the people for generations. The sex abuse scandal is symptomatic of this failure. a return to authentic catholic teaching, beautiful and reverent liturgy, holy priests is the only way. The bishops are lost because they only care about political correctness and the liberal left. Laziness how dare you!

  • Anonymous

    Continuing to lead a good Catholic life is dependent on constantly topping up with Sanctifying Grace, in the same way that a car has to be topped up with fuel – otherwise it grinds to a halt at the roadside.  It is as simple as that.

    Sanctifying Grace is obtained by prayer, by penance, and by the use of the Sacraments – particularly confession and the Holy Eucharist.  When did you last hear these requirements being elucidated by a priest of the Conciliar Church?  Back in ninteen . . . . something, maybe, but certainly not recently.

    Given that the Novus Ordo Mass was constructed to be acceptable to Protestants by depriving it of almost all references to the altar being a sacrificial altar and portraying the altar as a banqueting table commemorating a feast from 2,000 years ago, and changing the wording of the consecration, what passes for “Mass” these days contains very little Sanctifying Grace.  I have met priests to whom belief in the Real Presence is optional – “Believe it if you like”.  That being the case, no transubstantiation takes place, and receiving just blessed bread confers no Sanctifying Grace, and so the contents of the spiritual tank are not topped up.  There is nothing to motivate one towards leading a good Catholic life, and little defence against the snares of the devil.

    Small wonder that Catholics are falling away, stalling in their tracks.

    The Church will only survive by returning to Tradition, where lapsation is almost unheard of.  Those who have found the pearl of great price do not easily let it go.   [Source: Martyrs to the Faith].

    http://www.latin-mass.org.uk

    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.  Amen

  • Anonymous

    It actually amazes me so many people still attend. Considering the “liturgies”we have to endure on a Sunday.

  • Jason Theobald13

    I would just like to point out that the statement you made about transubstantiation not occuring; the Church has long taught “ex opere operato,” meaning that the grace of the Sacrament, the merits and result of the Sacrament (in this case transubstantiation by which the faithful present and in the entire Church receive sanctifying grace) takes place not because of the minister but because of the work done. Therefore, whether or not the priest believes, his action of saying the words and desiring to do so in union with the Church is enough. 

    As far as a return to tradition; tradition is wonderful and beautiful, but we also must understood from whence we derive this tradition. The Church began to have the mass in Latin because Latin was the common language understood by the people. When this began to change, people began to become spectators in the Mass instead of participators (which they would have been in the early Church). The work of Vatican II, by allowing mass to be said in the Vernacular, then, went back to original reason that the mass was said in Latin-because people knew it. Tradition is beautiful, and the Latin mass is beautiful, but what is more beautiful, as I think you would agree, is seeing Catholics living their lives in the way model by the saints, a way which is conformed to Christ. Everything that is needed for that is present in the Church today. 

  • Anonymous

    “That being the case, no transubstantiation takes place, and receiving just blessed bread confers no Sanctifying Grace”

    You have just stated that the validity of the consecration depends on the beliefs of the priest. That is surely heresy. The Church long, long ago ruled that the Donatists were wrong in holding that the priest’s state of grace was relevant to the validity of the Sacraments. Surely this holds too for his beliefs, as long as he is validly ordained and intends what the Church intends? 

  • American Guest

    I am a cradle Catholic from an area in Pennsylvania where towns had names like Loretto, St. Benedict, St. Lawrence, St. Boniface, Carrolltown–you get the picture. In spite of being born post-Vatican II, I feel I had a decent grounding in the faith, not only from the IHMs who taught at my parish but from parents and relatives. Nothing was done before Mass obligations were fulfilled, especially on Sundays, but on holy days as well. Enough of the vestiges of the old form remained and the experience was always very reverential.

    Then came college, rebellion, loss of faith, etc. I became an ECO Catholic, attending Mass at Easter, Christmas or whenever I visited my parents. Truth is, I felt like going to all those Masses over twenty years gave me a pass to quit for the next 20. And when news of priestly pedophilia emerged in the 90′s, somehow I wasn’t surprised.

