Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Excuses, Excuses? Not in Trenton!

December 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Abaccio

This morning, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Trenton’s Bishop since 1997, John Mortimer Smith.   Back in June, David O’Connell (former President of the Catholic University of America) was appointed the Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton.  Since he takes immediate control of the Diocese, he wasted no time laying out his first priorities:

“My greatest concern is the fact that only 25% of our Catholic faithful in the Diocese go to Mass on Sunday. Why is that? What can we do to bring them back and welcome them, truly welcome them home not just for an occasional visit but to stay? We all need to work toward that goal with every ounce of strength within us. There must be an answer. We have to find it.”

Notice that he did NOT blame demographic shifts, or make some other excuse.  This problem wouldn’t keep growing if we didn’t keep doing things to drive people away, like closing their Churches, closing their Catholic Schools, and putting heretical nuns in charge of their parishes!

Bp. O’Connell continues,

“Another concern I have is for Catholic education, especially our Catholic schools and religious education programs. You might expect that, given my background and prior service. So much is at stake for the future of our Church, much of which has a direct bearing on the concern I already mentioned. Catholic education is critically important if we are going to hand on our Catholic faith not only to the next generation but to the present one as well. (Are you reading this, Buffalo Road? Catholics need to be EDUCATED IN THE FAITH!) I have often said in these last few months traveling around the Diocese, we have the vision and the values, we have the curriculum and the committed service of dedicated faculty and staff. What we do not have are the enrollment numbers, the funding and the stability in both these things to easily support the future. Catholic education must be a concern for us all, regardless of whether or not we have children in our Catholic schools and religious education programs. It is not an exaggeration to say that our future, as Church, depends upon it.” (Amen.)

I am also concerned about vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our Diocese. When people do not go to Mass, when attendance in our Catholic schools and programs diminish, it should come as no surprise that young men are not being drawn to the priesthood and brotherhood or young women to religious life. To point to recent scandals is too easy and convenient a response. The issue is much deeper and, perhaps, even harder to confront and face. It is a problem of faith. Who will lead us into the future if no one hears and heeds God’s call? And who can hear and heed God’s call if we make so much noise and offer so many excuses that his voice is lost in the process?”

Once again, Pope Benedict has picked a gem!  Happy Day 591, folks!

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