An Index of Catholicism's Decline

Patrick J. Buchanan

December 11 2002

As the Watergate scandal of 1973-1974 diverted attention from the far greater tragedy unfolding in Southeast Asia, so, too, the scandal of predator-priests now afflicting the Catholic Church may be covering up a far greater calamity.

Thirty-seven years after the end of the only church council of the 20th century, the jury has come in with its verdict: Vatican II appears to have been an unrelieved disaster for Roman Catholicism.

Liars may figure, but figures do not lie. Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis has pulled together a slim volume of statistics he has titled Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II.

His findings make prophets of Catholic traditionalists who warned that Vatican II would prove a blunder of historic dimensions, and those same findings expose as foolish and naive those who believed a council could reconcile Catholicism and modernity. When Pope John XXIII threw open the windows of the church, all the poisonous vapors of modernity entered, along with the Devil himself.

Here are Jones' grim statistics of Catholicism's decline:

Though the number of U.S. Catholics has risen by 20 million since 1965, Jones' statistics show that the power of Catholic belief and devotion to the Faith are not nearly what they were.

At the opening of Vatican II, reformers were all the rage. They were going to lead us out of our Catholic ghettos by altering the liturgy, rewriting the Bible and missals, abandoning the old traditions, making us more ecumenical, and engaging the world. And their legacy?

Four decades of devastation wrought upon the church, and the final disgrace of a hierarchy that lacked the moral courage of the Boy Scouts to keep the perverts out of the seminaries, and throw them out of the rectories and schools of Holy Mother Church.

Through the papacy of Pius XII, the church resisted the clamor to accommodate itself to the world and remained a moral beacon to mankind. Since Vatican II, the church has sought to meet the world halfway.

Jones' statistics tell us the price of appeasement.

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