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December 27, 2006



I'd say the rise of the contraceptive mentality has been a vastly destructive trend. It's had such a huge dominoe effect in that it's led to the abortion culture, the sexually permissive culture, and the afore-mentioned rise of religious liberalism.


I totally agree with Jared. When I think of the changes in the Catholic/Christian community that I have seen over the last 40+ years, I can relate them directly to the changes in sexual morality and the contraceptive mentality. This issue is at the core of where people are at and defines their behavior in society.

Tony Hage

While It would help to define some of your terms (for example, what Globalization means to you, might not mean the same to others), I think "Technology" has had a huge impact and will continue to have a huge impact on religion and life.

Francis DS

I would expect the evangelical/fundamentalist movement to be one of those.


Dear John Allen--

I'm not sure if this is what you're going after (as these are positive rather than negative trends), but I think there are a couple of movements you may have missed. The Grassroots movement as Father John Hardon termed it, and its subgroup which is quite large, the Catholic Homeschool movement.

I remember Father Hardon (God rest his precious soul) saying at a Catholic homeschool conference some years ago, that he sincerely believed that the very future of the Church was in the homeschooling movement which he said came out of the grassroots movement. It was a very hope-filled and inspiring talk he had given, as I recall! As he pointed out, for the most part, this movement was not started by any one group. It was a case of the Holy Spirit working on hearts, individually, everywhere--at the same time! These people just all sort of grew up, out of the grassroots, as he termed it, with a burning love for the Faith -- and the timings were not just coincidental!

The Catholic homeschool movement consists of young families truly serious about their faith, ready to step out on a limb for their love of Christ and His Church, making many sacrifices with joy and perseverence -- often undergoing a "white martyrdom" to do so. The real power that comes from these devout families is the enthusiasm and love for the Church they instill into their children (and making fine Apologists for the Faith out of them to boot!) because it will be from these families that the next generation of priests and religious will come! And so we see God's great love and plan in action: out of the ashes of the scandals and crises resulting from all the failed post-Vatican II worldly experimentations, the Church will experience the new Springtime that JPII talked about! This little army of devout, well-instructed soldiers for Christ are the ones that God is raising up to bring the Church on the right track again! And there's lots of them, because the grassroots movement does not practice contraception like the more worldly, secular members do!

After reading Mother Angelica's latest biography, I also have come to realize that there is a direct correlation in timing with the rise of this grassroots movement (which started about 15 years ago or so) with that of EWTN. I believe EWTN certainly had a great role in spreading the love and the desire in people to search out the *real* teachings of the Church that most of us post-Vat-II kids missed when we were in Catholic school. And we were inspired with this new enthusiasm for the Faith either directly from watching the programing, or from being exposed to those who watched the programs. It was like a Holy wildfire that quietly caught on everywhere, and has grown and evolved to the large grassroots numbers of devout Catholics we have today.

Another subgroup of the Grassroots movement would be the Marian movement. In spite of the controversy over some of the unapproved apparitions, a great enthusism for Mary (and her alleged appartions) was growing up at the very same time as the rest of the grassroots (the late 80s and all through the 90s, for the most part). Many people who are now quite firm in their Faith and understand very well the dangers of following unapproved apparitions, did nonetheless get their initial interests started by some of these apparitions, their love for Mary and her Son being now instead directed through such Marian devotions as The Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration (with a Marian devotion) and joining approved Marian apostolates such as the Legion of Mary.

This got longer than I meant it to be.

God bless and Merry Chrsitmas!

Midwest St. Michael

I agree with Georgette and can give you an example to support it on homeschooling Catholics.

There is an Archbishop in the midwest who told some Catholic homeschooling friends of mine that he wanted to annex a county into his archdiocese because of its very large homeschooling population.

He wants to do this because he said that he knows that his future priests would be coming from homeschooling families.

A vocations director of another major archdiocese told this same couple that of the seminarians his archdiocese had at the time (71), over HALF came from homeschooling families and that NONE had come from archdiocesan Catholic schools.

While the homeschooling Catholic numbers are still very small -- they will continue to grow. Fr. Hardon and EWTN has influenced these folks tremendously -- thanks be to God for them.


The three issues that you write about under Sexual Abuse seem to justify at least a partial return to a partially married priesthood modeled after the Eastern Catholic married priests (can get married before becoming a priest but not while and monk-priests, celibate-priests become the hierarchical priests, bishops, patriarchs etc)

In the Middle Ages there was a lot of concubinage even among Popes, even after celibacy became the law (the infamous Pope Alexander VI (probably actually the V as the other Alexander seems to be an anti-Pope) had at least 10 out of wedlock children with different mistresses and had one main mistress and 2 favorite children Cesare and Lucrecia) and even in devoutly Catholic (albeit with many problems due to racism and poverty) Mexico, there was common concubinage even with historical priests like Miguel Hidalgo and while some say a Masonic film like Canoa but at least some priests had known and accepted mistresses in the developing world. Again, this does not mean we have not had saintly Popes and certainly many wonderful priests who practiced celibacy their whole lives and it helped them with their ministry and is a wonderful gift.

While the politically active homosexual community will say that there is no link between pedophilia and homosexuality, and certainly not all homosexuals are pedophiles--at least in the subgroup of the Catholic Church and specifically priests--there is an obvious link between homosexual priests and pedophilia (or ebophilia).
However, the mainstream media will not expose the homosexual cadre of priests as it will not only damage the Church and reputation but also hurt the political agenda of some homosexuals and could justify a purging of homosexuals. So I don't expect a real mainstream media revelation of homosexual priests although they and a certain network certainly and obviously exist. There are stories of good Catholic men leaving the seminary and some even going to Eastern Orthodoxy (which also has problems) because of being "hit on" by other priests and even bishops especially if they were young good looking men. There is a real problem with a homosexual network in the Catholic Church.

