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Beam Me Up, George!

Michael J. Matt POSTED: 11/14/12
Editor, The Remnant  

( In a recent column for First Things, neo-Catholic luminary George Weigel writes the following as part of his rhapsodic celebration of Vatican II's golden anniversary: "Moreover, in summoning the world Church to the Great Jubilee of 2000, John Paul II gave Catholicism the Pentecostal experience that John XXIII for which hoped, thus preparing the world Church to enter the third millennium with great missionary energy: to 'put out into the deep,' as John Paul II put it, of the New Evangelization. And that, finally, is Vatican II’s message to every Catholic. Vatican II did not displace the Church’s tradition. Vatican II did not create do-it-yourself-Catholicism. Vatican II, which accelerated the great historical evolution of Catholicism from a Church of institutional maintenance to a Church of evangelical mission in a genuine and Spirit-led development of self-understanding, taught Catholics that they enter mission territory every day."

In other news, 50 percent of those American Catholic "missionaries" voted for the most anti-life, anti-family, pro-homosexual politician in history last week—even as new surveys by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that the number of Americans who say they have no religion is at a high of 20 percent, while the number of former Catholics is so large that “ex-Catholics collectively include more people than many denominations.”

Catholic support for "gay marriage" also doesn't seem to reflect Mr. Weigel’s acceleration of the "great historical evolution of Catholicism" Vatican II allegedly brought about. Nor, for that matter, does the staggering number of Catholics today who are divorced or simply not bothering to marry in the Church in the first place.  There are an estimated 6 million divorced Catholics in the U.S. today, and this does not include annulments.   In fact, the number of marriages celebrated in the Catholic Church has decreased by nearly 60 percent since 1972.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), the percentage of adult Catholics who are divorced and remarried has increased by 22 percent since 1972, and only 46 percent of unmarried Catholics who indicated some likelihood of marrying in the future said it is “somewhat” or “very” important to them to marry in the Church.

Meanwhile, surveys indicate that as many as 90 percent of American Catholics go to confession less than once a year or never, while only 23 percent of Catholics say they go to Mass every Sunday—significantly higher, by the way, than those in most countries in Europe.  In France, for example, the "eldest daughter of the Church", only 4.5 percent still identify as practicing Catholics—fewer than the French population identifying as gay or bisexual (6.5 percent).

Ah, the springtime of Vatican II!

And, again, recent studies find that, here at home, of the Catholic women in America who still bother to go to Mass only 21 percent accept the Church’s teaching on contraception, while the percentage of American Catholics that still profess some believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is at an all-time low.

Tell us, Mr. Weigel, where can we find your "Church of evangelical mission in a genuine and Spirit-led development of self-understanding"?  Because here in our galaxy there doesn’t seem to be any such thing.  

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