    Fast forward again, I’m a parent of a seven year old boy. He hasn’t been baptized yet–my husband and I were hoping for a scandal-free period were we could feel good about the church again.  He doesn’t even know what a nun is – well, you couldn’t tell from passing one on the street unless they wear head gear or have a tiny cross on their lapel. His father and I have decided to re-enter the church, literally – we start going to Mass again. Our parish is large, vibrant – and although they have a stunning traditional church, we are forced to attend Sunday Mass in a hideous post-VII chapel, the interior of which is as bare as a bank. We put our son in PREP, and hope that he will be baptized at Easter. But we barely recognize the church of our youth.

    While we were away, the American church  . . . began to die.  There are many reasons for this as are mentioned here, but as a “revert” I offer another.

    The truth is – we took it all for granted. We never imagined there wouldn’t be enough priests to say Mass or sisters to teach school. We never dreamed parishes would close. The area I grew up in had a strong Catholic identity due to the evangelization efforts of Prince Gallitzen and the Benedictine monks who staffed our churches. Now people think it’s OK for their kids to go to Mass AND get re-baptised by the female minister in the local pond. 

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    I once asked a Muslim pupil why she had no hesitation in expressing her views on moral issues, while her Catholic peers (supposed to hold the same “views”) kept silent.  She answered: “because I believe it all…”

    The reason why Catholics lapse is that simple.  They no longer believe, if believe they ever did. There is, of course, a whole potful of ingredients that have cooked up this widespread apostasy and I’m not even goiing to mention the shenanigans of Vatican II.  Nope.  Won’t even mention it.  But a new Mass, a new Catechism, a new Rosary, a new Evangelisation, a new dialogue with the world and other religions (on an equal footing), another new Mass and some new (former Anglican) priests with wives and children, might have contributed to confusing the simple faithful somewhat. Who knows.

    Certainly, we have a clear crisis in the Church where bishops oppose bishops and cardinals (like the dissident Cardinal Schonborn) publicly defy the local Bishop of Mostar by supporting the unapproved and troublesome Medjugorje phenomenon.   It takes a few seconds only to sign the petition so I hope that the practising Catholics we have here, laudably zealous enough to contribute to a discussion on the Faith on this blog, will take a few minutes to show their disapproval of Cardinal Schonborn’s latest insult to the Bishop of Mostar, not to mention his insult to Our Lady who will NOT be blessing people and objects online – take it from me. I’ve got a theology degree…  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/themedjugorjescandal/

    To conclude my considered opinion about lapsation; only when all the “new” is chased out of the Church and there is a firm and committed return to Tradition of the Church, will we have churches packed with fully believing and truly practising Catholics once again.

  • Anonymous

    This comment deleted because it didn’t post in the correct place.

  • Emma

    A think a big part of the lapsation of Catholics is that there is a lack of proper solid cathechesis. There are so many Catholics who do not understand the Eucharist, and they take the protestant view of it being symbolic, and they do not believe it is Jesus Christ truly there body and blood, soul and divinity!
    And so many Catholics hardly ever go to confession, why? Because they don’t understand why we need to go to confession. This again comes from a lack of proper cathechesis.

    We need proper cathechesis that teaches the Catholic faith without compromise, we need to restore the traditions of the Holy Church, we need priests preaching from the pulpit, telling people to examine their conscience and go to confession. Priests need to be charitable, but being charitable means rebuking others when they do wrong, so they should not be afraid to speak about hell and purgatory.
    I know there are some great priests out there and we need to pray for all priests, but I can’t help noticing that some priests shy away from preaching about certain things such as the afterlife, becoming a saint, the real presence of Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist, why we need confession, etc etc.