I would almost rejoice in a scandal of a priest who was heterosexual with a woman in a sin of passion rather than have one more scandal of a priest with little boy or even a teenage consensual relationship. I would rather have a lonely priest or bishop with a woman in a albeit sinful but at least natural relationship rather than a Weakland like weak male on male attraction.
While for theological and monastic mentality reasons, we do not want to relook at mandatory celibacy and a married priesthood it is time we did and many orthodox Catholics would support it.
There is a clinging to a non married priesthood out of tradition, some theology, and a sentimentality and an inability to admit error but the theology is not as strong as some suggest and is more of an optional (by exercise by the Church) disciplinary issue. Celibacy would still exist as many would choose that and there is and always will be a monastic tradition. Married priests will not forever stop pedophilia or other sexual abuse and will open up other problems, but on balance it will attract a better priest and eliminate some problems that/than you see today.

Many urban areas have clerical nights (like quarter beers or no cover for girls for those you used to go out to bars and night clubs) in gay night clubs and they are even openly advertised.
The criminal Cardinal Law knew not only about the serial abuse by Shanley (I refuse to say Father or Rev.) but also his heavy involvement in the homosexual community including the newspapers and advise and meetings. Open and well known and notorious. Some so called far right groups in the Catholic Church do some outing, but it is underrported generally, in Catholic media, and even in the mainstream press--because it would seem to prove what seems logical and obvious--that there is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia.

The opposition to married priests seems illogical considering a) the shortage of priests and b) the incredible amount of homosexual priests which if uncovered would create incredible scandal for a Church that already is being destroyed in popular culture because of c) the pedophile, ebophile priestly abuse scandal and bishop cover up.
While I do not agree with Rod Dreher leaving the Catholic Church (and he has now found similiar scandals in the Eastern Orthodox Church) he has many valid points on the scandal and had a revulsion that anyone would have once they learn the facts. While I certainly believe there is a link between liberal Catholicism, homosexual priests, the modern culture, modernist priests--to the priestly scandal--the priest abuse and homosexuality issue is not just in liberal priests or just a result of the sexual revolution and modern culture as seen in the Marciel and the Legionnaires of Christ (which I feel bad for as there are many good people but the evidence seems overwhelming against Marciel and it takes a lot of illogic to keep on denying it and any court of law would convict him on the number of the accussers and the logic of the evidence) and even "Traditional" circles such as the now defunct Society of St. John with some former SSPX who apparently were/are homosexuals and did some type of abuse and settled in court.

The Church loses the moral authority on issues of human sexuality and loses many young people (and certainly not just) because it becomes like the parents who smoke and tell their kids not to smoke. I do believe that the Church is perfect in a spiritual sense and both in an inner spiritual sense in reality and substantially and metaphorically the Church is Christ and the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. However, sometimes our interpretations of that perfection and Truth in the Deposit of Faith, makes some believe we should not believe facts that seem obvious, not criticize the hierarchy (which seems prevalent in Opus Dei circles at least publicly), or seriously look at issues like how Bishops covered up sex abuse and transferred abusers around or to look/re-look at universal mandatory celibacy in the Latin Rite.

Bishop Ireland of Minnesota is sarcastically referred to as the founder of Russian Orthodoxy in America as through his lack of charity, his ignorance, and parochial unChristian attitudes and actions created a schism in the United States with Eastern Rite specifically Ruthenian Byzantine Rite Catholics because he did not recognize their married Catholic legitimate priests and did not like their beards and wanted to force to assimilate them into the Latin Rite and America culturally. I see the same attitudes in some Latin Rite supposedly conservative Catholics today regarding the Eastern Rite Churches and married priests.

1. The priest abuse scandal may have hit a high mark but is not over. The lingering cases, Bishop cover up, and the subsequent and long lasting financial issues will still exist.

2. The priest homosexual scandal has just begun but will be underplayed in the mainstream media because of the conclusions that can be made. Priests with AIDS, dying of AIDS/HIV etc. As long as the homosexual issue is not addressed the priestly abuse issue will exist.

3. The priest/concubine (the Jimmy Akin term sounds so Chinese to me I prefer mistress but think the Italian word (I don't know how to spell it) gumad (sic?) sounds too Sopranos) issue will be present although not that great--there were some mainstream news stories on children out of wedlock being supported by the Church of priests but it does exist but is not common.

Married priests are not a universal solution, but would be helpful, the current celibacy and male priesthood (I do NOT support female priests but only point out male priesthood as it is male and that becomes an attraction for homosexuals even "good" homosexuals who want to remain celibate) Again, family life and married priests will introduce new problems and scandals, but it will be far less and better. Again, there will always be celibate priests and monastic life.
Celibacy is good not bad. However, it is not a gift for everyone. Moreover, we need to attract heatlhy heterosexual males to the priesthood, a theological and logical and psychological/sociological/anthropological requirement to be a good priest is the disposition to be a good father and husband.

These issues need to be addressed, and discussed and even debated in an educated and healthy way or more pain and scandal will follow.


I am not a Luddite.

BUT Technology is MUCH overrated.

