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Why Catholics Have Failed Our Culture: The Bottom Line Comments

I've had this discussion with Catholic lay leaders and clergy many times in different parts of the country.  Never have I encountered more than a mild protest -- most of the time there is general agreement with the need for parish life to undergo a change in kind, not in degree. In other words, a fundamental conversion that will involve the bishop, chancery staff, clergy, religious, and most of all, the laity.  Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 85 Comments

  1. krb
    1 year ago

    Dear Mr. Hudson, Your many articles, books and work for our Church are to be much appreciated. I'm a 65 year old cradle Catholic from parents of a "mixed marriage". I' ve been much plagued by the realities of why Catholics continually fail to evangelize our culture. I admit that I've been both part of the problem and part of the solution. As a child I belonged to the one a small tightly-knit Catholic parish in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where people came from all over the country and the world (where the atomic bomb was built & where nuclear energy research, development & control was our town's raison d'etre). The relatively large single Catholic parish was formed by many ordinary New Mexicans without fancy educations, ordinary people who ran the grocery stores and taught in the public schools & built roads, and quite a few world class scientists from many parts of the world, all worshiping at Mass together with their families. It was clear to everyone in our town who was Catholic, who was Protestant, who was Mormon or 7th D.A. or Jehovah's Witnesses, who was Jewish, who was Muslim, and who didn't go to church. Everybody's kids attended the same small public schools.
    Now parishes are huge & nobody seems to care. Since I am married to a good man with a very sad, broken one half Jewish background, someone who doesn't attend any church and whose hearing problems make Mass attendance with any loud music physically painful, I must opt out of a lot of formal Catholic "fellowship" . BUT there is an invisible, underground warm family spirit among Charisimatic Catholics, ProLifers and those who believe in supplementing Mass attendance with Adoration, Rosary (and who may share interest in the messages of Medjugorje). We have to have HOPE & TRUST that God is working in ways we cannot see or measure at this terrible time. God bless you & your wife for all your faithfulness. krb

  2. Bill Sr.
    1 year ago

    Vance, you have nailed it.
    Also all of us who have witnessed the demise of what use to be know as the poor man's party and the corresponding rise of secularism aimed at Christianity in general punctuated by the arrival of their openly announced messiah realize there are even more "facts" that you could have pointed to in making your outstanding case.
    God Bless you.

  3. roseo64
    1 year ago

    the Mass --before and after--the service--is a time to pray---to prepare ourselves
    and then in thanksgiving. it's not a social hour, before and after, and yet it seems
    to be in many of the parishes. it is difficult to be a catholic..........but !!!.....our reward
    is eternal life with our Lord. i think you've joined those that want to critize catholics..
    rather than point out the positives. i for one am tired of all the criticism.

  4. vance
    1 year ago

    Rob, of course you vehemently disagree because you're a Liberal and an Obama supporter. You have made that abundantly clear a long time ago. I have heard the "old Liberal con game" over the past 50+ years, "Christians should not get involved in politics", "Church and State should be separate" , "Render on to Caesar what is Caesar's and render onto God what is God's". This old Liberal con game worked well I'll admit.

    So, here we are with your Guy and your Party Booing God 3 times at your last political convention. Your guy and your Party thrusted Sandra Fluke to the national podium to demand that America and the Catholic Church provide Free Birth Control because she said that she is a poor student who has multiple sexual encounters can't afford her own Birth Control. So, the Catholic Church.needs to supply birth control to all these "poor women" for free. Your guy Obama says, "Yep you Catholics will start supplying birth control and abortions come August 1, 2013".

    Your guy Obama and your Party declares that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and will not enforce the Law. This is an overt attack on the Holy Sacrament of Marriage of the Catholic Church. Your guy Obama then makes a national announcement that he supports Homosexual Marriage. The people of California twice voted down Gay Marriage but your Party will have none of that. They took that to the Supreme Court where we will soon hear their final verdict.