    We also need far greater reverence at the Holy Mass, an end to all the happy-clappy hymns with words that are not enriching to the soul, restoration of Latin, more kneeling, learning to prepare properly for Holy Communion and receive Our Lord in a worthy manner. Communion on the tongue should be promoted, why not get parishoners to kneel at Communion in the Ordinary form as well? They do at St. Aloysius’ church in Oxford.
    Also priests need to face ad orientum rather than facing people. The Holy Mass is what joins us to heaven and it should be as reverent, mystical and beautiful as possible, not fellowship. People need to understand why priests wear vestments, why we make the sign of the cross as we enter a church with holy water, what the holy Mass really is etc. Also people need to dress appropriately for Mass and understand why, because we are visiting the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Lord God who is physically present in the church.

    Also funeral Masses should have the dies irae in them, stop canonising people with eulogies and pray for them instead, again this comes from a lack of understanding about what happens in life after death. A lot of Catholics don’t believe in and understand purgatory, and they assume that their loved one has gone to heaven (if they believe that).The best thing they can do is offer Masses for their loved one and pray for them.

    Also the Catholic family home should have crucifixes, icons, holy water and be a domestic church. The family need to make God the centre and focus of their lives. They need to understand that it is not enough to go to Mass on a Sunday and then not live the faith for the rest of the week. We need to make Christ our daily companion, praying as often as possible, understanding the Bible without neglecting the Old Testament, praying the rosary daily and making a devotion to Our Lady and mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

  • Anonymous

    There is only one thing to blame for the present crisis of faith and that is the Post-Vatican II revolution. Ecumenism, religious liberty, religious freedom, Collegiality, a vernacular Mass to please Protestants, Communion in the hand, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar girls and all those other innovations previously condemned by the Church.

    We are living out the punishment of Fatima’s Third Secret, the still-unrevealed text of which gives us a strong hint at what was to commence in the Church from 1960 onward: “In Portugal the dogmas of the faith will always be preserved, etc.,” the “etc” indicating that elsewhere the dogmas would not be preserved.

    Adding weight to this, Sister Lucy said that the Third Secret was contained in Apocalypse chapters 8-13, wherein we read of the “great red dragon” whose tail drags a third of the stars of heaven down to the earth. This passage has always been understood to refer to the loss of faith of many prelates and priests during a time of great apostasy. I think there is good reason to believe that this is the time of the apostasy reserved for the end times. Again, Sister Lucy tells us that Our Lady made her understand that we are now living in the last times of the world.

    Commenting on the Third Secret for Jesus magazine in 1984, Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of it as confirming Revelation concerning “the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world” and “of the events of the last times.” He concluded by saying “It is true that the faith is diminishing in Europe.” What was then “diminishing” in 1984 is practically non-existent today.

    I urge all concerned Catholics to unite in spirit with the intention of the SSPX to have 20 million rosaries offered up for the Pope, for the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, for holiness in the Church and for tue peace in the world. It only costs each of us the time to say five decades a day.

  • Emma

    Also Catholics need to be taught how to defend the faith as we live in a secular society so it is easy for Catholics to fall away if they do not understand the Church’s teachings. We need to know how to answer atheists, protestants, muslims, other religions.

    We need to cathechise our children to know their creator and love Him with all their hearts and souls. We need to make Jesus our greatest love, we should put God first and detach ourselves from the things of this world. Loving God also means loving His laws and his statutes which his Church, the rock, teaches and proclaims. We need to recognise the Church as being inseparable from Christ. The Church is our holy mother who is the only way to salvation. Too many people try to separate Christ from his church.

