Monthly Archives: October 2016

I’m Working on a Book on Eschatology

I’ve been writing a book on Eschatology. I’m about half way through the first draft. I expect to finish in January, 2017.

Working title: “Every Life Matters: The Fundamentals of Catholic Eschatology.”

Here’s hoping it gets accepted for publication.

It will be covering the basics, without undue excesses of an academic text. However, it will regard the matters debated among serious theologians (and heretics). Thus, it will ask for a reader to be educated and thoughtful.

Another Text by Fenton

I just acquired another text by Joseph C. Fenton entitled Laying the Foundation: A Handbook of Catholic Apologetics and Fundamental TheologyClick here to order on amazon.

 

This is an outstanding contribution to the contemporary theological landscape, for we contemporary theologians have forgotten classical apologetics. However, it is a powerful, formidable source of reflection. It exhibits the rationality of our faith. It exhibits also the unique claim on divine appointment that Catholicism has. For the Catholic religion is the One True Religion. It alone, this day, is appointed by God. Through its teachings, we come to know the truth, about ourselves, about the paths to happiness and misery, about God. Through its agency, we are equipped to mount the ladder to that happiness.

To enter the gates of faith, to submit one’s mind to the Revelation of God as communicated through the Catholic Church, is eminently rational. In fact, the argument is made in this text that not to do so is irrational. But who can submit his mind without hearing the message? Who can believe if never told?

The task is set before us: To give an account for the hope that we cherish, an account before others. To give such an account was the brilliance of theology 50-80 years ago. Alas, the great achievements of that era have been swept away by forgetfulness. The republication of this text of Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton can help us cultivate that skill of apologetics.

Russia and War

If anyone is following anything other than the despicable sins of Donald and the treacherous sins of Hillary, he is aware of the escalating tensions with Russia.

The talk of World War III is all over the relations between the two superpowers.

What the heck is going on with this? Why are we escalating tensions?

Of course, if our fatherland is invaded, any patriot (one who loves the land and the people) would defend himself and his neighbors.

However, would it not be most difficult to join the US Military these days? Who would want to put himself under the “thought control” that is currently going on in the Military? Who would want to defend the belligerent nature of the US foreign policy currently in act? We are issuing belligerent threats at unnamed enemies. Most likely, Russia is the chief target here. Top generals are doing this; top diplomats; Biden himself. Cyber war. Military war.

Meanwhile, Russia has ordered its children who are abroad to come home. Russians are stockpiling. They are having massive drills.

This is no joke. This is a call for PRAYER, PENANCE, AND ALMS.

Our Lady of Fatima appeared nearly 100 years ago. Her prophecies are not over.

As our own nation exhibits the errors of Russia from the 20th century, with our un-natural marriages, our porn, our belligerence, it looks as though we are the enemy. Meanwhile, Russia allows home-schooling, defends true marriage, etc.

Of course, Russia is not led by saints. However, who is more in the wrong?

All say “peace peace.” But the thief is coming. Prophecies are warning. It is time to bend the knees. God, give us the strength to endure.

It seems as though we sleep. It is late morning. Yet, we sleep in bed. Fatigued. Weary. Dreamy. Yes, dreamy. It is all foggy. We do not see this clearly. We find this impossible. Our S&P Investments are doing well. We have money in the bank. Ripe avocados. Good neighbors.

But “There is no peace.” We put good (natural marriage) for evil (unnatural marriage). We put evil (no fecundity) for good.

The absolute senselessness of the current escalation is cause by someone, someones. Who? Obama? Or someone above him? Who is pressing this senselessness.

Meanwhile, Catholic prelates are asleep at the wheel. Celebrating what ought not be celebrated.

When the faith is not clearly presented, when discipline is undermined, when all chaos and hell seem unleashed, the poor sheep need shepherds to present clearly the faith, to discipline heretics and offenders, to refute error and to guide towards true peace.

The refutation of error is in service of love.

Data Regarding Church in USA Since Vatican II: Part 2

More data, equally dismal. With two exceptions: Annulments initiated went down after 1990; and confirmations went up. Mass attendance has gone down steadily.

Sacraments and Rites
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
Infant baptism previous year.
1.310m
1.089m
894,992
943,632
953,323
986,308
981,444
996,199
929,545
806,138
693,914
Baptisms of minors
60,927
66,458
Adult Baptism previous year
126,209
84,534
80,035
88,942
87,996
85,600
66,886
77,578
76,605
41,600
42,751
Adult conversions
76,176
95,003
73,402
70,318
67,140
Confirmations
491,360
555,767
630,465
610,282
597,402
566,143
1st Communions
849,919
794,576
881,321
807,066
802,300
726,887
Marriages
352,458
426,309
369,133
350,745
348,300
326,079
294,144
261,626
207,112
168,400
148,134
Annulments initiated
60,691
72,308
57,018
49,973
33,727
26,025
23,302
Funerals
387,739
417,779
406,497
417,047
446,822
452,526
455,477
472,789
445,616
417,387
391,131
Mass Attendance
55%
48%
42%
41%
41%
39%
35%
22%
23%
24%
24%

Data Regarding Church in the USA Since Vatican II

CARA.GEORGETOWN just published the below data regarding United States Data Over Time (link).

This data regards the USA, although the website also has data for the world over these same years. The data regarding the USA is almost uniformly negative. Whereas the Catholic population has grown, the number of priests and religious has dwindled since 1965. It would be instructive to have data for the USA during the previous 50 years. The data indicate a Church very sick in her members. This is not to prophecy doom and gloom; it is one piece of evidence in the duty of taking sober stock of the effectiveness of pastoral strategies employed in the past 50 years.

1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
Total priests
58,632
59,192
58,909
58,398
57,317
52,124
49,054
45,699
41,399
39,993
37,578
Diocesan priests
35,925
37,272
36,005
35,627
35,052
34,114
32,349
30,607
28,094
27,182
25,868
Religious priests
22,707
21,920
22,904
22,771
22,265
18,010
16,705
15,092
13,305
12,811
11,710
Priestly ordinations
994
805
771
593
533
595
511
442
454
459
515
Graduate-level seminarians
8,325
6,602
5,279
4,197
4,063
3,658
3,172
3,474
3,308
3,483
3,650
Permanent deacons
na
na
898
4,093
7,204
9,356
10,932
12,378
14,574
16,649
18,082
Permanent deacon candidates
na
na
2,243
2,514
2,263
1,980
2,026
2,497
2,342
2,445
2,051
Religious sisters
179,954
160,931
135,225
126,517
115,386
102,504
90,809
79,814
68,634
57,544
48,546
Religious brothers
12,271
11,623
8,625
7,941
7,544
6,721
6,535
5,662
5,451
4,690
4,200
Lay ministers
10,674
17,315
20,379
20,660
23,448
Lay Ecclesial Ministers
21,569
29,146
30,632
37,929
39,651
Enrollment Lay Ministry formation
10,500
21,800
31,168
16,037
17,935
22,145