    Obama and your Party shoved Obamacare down America's throat. I remember well you cheering for this. As we all know Obamacare includes the HHS Mandate and Death Panels. Just last week the national news revealed that a 10 year old girl needs a lung or she will die. Death Panel Kathleen Sebelius gave her a "Thumbs Down" like she is going to do to you and me in the future. Obamacare funds Abortion. Two months from now the HHS Mandate will kick in and the Church is going to get kicked big time.

    Rob, do you remember Kermit Gosnell, the Abortion Butcher who ran the "House of Horrors"? Your Liberal Media and your Party did all they could to hide the case from the American Public. Thanks to news outlets like Catholic Online, Fox News and a variety of other "Conservative" News outlets made sure that America was informed. Gosnell was convicted of Murder because he would give birth to the babies then murder them by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. Now, your guy Gov Andrew Cuomo of New York wants to pass laws that would make what Gosnell did legal. He is pushing this over the objection of Cardinal Dolan.

    So Rob, you were saying that politics has nothing to do with the Catholic Church?

  5. Rob
    1 year ago

    vance, I completely disagree. I think you are merely addressing a symptom. Just as I would say that some ultra conservatives have become the very Pharisees that Jesus spent so much time railing against. Both are wrong.

    Our problem is that we have stopped forming disciples. Christianity is not a strict adherence to a moral code or rules...nor is it all love and's following Jesus period. I know one thing for sure, when we really start to follow Jesus, the lies of both the right and left start to dissolve.

    The following from Pope Benedict is spot on:

    In a new book, 'Jesus of Nazareth', Benedict XVI said Jesus comes to the world "with the gift of healing" and to reveal God's power as "the power of love". He wrote that Jesus "does not come as a destroyer. He does not come bearing the sword of a revolutionary." In the biography, Benedict also says that Jesus separated religion and politics "thereby changing the world: this is what truly marks the essence of his new path. "This separation... of politics from faith, of God's people from politics, was ultimately possible only through the cross," he said.

    Someday that will be our church....not this left and right nonsense.

  6. mike
    1 year ago

    the Laity need to get on the ground on this...OPEN lay evangelization centers that unite parishes. Incorporate the vestibule as a visible presence, dialogue center, assemblage place, job bank, literature source, help center, - this is the true ministry of the laity, as doorkeeper of God's kingdom, formerly the order of USHER, shares in priesthood of Christ. Run cable programs out of it. I find licensing this type of thing easiest as a Grade-B restaurant. (remember St. Catherine of Siena called the Church a "tavern" for the Blood of Jesus.) Boom! it will work. I saw on this very site that a priest had started an evangelization cafe somewhere in the wilds of Minnesota and it was working. Come on, Mr. Hudson, get out of the tower, and pick up on this. These things will franchise like wild as Trusteeship Cooperatives, owner/investors, with "stock" being granted equally for cash investment AND for investment of service. You will have plenty of workers in this vineyard!

  7. vance
    1 year ago

    Why Catholics Have Failed Our Culture? Bottom Line? !!!! LIBERALS !!!!! Yes, the majority of our Bishops and Priests are Liberals who say Nothing and do Nothing to address our nation's moral meltdown. Catholic Online has two articles that feature two Bishops Paprocki and Chaput. These two gentlemen are heroically coming out publicly to address the current EVILS threatening our church and society. These are just a few out of 1200 Bishops. Where are the other 1190 Bishops????? Exactly, they are nowhere to be found. Hey, according to my local Bishop everything is just hunky dory. Let's all sing Kum-by-yaa. HHS Mandate shmandate!! August 1, 2013 is coming fast. That's when the HHS Mandate begins. I'll bet my ranch and yours that these 1190 Bishops will have nothing to say and nothing to do about. Let the Obama contraceptions and abortions roll.