  • Youth Just Living 4 Christ

    I know how you feel, that used to be my problem, I couldn’t understand why God would not help me out and give me some answers.  For me what changed was that I realized that God had been answering my prayers but I hadn’t been listening.  Taking time out to sit in silence was hugely beneficial because the Spirit often speaks to us in the quietness of our hearts.  The Lord also speaks to us through other means such as the Bible, if you really listen to the readings at mass it is amazing how often it speaks to your day to day problems and issues (sounds obvious but most people including myself spent years letting it pass me by).  Finally be open to seeing how God answers us through the people we meet and events/opportunities we experience in our daily lives,  one of my friends is a hostile atheist and He has even used her once,  it threw me a bit to be honest.  Anyway I hope this helps and I don’t mean this in a patronizing way but I will pray for you.  May God bless you

  • J Kang

    A wholesale lack of Catechism, accommodationist perspective without the zeal of evangelisation, uninspiring liturgy (and especially music). I think they know this all, though.

  • American Guest

    I keep praying we will win the lottery, but keep forgetting to buy a ticket!

  • Lefty048

    i am 60 and do not believe the vatican 2 had anything to do with the mass exodus.   i left when i was 15 or 16 years old.  i left because the preaching that i heard from the popes , cardinals bishops and priests had nothing to do with  the preaching of jesus christ.  in the 60′s i don’t recall 1 sermon about civil rights.  i am from new york and if the leaders had talked to them about it from the pulpit i do believe he would have dragged him  out  of the church by the parishoners.   we may not go to church but we are leading better christ like lives than the generations before us.  we care about our fellow men and women much more than the older generations.  we are more tolerant  of god’s people than any others before us.  i am a liberal pro choice democrat and i know of your scandal first hand.  most priests i know are of the liberal mode and i know quite a few, however your heirachy is conservative republican  and to my thinking have nothing to do with the teachings of jesus christ.  it is my belief they are just trying to hold on to power.  they are having a meeting in baltimore soon and i don’t believe the word poverty is on the agenda.   read the beatitudes and tell me what the catholic church has to do with it.  i believe the catholic church left behind the teachings of jesus christ many centuries ago.  they are about power and control,

  • Guest

    When do we hear of the Catholic hierarchy in England & Wales speaking for the unemployed, the dispossessed and the exploited?
    When will we have a Pope who leaves the riches of the Vatican and lives and works among the poor?
    Fortunately we still have some clergy who don’t live like Princes of the Church and fortunately we hear the gospel weekly even if it is accompanied by a less than relevant commentary…
    Blame is always negative but responsibility is frequently resident with managers rather than workers.

  • Guest

    Next Parish Council meeting?
    It’ll be the first!

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Where have you people who complain that the Church doesn’t bother with the poor, been living for the past 2000 centuries?

    I could show you photo after photo of bishops in the UK standing shoulder to shoulder with the unemployed, with people who are fighting for an end to nuclear weapons and I remember one idiot priest telling us at Midnight Mass one Christmas that Jesus came on earth “to show solidarity with the poor.”

    And please – don’t gimme the baloney about the pope selling off the “Vatican riches” – get real. He doesn’t own anything in the Vatican except the clothes he was dressed in so stop being daft.

  • J Kang

    Spiritual means must always come before material means. When bishops fail to address the spiritual means by not being able to evangelise enough faithful and see the Church dwindling in numbers, we must first deal with the spiritual means. I am not saying the material means are unimportant; Charity and almsgiving are important practices for the faithful. However, the spiritual fulfillment affects us eternally whereas temporal/material welfare is short-lived.

  • D4nny_mck

    The consensus here seems to be that there are not enough people like me. For me, I am in the process of lapsing because I see a church that glorifies cultural norms over the Gospel. The rot started when I first stumbled across the Catholic Herald blogs. As Jesus said, “A house divided …”

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Hear, hear!

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Correction: 2000 centuries should, of course, read “2,000 years”.  It just feels like centuries…

  • Anonymous

    D4nny_mck

    No point blaming others for your decision to reject God in favour of yourself. As the Redemptorists are wont to say: “You have one life to live, one soul to save. Death will come soon, then Heaven or Hell for all eternity.” And, as an Irish priest once said, noting the worldlings’ accusation that the Church is full of hypoctites: “ there’s always room for one more!” The house is not divided, merely infiltrated. It’s not the same thing!