Wireless is not necessary but certainly can be more efficient and Biotech is SCARY

illness and death are part of reality
The Brave New World of eugenics is frightening and very unCatholic


One huge item left off the list might be termed something like "The aging of Hippidom".

Living in San Francisco for more than 40 years (through the 60's-2003), and attending UC,Berkeley, during the early 80's, I have direct experience of the impact of both the "sex, drug and rock-n-roll" culture and also the rise of the "homosexual influence"- as seen from the epicenter of both of these movements, and as also strongly felt in the Bay Area Catholic pews.

Really, the impact is HUGE! This loose, beatnik, then hippi, then homosexual, then feminist culture, was the beginning of the dominance of secularism and liberalism in the world today.

These same hippi's -- and I was somewhat one of them!..though young and mostly ignorant of the FAITH-- gave the liberal movement the lessons that if you scream hard enough and loud enough, you will probably get your way in the end. And in most things political, and in many things religious, they indeed...got their way.

And now, we devout Catholics are also using hippi tactics.

Who can't see that abortion protests were invented by hippidom and liberal political methods?

The Church faithful finally started to scream back--and yes, we are learning that if we scream hard and long enough, we will probably get our way too..one day.(The problem though, is that liberals are pretty proficient in this game of 'crying'!)

By the way, didn't Jesus talk about these things when referring to persistant prayer?? ie. how annoyance leads to results?

Anyway, we see that things change. Now there are less and less true hippi's anymore. Rock and Roll has been replaced by Rap and Hip Hop. AIDS has largely humbled the homosexual movement--at least as compared to pre AIDS days. And now, with hippidom fading ever more into the past, it's symbols of peace signs, zig zag papers and psycodelic art, are more likely to be seen in history books than on the streets...or in the Churches.

Now.. "It's Hip to be square ", as Huey Lewis, one SF local intuitively sings!

So with 'square' being once again accepted in our modern culture, the things once considered penultimately 'square', such as anything concerning the Vatican or true Catholic Faith, are now starting to be seen in a more positive light.

So, the infuence of Hippidom, "Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll", Homosexuality and 70's Feminism, (though pretty nasty topics, I might add) should never be excluded from such an historical or forward looking analysis. To mis-understand this historical, cultural and religious impact, is to mis-understand the foundations of almost anything culturally or religiously modern.

And it's infuence is still GREATLY felt in the Church today!

Mr Flapatap

How about the watering down of the Faith that has lead so many hungry souls to evangelicalism?

How about emphasizing only on social justice at the expense of worshiping God? I recently read an article that contained the quote by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the papal household referring to what he had heard in Latin America: “When we need a labor union we go to our parish priest; when we need the word of God we go to the Protestant pastor,”


Dear JA (both of you), May I respectfully suggest that the narrowness of this list reflects your own biases. JPII & B16 have the vision of the Holy Spirit for the Church of this century. Just look where they're going & you'll have your next book without having to take a poll.


The Historical Jesus reviews should be listed under Movement. Books now numbering over 100 are there for all to read. Although most commentators on this blog will disagree, the realism, common sense and conclusions arrived at by the authors of these books will continue to eat away at Roman Catholic orthodoxy that has hoodwinked so many of us "pew peasants" for the last 2000 years.

To reiterate some historical Jesus findings:

Jesus was a man whose simple but powerful teachings were embellished to compete with the gods of Rome, Greece, Babylon, Persia and Egypt to the point that only about 30% of the NT is historical.

Money also played a role and still does. Money and our Church go back to the beginning according to Reimarus as referenced in R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, http://www.amazon.com/.

"Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

See the book for added clarification of Reimarus views.

And St. Paul's ability to collect rather large sums of money from the Gentiles for Jewish relief, probably went a long way in "greasing" the Gentile entrance into the movement. Paul was the first media evangelist!!!

So add Gentile money to Jesus' teachings, Paul's epistles, Constantine's need for support and the whims of Pilate to the list of the foundations of our Catholic Church.


The Catholic Identity thing seems poorly formed. I would label it as increase in countercultural Catholism. There has been a tend in all denominations really to try and keep one foot in the secular humanist culture and one foot in the christian faith. That is agetting harder and harder to do as the culture is becoming more and more hostile to the faith. Most protestant churches are moving in various degrees towards the culture. The Catholic church cannot do that. So as the gap widens we will see people being forced to choose. The church will get smaller but it will be purified by fire. The faith of those that choose to stay with the church will be strong.

There may be quite a number of protestants that see their church becoming more secular and consider the Catholic church. The sin of schism, like any sin, is hard to break out of. When it leads you to problems you tend to look to start another schism rather than to find the one true church. Still where sin abounds then grace abounds all the more. We might see some serious numbers of protestants convert.


For "The Upside Down Church," consider Catholics who do not pray (clergy and laity); who were never taught to pray as they ought; who place value on things other than prayer. I'm thinking about daily prayer, morning prayer, evening prayer. The Liturgy is the highest form of prayer, yet many many approach the Liturgy as an "expression of the past" or for sentimental identity rather than an encounter with God and Christ. Our Catholic churches should be houses of prayer, yet sadly prayer is not found in many Catholic churches (or homes). This is an urgent concern for the 21st Century Church.

This "lack of prayer" affects Catholicism in a significant way and should be addressed.

paul f

Wow! Over 100?! It MUST be true!

Tim J.

"the realism, common sense and conclusions arrived at by the authors of these books will continue to eat away at Roman Catholic orthodoxy that has hoodwinked so many of us "pew peasants" for the last 2000 years."