  8. Mary McGraw
    1 year ago

    As a cradle Catholic who strayed for many years, I rejoice that Our Lord Jesus Christ welcomed me back with open arms in 1988. This past year I have had several surgeries that have left me homebound for many months. In that time my church has made sure I have Eucharistic Ministers that bring me the Eucharist weekly. They are also wonderful friends now who listen to me and encourage me as I walk the path of healing. One of our retired priests has come to my home, heard my confession, administered the Eucharist, and performed the Anointing of the sick. He is truly a shepherd to the sheep who end up on the fringe for one reason or another. I may think at times, "I don't have many friends at church." Then I realize I have the best friends one could ask for, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I also have the Blessed Sacraments and the Word of God (the Bible) available to me at all times. I sincerely hope that you can reconcile these feelings you are having. The Psalms and the daily Lectionary readings are available on-line. The Sacrament of Confession, oft overlooked in our modern liberal era, is extremely vital to the well being of our souls. May God bless you on your journey, open your inner heart and eyes to the glorious aspects of the one Church founded by our Saviour Jesus Christ.

  9. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    I think your perspective warrants discussion in a more loving tone and in the Parish Church that you have observed the same.
    You see the Holy Spirit is at work in each and every one of us so that we are all at different levels in relating to the presence of Christ. For example, you may not relate to Church as St. Mary (Sacred Heart) or St. Peter (saw Jesus as Christ when the others did not). As Jesus said at the well...if you only knew the gift of God and Who it was that asks you for a drink!...
    Thus, it is expected that to several members of the flock, the Church will seem lacking in varied manifestations e.g. the communal. This will always be. And Christ died for our flaws and created His Church that our sins may be covered by Him and that we may share/bear fruit with one another/Heaven may rejoice.
    Now to those that are given...much is expected. So YOU are the one that needs to work at those Parish flaws where they lie. Work behind the scenes in your Parish. Work with your priest. Now if you realize similar flaws in other Parishes, your work must bear fruit there too. You should jump at the opportunity to spread love there and make God's presence known. You should also be aware that you can't please everyone. The same Homilies that stir my soul fall flat on another's. Isn't each person also called to see the Christ in the other??? Furthermore, the Mass is so HOLY, pray tell what is a lack-lustre Liturgy?

    Pray to the Holy Spirit for Guidance. Pray to Jesus for the Grace. Pray to Our Beloved Mother for help. Pray for forgiveness. Pray for the Church that all may know its Holy Sweet Love and Beauty.
    Do not judge. Be gentle and meek. Be patient. Do God's Will not your own selfish, little will. We must accept Christ's presence even correcting others amidst the cacaphony and blindness of sin. We all have sinned and are commissioned to l o v e. Cease from speaking about God's Church in such a vile manner. You are hurting Christ, ultimately the Body of the Church, and that Whom you profess to love and serve. Pray for Humility. Pray that you are not turning away souls rather than drawing souls.

  10. Maureen
    1 year ago

    Not to be disrespectful, but I disagree with your premise. Large numbers and influence are irrelevant. I believe the reason you perceive that Catholics have failed the culture is because 1. the Church has failed to properly catechize the faithful. People can not share what they don't have. 2. Many of those who have been properly catechized have failed to live humble, prayerful, faithful and honest lives; lives of Catholic integrity and cohesion.

    The culture won't be changed by us through any human means but by the supernatural intervention of God. God doesn't need numbers or accomplishments or resumes or exciting homilies and activities. He does need spiritual warriors to put on the full armor of Christ and fight the foe of human souls. We are called to transform the world and each of us has been given specific gifts and trusted with tasks to do that. But what is transformative is supernatural. A life changing, personal encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ - - Faith, hope, love, charity, prayer and fasting. These are the things that transform individuals, families and cultures. God will direct us as we walk with Him. The apostles did not change the world - God changed the world through the apostles as they became obedient and completely surrendered their wills to the will of God. The apostles, as well as some of the greatest saints who lived hidden lives of sacrifice and suffering, died unknown by the world and without seeing how magnificently their cooperation with God changed human history.

    God is raising up many saints in our Church today who are heeding the call of Blessed John Paul II. Maybe they are not as well known as Matthew Kelly but every bit as effective and important to evangelization. I am privileged to know so many hidden saints in this culture. We may not live here on earth to see the final outcome, but God is victorious and the Church will prevail. God promised that His Church would never be destroyed. God never lies and He never fails.

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