  • Anonymous

    Lefty048,

    I feel sorry for you, having sacrificed the supernatural for the purely natural. Our Lord said: “I am not of this world.” He also said to His Apostles: “If the world has hated me it will hate you also, if it persecuted me it will persecute you also. The servant is not greater than the master.”
    Clearly, Our Lord is less concerned about civil rights than with saving souls. You have chosen a far inferior Gospel in humanism.”

  • Anonymous

    Jack Hughes,

    Take a leaf out of St. Monica’s book. She prayed forty years for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. But what a conversion it was when her time of testing was over!!! Never give up, your prayers will be answered eventually if you are sincere. But remember, God will not give you anything which may be harmful to your salvation. Trust in Him and have that faith that moves mountains.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Hughes/100000562751914 Jack Hughes

    How am I supposed to have faith that moves mountains when he’s treating me to repeated blows from a two by four

  • Anonymous

    Jack Hughes

    As Sacred Scripture says: “God chastises those whom He loves.” It is not a sign of abandonment that God sends you trials, but rather a sign of predeliction. Our Lord allowed Himself to be crucified for love of us. Surely we can bear a little trouble for Him? Trials let us know where we stand in the spiritual life, whether we love the giver of all good things or just His gifts. Your trials will pass and grace will be restored if you will only trust in God. He never abandons anyone who persists in prayer. Our Lord said “Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, ask and it shall be given you,” but He didn’t say it would be done immediately! We must storm Heaven with our continued prayers and with hope. It never fails. Also, turn to Our Lady. She will certainly get you a quicker answer than you can by yourself. Keep on battling!

  • Torkay

    I think the answer to this is relatively simple: the Faith was stolen from us by the Vatican II revolution (as Martyjo points out), and transformed into something which has no identity, no mystery, no sacrifice except a muted one designed to be inoffensive to heretics, no discipline, no catechesis except worldly social justice and the latest Marxist fads, no clergy to teach and sanctify, no stomach or spine or spiritual tools with which to combat the world, the flesh and the devil. Archbishop Dolan, typically, complains about the symptoms without confessing to the facts, which are that the Church was re-designed by Freemasons and Communists and their dupes and useful idiots in order to take her place in a One World Religion. For a true Catholic who is devout and serious about his faith, this is no longer acceptable and no longer binding, so he either fights, or leaves. Most have left. Those who don’t really care continue to attend Mass – such as it is – whenever they feel like it.

    These clergy who continue to complain and warn about symptoms, without ever getting to the real cause, are pitiable, like doctors who give you an aspirin when you need a blood transfusion. They are forced, apparently, to repeat the party line in some form or another, and precious few of them have the courage (or the faith) to denounce and condemn the revolution that was foisted upon us. What they should ALL be saying is that the Church has dethroned Christ, and placed man on the altar instead. What they should ALL be saying is that they refuse to celebrate the Novus Ordo, which is an abomination in the eyes of Heaven. What they should ALL be saying is that “outside the Church there is no salvation.” What they should ALL be saying to clergy who continue to do idiotic things like give credence to the Medjugorje hoax, is “You are excommunicated.” And so on. In short, they should ALL be saying what the Church has always said, before 1958, when the liberals took over.

    For example, how often must we listen to bishops’ synods who remind us that the Eucharist is the “source and summit of Christian life,” while failing to mention that the Novus Ordo was specifically designed to cast a veil over the true nature of the Eucharist? The doctors themselves are sick, and they are steering themselves toward certain catastrophe. Thank God for the SSPX and Father Gruner.

  • Gracebeck

    Totally agree with Lefty048. It is all more about power and control. Charity has lost its way in the Catholic Church.

  • Grace

    I join you in your amazemant.