Actually, the light of orthodoxy has been eating away at the dim-witted work of the Jesus Seminar for decades, the latest example being B16's smackdown in his most recent book. The Jesus Seminar is a counterfeit, a fraud... these liberal Christian "scholars" are neither Christian nor scholarly.

Liberal Catholicism is not dying with a bang, but with a whimper.


The "Historical Jesus" nonsense is just the same tired, old heresies long-since refuted. The "Historical Jesus" books are covered with mold. And Realist's Hobby Horse is getting old, too.

Dan Hunter

Was Jesus a man?
God bless you and yours.

"The [Jesus] Seminar meets twice a year to debate technical papers that have been prepared and circulated in advance. At the close of debate on each agenda item, Fellows of the Seminar vote, using colored beads to indicate the degree of authenticity of Jesus' words or deeds. Dropping colored beads into a box has become a trademark of the Seminar." (from the Jesus Seminar website westarinstitute.org/Jesus_Seminar/jesus_seminar.html)


This doesn't quite seem to be the most reliable method of finding the truth. It sounds more like a bunch of liberal scholars who have decided that they are the new magisterium.

Dr. Eric

If Jesus wasn't resurrected why were all the disciples martyred. Why would anyone be skinned alive, crucified, stabbed, stoned, beaten, raped, drowned, poisoned, etc... for a liar, a myth, a mistake etc...

Either Jesus is God or it's all a lie and religion should be eliminated.


forgot to put my name on the above post regarding the jesus seminar

Brian John Schuettler

"JPII & B16 have the vision of the Holy Spirit for the Church of this century. Just look where they're going & you'll have your next book without having to take a poll."

I see the purpose of the "list" but I also realize that the key to the transformation of the Church is completely dependent upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is a great risk of a neo-Pelagian heresy entering the church if we do not remember, constantly remember, that without grace and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit we "can do nothing".


Um, dude, there was and is concubinage in the Eastern churches, too. Even with married priests. (Lord knows how people find time and energy for all this stuff, but I just report the news.)

I would say that as education and evangelization go, so goes the Church. My generation didn't get as much info as we should have gotten, so we hungered for it. The same thing with spiritual nourishment and mysticism, sad to say. I think the grassroots, and EWTN, and church music movements, as well as some very bad stuff (losing people, craziness) all came out of that lack of widespread, easily available religious education and meaty nourishment of faith. Once it's provided, good stuff happens even more quickly, because people who knew that hunger are teaching and feeding people who are hungry now. The more that can take place for all ages and in all places, the better off we'll be.

Still, it would have been nice not to have been starved in the first place.


What I find appaling are the comments in Allen's blog, calling for the conversion of the Catholic Church to Anglicanism!

Thank God they don't breed!

M.Z. Forrest

The biggest unnamed trend: secularism
Second biggest trend related to first: indifferentism

Greatest hopeful tend: trickle of women from the workplace back to the home. Let it be a torrent.
Second greatest hopeful trend: growing skepticism that what is possible is not necessarily good. In particular, the decrease of contraceptive use. Small agrarian, Catholic communities being set up is another manifestation of this.


Sometimes it seems to me that Allen spends too much time with the NCR readers...

Almost nothing in his list is essentially important, most but fads of the day with little significance even to those affected by them. For example, North/South, as though in and of itself it could affect anyone other than those too concerned about ethnicities and culture. But as a professor of mine stated, when a culture becomes worried about itself, it's already doomed and sterile.

Another example, technology, wired or not. In the last few decades, it's been nothing but variations on the same theme since the late 19th century invention of telecommunications, and it's affected little what the Church has been able to accomplish.

All in all, I have the impression that Allen sees the Church too much as a human enterprise. What the Church needs to continue doing is focusing on sanctifying through sacraments and teaching the Truth. She's done little of these lately and the current state of affairs shows. Yet, it's not her; the Holy Spirit, in spite of her failings, continues to do most of the work saving souls. Praised be God!

By the grace of God, the work of the enemy through pederast clergy, spineless episcopate, Marxist/liberal/feminist/heretic laity is unfruitful, sterile and self-condemning. The culture of death will die out in no time. THIS is the great news for the 21st century!


3) Rings of homosexual clerics who have colluded to further each others' interests (as well as having sex with each other) and who have committed a variety of crimes--up to and including murder--to protect those in the ring from exposure.

Wow. And I thought the Da Vinci Code was consiratorial hogwash. Murder, Jimmy? Now that's just slander.

caine thomas

I would add to Maureen's comment on the hunger of one generation helping to fuel this drive to set banquet table for the future. I think the internet has been an immense help in doing this because it has provided a means for all Catholics to be truly connected with the Bishop of Rome. Twenty years ago, if your diocese was infected beyond repair, there was a very real starvation among the faithful that led to people grasping for anything that resembled what could fill their spiritual hunger. There were questions about the reality of a spriritual "home" that you could believe was shared in common with other Catholics. I think when JPII published "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" as a mass market release it was a watershed moment that (despite the available media of the time) gave Catholics hungry for orthodox faith a shepherd in common, who spoke to them all.

Now with the Vatican website and the proliferation of Church documents and resources through so many different sources, the only excuse for anyone to feel unconnected to the heart of the Church is that they wish to remain that way out of principal. With all the lights turned on, there are no excuses for the Call to Action types to remain in the dark - other than they prefer it.

