Benedict Hit Key Reason Why Church Has Lost Its Vocations And Emptied Its Pews
It was there in a statement made by the Pope. Speaking during his visit to Germany, Benedict XVI lamented how, if an African bishop goes to Germany, presenting a plea for a social program, he receives enormous help. Every door opens.
But, said the Pope, when an African bishop goes to that same country (or, one might add, any Western nation) with a plan for evangelization, he meets with "reservations."
"Clearly some people have the idea that social projects should be urgently undertaken, while anything dealing with God or even the Catholic faith is of limited and lesser importance," said the Holy Father -- so tellingly, in this land of the Reformation, and speaking about the Church!
In a nutshell there was the root of a current crisis in the priesthood:
Many of our clerics are more social workers, or sociologists, than they are evangelists, more comfortable in the board room of a social agency than in a church where there is the laying on of hands. They prefer the academic, sociological approach to one that is spiritual.
And thus do we have priests who halt visitors from healing services, dissuade Bible studies, quash efforts to establish Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, disallow traveling lay ministers, dislike the Rosary, discourage deliverance, don't know how to bless a home, scoff at the notion of sacramentals, mock the claim of miracles, or simply ignore all of the above.
The psychologist has replaced the exorcist -- in many cases, with devastating effects -- and the modus operandi when there is a claim of the supernormal in our current time is to announce that there is no proof and will be no investigation. Even alleged Eucharistic miracles are quickly taken from view to avoid embarrassment.
The same is true all over. Is it not incredible that priests in such places as Africa and India now consider the modern nations like the U.S. as "mission" territory?
The Pope was making key links when he said that Western societies suffer a "hardness of hearing" because the air has been filled with the complications of science.
"Put simply," he said, "we are no longer able to hear God -- there are too many different frequencies filling our ears."
More than most realize, science has become God's chief competitor.
What is said about Our Lord is often considered "pre-scientific," no longer suited to our age, said the Pope -- speaking at a Mass in the land of Einstein.
Too many priests are ashamed of an unabashedly mystical approach because of the science the swirls and dominates, that creates so many frequencies (literally), around us, is what Benedict -- himself an intellectual -- was saying.
Such is also true of numerous theologians, deacons, and nuns.
They are afraid of seeming to be superstitious, when this is certainly nothing that Christ would have feared.
He came down to pull down such strongholds.
He came down to show the actual force of the Lord.
Einstein himself believed in miracles and professed a great fascination with "the Nazarene," as he once put it.
"No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual Presence of Jesus," this great scientist, who was educated in a Catholic school, was quoting as saying. "His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
But that is not the attitude of modern science and it is modern science that has pervaded our education to such an extent that even our clerics don't really believe in much that cannot be documented in a bell jar. Evil is treated not as a real force but a social construct.
Too many priests are like social workers in religious trappings -- tolerating religion only out of the sense that the public does not want to shed the rituals of tradition.
As a result, the Church has allowed itself to become deadened in certain areas and this is perhaps why other denominations remain. Until it livens up, there will be Pentecostals.
In Africa, in India, in Poland, in the Philippines -- where vocations and the faith is so strong -- there is no such problem. There are deliverances. There is public discourse on the faith. There is the belief in apparitions. People don't just get lectured, they get healed!
Teach this in the rest of the world, preach this, and watch the difference.
Teach the path to miracles.
You don't have to go beyond what Christ did. Was He superstitious?
Just imitate Him -- and watch both the pews and seminaries begin to fill.
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