  • James

    I know, and have known, a great many lapsed Catholics, some of whom left the Church with a degree of reluctance. Most have become atheists or indifferent. A few remain nominally Catholic and two became Anglicans. So far as I can ascertain the main reasons for their leaving the Church were 1) intellectual doubts which, often painfully, destroyed their faith 2) a sexual theology which, lacking an empirical dimension, ignores the realities of human experience and is promulgated by, mainly elderly, celebate males and 3) an autocratic hierarchy which demands absolute and unquestioning obedience from the laity and does its best to stifle theological debate. I have known only one person who left the Church because he was unhappy with the reforms ushered in by Vatican II and he was a flamboyant Wildean character and originally a convert. Admittedly I can speak only from my own, albeit quiet wide, experience. However it seems to me that those who maintain that the exodus is a consequence of the liturgical reforms and the “liberalisation” following Vatican II cannot actually know any lapsed Catholics.   

  • Araujo Ferreira

    I am Brazilian and I never heard of a Bishops Conference in Latin America where the theme of poverty wasn’t importante. Here people complain of the opposite, that they dont talk about faith : )

  • Anonymous

    I did not mention the state of grace of the priest.  You are correct in what you have said, but it is not relevant to my post.

    What I was trying to convey is that if the priest himself lacked the intention that the host should be transformed into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ, then no transformation would take place.

    As Martyjo has said elsewhere:

    “In order for Transubstantiation to take place three things are
    required, namely, Matter, Form and Intention. In other words, the correct hosts
    and wine must be used, the correct words of consecration must be used and the
    priest must intend what the Church intends, e.g., Transubstantiation. Mass is
    invalidated where any of these three requirements are missing.A priest
    may effect Transubstantiation in a state of mortal sin but he cannot effect it
    if he does not believe in Transubstantiation and therefore does not intend what
    the Church intends”

    .

  • Anonymous

    Your conclusion at the end of paragraph one is incorrect.  The priest must intend transubstantiation to take place in order that it should occur. 

    Do the faithful in the entire Church receive Sanctifying Grace as a result of transubstantiation?  My impression was that this was denied to those who were in mortal sin, and that is why it is so important to make frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance.

    Latin was the language of the Liturgy and it was used throughout the Church – it was not the language of the average working man.  By introducing the Novus Ordo Mass in the vernacular, the Liberals behind the Second Vatican Council began the process of undermining the catholicity of the Catholic Church.  Being saintly to each other (all smiling along together) is a thoroughly Modernist concept, and I do not agree that the Church today is doing everything that is necessary for us to obtain eternal life.

  • Kate

    I have no idea why you should think that holding a degree in theology is relevant. The issue is surely one of faith, I truly believe that it is as black and white as that, one either believes or they don’t. One thing though that all Catholics and Christians in general should be aware of is the responsibility they carry when they converse on blogs etc, there is nothing more sickening and soul destroying then reading nasty insults being traded amongst so called believers. For anybody reading out of interest rather than conviction to see believers acting in such a way must chill the heart never mind the soul. The crux is Jesus is the Son of God, He died and He will rise again. I have a lot of sympathy for people who are turned off by all the pomp and ceremony that was created after Our Lord ascended into heaven. It has so little to do with the beauty and simplicity of His teachings. The church really needs to wake up to the simple yearning of people throughout the world for the simple beautiful teachings of Christ. 

  • Kate

    I think you have said all that needs to be said.

  • Maria

    I don’t think you are familiar with the beatitudes. Also you are absolutely spot on about persecution being the lot of a Christian but the problem is that today a lot of negativity towards the church comes not hatred towards believers, but hatred of the evil perpetuated by some church members and covered up by others. Not the same thing at all as being persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Hughes/100000562751914 Jack Hughes

    “Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, ask and it shall be given you”

    Well I’ve been praying for two urgent intentions for nearly
    2 years and the lack of a positive response
    on God’s part is starting to erode my faith, 
    also can I say that your reply sounds to these ears sounds remarkably condescending.
    I’ve no doubt about your good intentions but a little more practical help i.e.
    this is a prayer that will always be answered in the affirmative by God would
    be even better.