A truly seismic change in the church would have to be the introduction of the 3-year lectionary right after Vatican II. Scott Hahn points out in the preface to Letter and Spirit that in the midst of all the debate over the Tridentine vs. Novus Ordo rites, the true revolution in the liturgy quietly laid the foundations for a spiritual revival in Catholic biblical theology.


I wrote to John Allen an email explaining how the view of women will make or break the century. It included the following:

"Certainly, in worldly terms, politics, science, technology, etc. make an enormous impact
on daily life, but I think the hidden truths of nuptial love will -- in the end -- make
or break this century, allowing man to come back to God or to continue his death spiral
into insanity. To that end, I sincerely believe that authenticity in our view of
sexuality -- especially the vocation of woman, will drive current events as much as
biotechnology and globalisation. Indeed the view of woman that is being projected to the
developing world (and bullied about by the mysogynistic Islamic world) is as toxic as
pollution, nuclear proliferation, or climate change.

"In essence, either women will be the heart of the family, the fulcrum of a healthy
culture, and respected as a fundamentally (yet distinct) equal partner with men, or the
dysfunction of the family as basic cell of society will continue to spread its subtle
poison. At the least, unless motherhood is embraced and valued by the West, demographics
alone will drive the 'story line.'


One could assert that the publication of the Catechism has had a most significant impact on the Church. The time between it and the post-VII discarding of the Baltimore Catechism resulted in a virtual vacuum of faith education. Many positive currents can be traced to the improved understanding of the Faith among Catholics.

Roman Sacristan

While John Allen tends to be more objective than most of the other employees of the National Catholic Reporter, he still has very deep seeded tendencies to more heterodox thinking. I usually find myself rather disappointed with his writings in spite of how supposedly "objective" he is said to be, because it is only relative to the rest of NCR.

caine thomas

One could assert that the publication of the Catechism has had a most significant impact on the Church.


It's easy to understand why Allen doesn't list that. The NCR crowd dismissed the Catechism as irrelevant when it was published, and only reference lines they have mined which support the church as they wish it to be (similar to how they approach the Bible). It doesn't register in their minds as being significant - similar to the lack of concern towards acceptance of contraception.

But the Catechism is significant to those Bishops in the third world who begged Rome to produce one! Since those are the places where the future of the church seems to rest, I would think that makes it very big deal.


Read Malachi Martin, he can give your the real trends, and the supernatural realities behind them.

Go back to the Baltimore Catechism. Increase the availability of the Traditional Latin Mass.

I am open to a married priesthood as it is a discipline not a dogma. I do think we should recognize and respect our eastern brothers (rite not schismatic orthodox) We do need to purge the active and political homosexuals out of the Church and this includes Cardinals. Most of them do tend to be Modernists like Weakland.

But most importantly, pray, seek the Truth, pray, go to Mass, go to Confession, pray, pray the Rosary, Eucharistic devotion, repent, pray,
Mass, prayer, Mass, prayer, Confession, Reconcilliation, Mortification,
Conversation and union with God
Cultivation of virtue, developing an interior life, living the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, Prayer, Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visting those in prison and sick, prayer, to purify intent, prayer
Mass, prayer, confession
Mass, prayer, confession

more time with family, less on the internet :)
I actually get in trouble even with Jimmy Akin dot org by the boss (after God) in my family
(and it is not me) too much on the internet
and computer

Tim M.

I think what A. Williams said in his many paragraphs is true and could be summed up in the "theme" of the 70's: the "me" generation.

THIS the culture that I grew up in and so many others.

THIS is the basis of "cafeteria Catholicism".

THIS is behind the arrogance, pride, avarice, gluttony and so much else that is pandemic in our world today... that it is all about "me."

Conversion begins when we realize it is all about "HIM".

and say what you want for or against technology, but the FACT is that for everyone born since 1973 - Roe v. Wade year - 95% of everything that they know or will ever learn has been invented or discovered since they were born.

So "ME-ism", Technology and Information should be on JA's list.

p.s. as we are all seated and present here for the "REALIST seminar"... the vote is yeah or nay... did Realist "really" write his post above? completely? which words or phrases did he actually write and which were imposed upon him?

let's see the show of hands


As soon as I saw "mega-trends", I thought about the "mega-churches" phenomenon. There are none Catholic mega-churches (...right?), but becoming like a mega-church is a big temptation for many parishes, I'm afraid... you can see these churches' influence on the music used at Mass, for example. Electrical guitars, drum sets, etc. There's also those "wreck-o-vations" Gerald at http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com target=_blank>The Cafeteria Is Closed likes to complain so much about...

Mark Scott Abeln

There is a small movement for a restoration of Catholic art. Take a look, especially, at some of the new architecture coming from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. This is coupled strongly with the Tridentine Mass movement.


Many urban areas have clerical nights (like quarter beers or no cover for girls for those you used to go out to bars and night clubs) in gay night clubs and they are even openly advertised.

Alexis I have read this many times but not once has the 'urban area' been named. How about you naming the urban areas and the bars and newspapers which feature the advertisements. so that we can check it out for ourselves.

The criminal Cardinal Law knew not only about the serial abuse by Shanley (I refuse to say Father or Rev.) but also his heavy involvement in the homosexual community including the newspapers and advise and meetings.

Once again, provide the links to the claim that Cardinal Law knew about Shanley's serial abuse etc

Abe Villegas

Sharon, I don't know Alexi nor do I understand everything he or she wrote.

However, unfortunately the gay stuff is true, has been written about ad nauseum, and if you want to provide links it can be done but is so disgusting and depressing I think it would be better if you didn't. You can find a lot of it in mainstream magazines like Time and Newsweek, and also former Catholic Crunchy Cons stuff.
It is all there. Please don't repost it here.

