Check out our sponsors

A Step Back in Time? Or Forward? Associated Press (AP) Article on the Youth Traditionalist Movement in the American Catholic Church

The Associated Press recently published an alarmist article about the rising tide of traditionalism and orthodoxy, especially among young people, in the American Catholic Church. Here's the article: "A step back in time": America’s Catholic Church sees an immense shift toward the old ways.

They're finally noticing what's happening ... and it's too late to stop it. 

Here's a quote from the AP article. It's amazingly on point, if a bit back-handed:

Across the U.S., the Catholic Church is undergoing an immense shift. Generations of Catholics who embraced the modernizing tide sparked in the 1960s by Vatican II are increasingly giving way to religious conservatives who believe the church has been twisted by change, with the promise of eternal salvation replaced by guitar Masses, parish food pantries and casual indifference to church doctrine.

This article has been batted around the last couple days on Twitter and elsewhere. Liberal Catholics are circulating it as a "See, I told you so." 

The article focuses on interviews from a single parish in Madison, Wisconsin, St. Maria Goretti. It's treated as sort of a canary in the coal mine. Based on its Twitter activity, the parish seems incredibly active and vital, despite insinuations to the opposite.    

Here is an example of the alarm bells being sounded in the article, in a somewhat mixed fashion: 

The 6:30 a.m. Friday Mass, Rouleau says, is increasingly popular among young people. But once-packed Sunday Masses now have empty pews. Donations are down. School enrollment plunged. Some who left have gone to more liberal parishes. Some joined Protestant churches. Some abandoned religion entirely. 

This theme echoes, albeit softly, throughout the whole article: "increasingly popular among young people" and families.

This article is a success story dressed up like a tragedy. This AP article doesn't seem to understand it's own genre (read: gender).  

Look at the odd, Whistler's Mother-style of the photograph below from the AP article. This is a beautiful thing! Young people turning and returning to the Church, waiting in line for the Sacrament of Confession. Why is being presented in such a stark style? Very odd.   


The article quoted one former parishioner in particular. “I’m not a Catholic anymore,” said Hammond, the woman who left when the church’s school began to change. “Not even a little bit.”

Here is a list of the "bad" changes happening at the Wisconsin parish: 

The choir director, a fixture at St. Maria Goretti for nearly 40 years, was suddenly gone. Contemporary hymns were replaced by music rooted in medieval Europe ... Sermons were focusing more on sin and confession. Priests were rarely seen without cassocks. Altar girls, for a time, were banned. At the parish elementary school, students began hearing about abortion and hell. 

Sounds like a winning recipe, right? Here's your basic how-to for exorcising the hippie spirit out of a parish.  

Here's a great interpretation of the article and this moment in American Catholic history, in general. It was provided by a leading Catholic priest on condition of anonymity:

This is the AP virtue signal so that those who actually want the Catholic Church to be Catholic will be seen as villains in the upcoming election season. Meanwhile, the "traditionalists" are simply offering what is good, true, and beautiful and the old and young are responding to God with no fanfare – only faith.

The loudmouth social media "traditionalists" simply want to bluster about a "brand" that may or may not be Catholicism.

It's like it's the 70s again ... the 1170s!  (and the 1270s...and the 1470s...and the 1570s). In those days, the reformers were bold, but quietly did thier work and the Church reformed from within. Saints Francis, Charles Borromeo, Frances of Rome, Ignatius, Robert Bellarmine, Philip Neri.

All greats today, because they grabbed onto the Keys of Peter, no matter who Peter was at the moment, and continued to transmit The Faith with joy.

The above priest makes an excellent point. This is just the latest in a long series of Counter-Reformations within the Catholic Church. 

The Church always returns to its true North. The barque of St. Peter is ever guided by "Our Lady, Star of the Sea."

The AP article interviewed several parishioners from St. Maria Goretti parish in Madison, Wisconsin. The article also quoted the parish priest of St. Maria Goretti, Fr. Scott Emerson. It was a potent quote and wonderful summation of the current movement, despite the article's bent:

“How many have laughed at the church, announcing that she was passe, that her days were over and that they would bury her?” he said in a 2021 Mass. “The church,” he said, “has buried every one of her undertakers.”


Check out our sponsors

Check out our sponsors

Post a Comment