Baltimore Maryland is the urban area

Read the Windy City Times in Chicago or Free Press
but prepare to be shocked


Alberto Navarro

^ Davis, Wendy. "Memory questioned in abuse case". Boston Globe 4/8/2003. Online version available at: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories4/040803_memory.htm (Accessed on 09 October 2006).
^ Jacobs, Sally. "'If they knew the madness in me'. A search for the real Rev. Paul Shanley..." Boston Globe 7/10/2002. Online version available at: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories2/071002_shanley.htm (Accessed on 09 October 2006).
^ Alan Keyes is Making Sense, 25 April 2002, MSNBC. Transcript
Emanuella Grinberg. "Disgraced Boston priest faces child molestation trial" Court TV 25 January 2005. Online at: http://www.courttv.com/trials/shanley/background_ctv.html (Accessed 21 October 2006)
"Deposition of Bishop Thomas V. Daily" (Day 2, page 1). Boston Globe 22 August 2002. Online version available at: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/shanley/daily_deposition/day2_1.htm (Accessed 21 October 2006)
^ Rezendes, Michael and Matt Carroll. "Boston diocese gave letter of assurance about Shanley", Boston Globe 4/8/2002. Online version available at: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories/040802_shanley.htm (Accessed on 09 October 2006).

Shanley first gained notoriety during 1970s as a "street priest" and icon of the Progressive movement whose writings included "Changing Norms of Sexuality".[2] He gave a public speech promoting pedophilia, homosexual sex, incest, and bestiality in 1977 in Rochester, New York[3]. During the 1980s, Shanley served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Newton. In 1990, he was transferred to St. Anne's in San Bernardino, California. While there he and another priest, John J. White, co-owned "a bed-and-breakfast for gay customers 50 miles away in Palm Springs".[4]


The sexual abuse is very very very sad


ISTM Allen's perspective is skewed toward peculiarly American concerns. That being so, though, he's missing the biggest story of all: the Hispanic Phenomenon. (Indeed the impact of immigration across the board: not just Hispanic but Hmong, Montagnard, Tagalog, you name it.)


I agree with diane. In that the sex abuse crisis is not significant outside of the US. I also think that polarization is a western issue only and wonder if it has limited significance outside the US.
I would agree that immigration is a huge growing trend and will have an effect on the church in both the receiving and the countries people are migrating from. I suppose this could be a subset of the globalization trend.
Speaking of globalization the wireless trend may be extremely important when you consider that this will have a great affect on/in the areas of the world where the church is growing (fast). Africa, some of Asia, S. America? would take forever to become "wired". I think perhaps we should give John credit here in terms of not being America skewed.
I would add to the list capitalism, democratization, religious freedom. Imagine the differences in the church within a country in which it is forbidden versus a religiously free country. This, I think, changes significantly the size and fervor of the faithful. Could these be the trends that counter Islamism?
What about implementation of VII? Is this what is meant by Catholic identity?


If we are talking about the 'global Church' and not just the American Church, then I would change the "Sex Abuse Crisis" to something like "The Global Sex Crisis".

I currently live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic-- a country well known as being predominately Roman Catholic. However, in reality, only about 15% of the population attends Mass here on any regular sort of basis. And this, I'm sure, has nothing to do with American liberalism, priest sex scandals, kum-bay-ya liturgies, feminist agenda's, etc..

Here, it seems that this type of detailed cultural, spiritual and political warfare is a complete waste of time--when most people only make about $300 dollars per month, in almost any job including traffic/police officers, army personel, teachers, auto mechanics, etc.. And this small amount might be needed to pay for a family of usually between 4-8 persons.

So, what's the devil doing to keep all those Catholics from attending Mass down here? and probably in most of the rest of the 3rd World?

Making babies..lot's of them!.. but also promoting extraordinary amounts of fornication and adultery, nothing like I've ever heard about or seen in the US! When asked how many 'mujers' I have, I appear to be a total wimp when I mention that I'm married and am Catholic--ie..ONE. It is terrible to say, but it's pretty well known that the married men, here, smile and brag about such adultery, and the many girl friends are the trophies.

And what does this do to the Catholic faith and also the social culture?

It keeps all these adulterous men (and women) away from the Church, and causes incredible levels of corruption in almost every aspect society and politics.

This is because adultery breeds lies. The sex is only one part, the lying to the wives and multiple girlfriends is another part. Now, how do you think it is possible to be an honest police officer, government worker, politician, or anything else for that matter, if you habitually lie to your wife and family? ..and no one even seems to mind! Many wives are completely powerless to do anything! So this is the fruit of adultery in the 3rd world, at least from my American Catholic view point...lies, political corruption and extreme poverty!

So, putting all American politics aside, the world has other monumental problems--and the chastening of the 3rd world is a doozie!


"p.s. as we are all seated and present here for the "REALIST seminar"... the vote is yeah or nay... did Realist "really" write his post above? completely? which words or phrases did he actually write and which were imposed upon him?

let's see the show of hands"


Considering that most of what "realist" writes is a regurgitation of earlier dissent, i'd say he "wrote" next to none of it. That's not analysis in any sense...it's pattern recognition as a stimulus with a most predictable response.

And i am highly amused by the rhetorical flourish of using the nom de plume (nom de keyboard?) of "realist", with its unspoken assertion that to disagree is to be disconnected from reality.


let's see the show of hands

Shouldn't you guys be using colored beads to decide what can be taken as authentic Realist quotations?


I'm in. What's the bead color for "arrant nonsense"?


Hmmm, the Jesus Seminar and its voting techniques?

Reminds me of "After the International Theological (or is it "Theoillogical" with respect to limbo until recently???) Commission finishes their VOTING on limbo", hopefully they will turn their VOTING towards the likes of Adam and Eve, Job, the OT in general, the various versions of the Nativity and lack of attestations for a large number of NT references especially in John's Gospel.



Kasia: I think that'd be brown.

... [reads the last post] ...

Yup, brown.


Oh good - brown's one of my favorite colors! ;-)

Count one BROWN...


Three big issues in modern times adversely affect the Church the most and each spawned the next:

the Protestant Deformation --> the Great Endarkening --> the Dictatorship of Relativism

And, yes, I include the 1500's as "modern" because I belong to a culture six centuries older than the language I am now typing.

Everything we do we undertake as Warriors of Light against the Forces of Darkness that have charmed our culture.


A return to prevatican II "Catholicism" instead of what is being sold today is the only answer. The wishy washy praying in a mosque attitude when threatened by your enemy is no model for our youth, when these Imams refuse to do likewise and pray to our Lord and saviour. As someone pointed out earlier, the Evangelicals, the Traditionalists and the stay at home schoolers are growing by leaps and bounds while the church dwindles as she is trying to be so PC in a world that is secular and evil. If our Lord and the Apostles and been PC we would have no church

Today the Vatican in its continued confusion spoke out against the death sentence for Sadam (one would wonder its stance today on Hitler) and capital punishment when the OT clearly allows for capital punishment and as one clearly knows if it was not for capital punishment our Lord and saviour would never have been able to open the gates of heaven that had be closed for so long. The church has forgotten her mission on earth is to save souls. JPII was sold off as a "conservative" but what exactly was he conserving?


John I can agree with you on the importance of grass-roots efforts like homeschooling and the Catholic blogosphere. But hardly any of these efforts are being spearheaded by Traditionalists.

In fact Traditionalists with their endless whinging do hardly anything. Ever. Traditionalists did not start EWTN nor did they harness the power of the internet. Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers, This Rock, Curt Jester, American Papist, Steve Ray, StubbleSpark (okay, that's me), Catholic Answers Action, Priests for Life, Patrick Madrid etc -- NONE of these persons or groups are Traditionalist.

If they were, they would be wasting all their time complaining how the Church does not follow THEIR lead and adding to the overall problem by basically acting like the closet Protestants they are.

Even when Traditionalists get off their high horses to try to do something practical, they fill their newsletters with endless fetishizing over pet peeves without reference to the Catechism and pointless mastication over conspiracy theories which of course include the occasional anti-Semitic outburst.

Traditionalists are the biggest impediment in the path to orthodoxy in the upcoming Springtime of Evangelism.

What's the point of the being Catholic if you think obedience to the pope is optional?

Remember Luther and his hard-nose stance to rekindle reverence for the Eucharist? You may not understand what the Pappa Ben was doing in that mosque but your lack of brains is by no means a license to take the reigns of orthodoxy for yourself.

Lack of reverence for the Eucharist drove me to the local Tridentine Mass. Lack of obedience and unity to the Bride of Christ is driving right back to the Novus Ordo.

Now, if you will excuse me, it is Thursday and I have to go pray the Luminous Mysteries in obedience to my pope.

'Cause I'm CATHOLIC!



I read your post and it is full of ranting but has no merit what so ever. When you say that the Traditionalists have done nothing new-your correct because unlike the councillar church (and one must make a clear distinction) we refuse to CHANGE anything as faith and morals never change with time. So if you want something new like homeschooling which by the way I can only suppose you mean learning your catechism as homeschooling is for all faiths-then you would be surprised how many like my sisters who refuse to have their children be taught this wishy washy JPII catechism and instead teach them from home

And after you get done being obedient to "Your Pope" in praying your "loney" mysteries as promulgated by JPII-then you may want to follow that up with a visit to a Mosque and pray to Allah facing Mecca as B16 has done

Brother Cadfael


The church has forgotten her mission on earth is to save souls.

I think, perhaps, that you, John, have forgotten that this is the Church's mission, and the Church has a Magisterium precisely for that purpose.

You, John, are not the Magisterium.

Perhaps you will take the humility and obedience of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and/or St. Pope Pius X on this point. The seeds of Modernism are found in the refusal to accept the Magisterium as the teaching authority of the Church.


Yeah, those traditionalists did nothing except build many new traditional chapels & schools, fill up seminaries, bring many people to the faith (including a prominant Lutheran pastor from Sweden), lead protests accross America against various blasphemies (Da Vinci code, Hindus in Catholic santuaries, etc.), help many poor countries with missionary priests and donations from parishes all around the world, etc. Hardly a short resume in 40 years.

Now if you excuse me, I'll have to go to the masque with my shoes off & kiss a koran there. Maybe there will be time to have a Novus Ordo Mass with a topless woman present to read the Epistle. Let's bring in pro-abortion politians to take part in Communion while we're at it.



Great post-and all of that in all less than 20 years with no great benefactors-just hard work and donations and labor as the church itself used to pride itself on until it decided to be "like the modern world" thanks to John XXIII (funny he decided to take this name as the last John XXIII was an "anti pope") decided to throw open the windows of the church for all to see in!

My parents used to tell me how before the council the politicians, newspapers and the children learning their catechism would never dare to question these sound teachings as handed down from generation to generation, and the church was to be respected, where today we have Popes who want to be Rock stars and be loved by Imams and politicians and dont have enough nerve to refuse the eucharist to the likes of Kerry,Ferraro, Cuomo, Pelosi and others who promulgate the murder of the unborn

God bless those that have held fast to the faith and followed the true teachings of the church


And after you get done being obedient to "Your Pope" in praying your "loney" mysteries as promulgated by JPII-then you may want to follow that up with a visit to a Mosque and pray to Allah facing Mecca as B16 has done

Anyone else get the feeling that John is a sedevacantist?

I think, perhaps, that you, John, have forgotten that this is the Church's mission, and the Church has a Magisterium precisely for that purpose.

You, John, are not the Magisterium.

Thank you, Brother Cadfael... that made me laugh and cheer. After a rough day at work, I needed to laugh.

But StubbleSpark has the the most true statement that John should listen to:

What's the point of the being Catholic if you think obedience to the pope is optional?

We all know that I'm the token Protestant in the group, but this seems elementary to me. John, quit calling yourself a Catholic if you don't follow the Pope. Otherwise, you're just a Protestant like me!

Actually, not like me. I admire the Pope. I respect his office. John doesn't seem to do either of those.

Tim J.

It is fascinating that some are so put-out that a pope should promulgate some new mysteries for the Rosary.

What do they have against these events in Jesus' life? I have found them very profitable to meditate on.

The Rosary has gone through a number of changes in it's history, and has never been set in stone. It is a devotion, people, not a sacrament.

To me this completely gratuitous animosity to these new mysteries has no foundation but a childish and bitter personal contempt for JPII himself.


Well maybe the fact that the Rosary was changed bothers some people since so many other changes were imposed...



Obedience to the Pope is all wonderful and good when he is fulfilling his obligation of defending the deposit of faith

A simple analogy would be if you knowing your catechism were asked tomorrow by Pope B16 to worship with Moslems, which by the way he and JPII have already done and dont think this is to far fetched as many theologians and laypersons feel this is not to far off (JPII continuously spoke about a "One World Religion" which is heretical and counter to everything Catholic)

What would you do? Follow him?

This is the same dilemna faced by a million or so Traditional and neo con catholics who feel the mass today is Protestant and we are being asked to worship as one, though I must say that aside from that, much of what the Evangelicals preach is better for ones salvation than what the present day church is pushing. Hence take a look at the noble stand many Episcopals are taking in breaking away from their establishment over the promulgation and pushing forth of the homosexual agenda, which they KNOW is wrong and which to this day the Church still has not put forth or enforced anything on this subject either.

History has had countless "anti popes" and to follow one that is trying to establish a new church while trying to keep "Catholic" in front of it defies the 4 marks that the church must adhere to without being in eclipse which many theolgians feel is the case today. Is she "One"? "Holy? Catholic? Apostolic? She is obviously not One and she is no longer Apostolic and Catholic-by what definition?

My job as a parent is to protect my childrens well being and to give them the defenses necessary to ward off the evil one, his temptations and the secular worlds hatred of the Catholic church and religion in general, and if it means going to a traditional church and finding nuns and priests willing to teach them between high and low mass their Baltimore Catechism and respect for the church instead of learning at some three time divorced womans house as was offered to me at my local parish-then so be it

Some Day

Quis Consurget Mihi Adversus Malignantes?

Look at all those problems. And then look at ones I believe are a work of God that is contrary to all those evils. The Benedictines of the new millinium, to save a world down in a new and worst evil than the old paganism.
Check them out:

or the best site...

Every day I see that the Church is immortal when I see the plentyful vocations and PURE vocations that they have.


3) Rings of homosexual clerics who have colluded to further each others' interests (as well as having sex with each other) and who have committed a variety of crimes--up to and including murder--to protect those in the ring from exposure.

Mr. Akin,
I read your site daily and much appreciate it. However, your quote above really needs explanation. What evidence do you have to have such a belief and make such a statement publically?


Some Day

Empirical evidence might be the number of vocations and the quality of them.
Rational evidence is that man attempts to justify everything including sin, combined with the instinct of conservation and the fact that evil keeps leading from one abyss to another,
it is very well explained.
Yet concrete evidence is probably out there, I just can't thing of any right now, except what the decent priests have told me from experience.


Two megatrends that I would identify under one general rubric or hermaneutic:

Deceptive and Misguided Egalitarianism.

a) between the sexes-- There is no difference between men and women. Women can be daddys and men can be mommys. Anyone can marry anyone else regardless of their sex. Many marriages are destroyed from this. Women can do anything men can do and this depraved principle is applicable to the all male priesthood of the Catholic Church.

b)between laity and clergy-- There is no difference between the priesthood of believers (the general priesthood of the Body of Christ) and the ministerial priesthood (the priesthood of Melchizidek in Persona Christi Capitis). This has led to renewed anticlericalism worse than the nineteenth century. Misguided egalitarianism also looks upon the imposed rule of celibacy as a punishment rather than a radical gift of self for the service of others.

We are all equal in dignity and the love God has for us. We are all unequal in the quantity and quality of gifts and abilities we have. People operate under these assumptions even if they won't admit it.

Sunny in Cali

Egalitarianism is an evil. The USA and almost all countries are egalitarian.
The Church is anti-egalitarian.
Are the Church and the modern countries enemies?

John Redcorn

It would seem so.

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