Pat Buchanan on Paul VI and John Paul II


#1

This really is not Apologetics, but I do not know where else it would fit.

Arch-Catholic Pat Buchanan on the course of the Catholic Church under John Paul II:

wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43733

The number of Catholic priests has fallen from 58,000 to 45,000. By 2020, there will be 31,000 and half will be over 70.

In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained. In 2002, the number was 450. Some 3,000 parishes are today without priests.

Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,999 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the seminaries open in 1965 have since closed their doors.

The number of Catholic nuns, 180,000 in 1965, has fallen by 60 percent. Their average age is now 68. The number of teaching nuns has fallen 94 percent since the close of Vatican II.

The number of young men studying to be Jesuits has fallen by 90 percent and of those studying to be Christian Brothers by 99 percent. The religious orders seem to be dying out in America.

Almost half the Catholic high schools open in 1965 have closed. There were 4.5 million students in Catholic schools in the mid-1960s. Today, there is about half that number.

Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers in 2002 accepted church teaching on contraception, 53 percent believed a Catholic woman could get an abortion and remain a good Catholic, 65 percent said Catholics have a right to divorce and remarry, and in a New York Times poll, 70 percent of Catholics ages 18 to 54 said they believed the Holy Eucharist was but a “symbolic reminder” of Jesus.

Where three in four Catholics attended mass on Sunday in 1958, today one in four do.

All this happened during the papacies of Paul VI and John Paul II.

. . .

Simply because a precipitous Catholic decline began with Vatican II does not mean Vatican II was the cause, they contend. Perhaps not. But there is no question but that – measuring what the council produced against what Catholics were promised – it was, in Jimmy Carter’s phrase, “a limited success.” Neither Paul VI nor John Paul II was able to arrest the spread of heresy, defections and disbelief that followed the Second Vatican Council.

With much of the church having succumbed to the heresy of modernism, it needs an Athanasius. As good a man as the pope was, as great as were his achievements, as noble as was his witness for life, the Catholic Church still awaits that bishop.


#2

It is way too soon to begin gauging the ‘success’ of Vatican II. The Church thinks in terms of centuries, not decades. Did you see some of the young seminarians from North American College in Rome being interviewed during the conclave? These enthusiastic and orthodox seminarians are products of Vatican II.


#3

How many factors have influenced society in these years? Vatican II is just now beginning to be realized in its true sense after so many years of turmoil. Look around at all the people who are embracing the truths of the Church after chasing after shadows for these past decades. I see families now living the fullness of their vocations, raising up very young children who live and breathe the life of the Church. There will be many vocations to religious life spring from these families.

I have met many young people who upon being given the “meat” of what the Church teaches embrace it.

We spent so many years in the '60s & '70s & '80s apologizing for what the Church teaches or ignoring it & now we are beginning to rejoice in it. I’m not saying we don’t still have some “lean” years ahead, but the signs of an increase in vocations are everywhere, including marriages that are deeply driven by and leading back to God.

It is an exciting time to be Roman Catholic!


#4

I take it those numbers are from the US. In third world countries the numbers are the opposite.

The problem with Europe and US is that we have become very secular societies and have gone to the worship of other gods (e.g. money, sex, drugs).


#5

[quote=JimG]It is way too soon to begin gauging the ‘success’ of Vatican II. The Church thinks in terms of centuries, not decades. Did you see some of the young seminarians from North American College in Rome being interviewed during the conclave? These enthusiastic and orthodox seminarians are products of Vatican II.
[/quote]

“These enthusiastic and orthodox seminarians are products of Vatican II.”

[font=Trebuchet MS]I believe that they are products of the aftermath of the improper implementation of the reforms of Vatican II.[/font]

Actually maybe instead a response or reaction to the aftermath.


#6

There is little doubt in my mind that the loss of clear Catholic teaching and clear discipline following Vatican II, and the replacement of this by a sort of vague Liberal protestantism (wrongfully introduced as “in the Spirit of Vatican II”) has led to the catastrophic declines in belief, church attendance and vocations.

Such a decline is unprecedented, and comes at exactly the same time that the teaching of Catholic truths was dropped and replaced with trendyism, and worship was de-sacralised in a neo-calvinist direction. Denying the connection between the two is burying our heads in the sand.

This is not saying Vatican II was wrong. What was wrong was the tidal wave of abuses and laxness in teaching that followed Vatican 2. Nor can we just say “the times are more materialist”. The times are just as materialist for fundamental protestantism and for other religions.


#7

[quote=bogeyjlg]I take it those numbers are from the US. In third world countries the numbers are the opposite.

The problem with Europe and US is that we have become very secular societies and have gone to the worship of other gods (e.g. money, sex, drugs).
[/quote]

I think you have identified the correct problem. Those numbers are from the US and Europe and the trends are quite different in other parts of the world. I would agree that the Popes don’t have to change their teachings, Rather people in the US should take those teachings much more seriously.

How could Pat Buchanan or anyone else blame the situation in the US on the popes when survey after survey indicate that many Catholics in the US ignore the popes anyway.

Pat writes: “Neither Paul VI nor John Paul II was able to arrest the spread of heresy, defections and disbelief that followed the Second Vatican Council.”

Is that the fault of Paul VI or John Paul ll? They can only speak the truth. If someone doesn’t listen to the truth, Is it the fault of the speaker? Jesus told his disciples, if a town doesn’t listen to you, move on to the next town after shaking the dust of that town from your feet in testimony against it. He doesn’t hold his disciples responsible for towns that don’t listen.

We should all try to listen to the gospel better, whoever is pope.

peace

-Jim


#8

I take anything that Pat Buchanan says about the Catholic Church with a grain of salt. If I remember right, I read he is an adherant of a certain schismatic group.

PF


#9

Pat Buchanan has gone to exreteme both in politics and religion (I put him in the same category as Michael Savage who I cannot stand) and I do not pay attention to his rants anymore.

PF

BTW: I have seen the same type of rantings in the article and how they blame Vatican II for all of it from a certain schismatic group. And, if I remember right, Pat Buchanan is at least sympathetic (at the least) to this group.


#10

I have found nothing in the documents of Vatican II that would account for this decline however I have detected a generational and zealous effort to obscure the teachings of Vatican II that has so mislead or confused the faithful.

I was told about a Cardinal who once said The CCC was for theologians and should not be the basis of homilies. He was obviously stuck in the past with the Balitmore books. However there are no ivory towers anymore, in a moment every theological treatise is evaluated by thousands of the faithful who know the truth when they hear it. Technology allowed the production and transmission of so much error but today it also allows for the purification faster then a heretic can pen his or her thoughts.

Lord help any Cardinal or theologian today who thinks they can make a subtle change to anything that is out of step with Church documents. He will be crushed by the internet before the Notre Dame book store can unpack his little book.

I know it doesn’t have much to do with Pat but I needed to say it.

God Bless


#11

[quote=WanderAimlessly]Pat Buchanan has gone to exreteme both in politics and religion (I put him in the same category as Michael Savage who I cannot stand) and I do not pay attention to his rants anymore.

PF

BTW: I have seen the same type of rantings in the article and how they blame Vatican II for all of it from a certain schismatic group. And, if I remember right, Pat Buchanan is at least sympathetic (at the least) to this group.
[/quote]

Truth is truth–whether you can “stand it” or not. The purpose of VII was to “embrace the world.” After centuries of the Church standing against the materialism and relativism of the world…VII embraces those tendancies: we see the obvious result.

Very few people who call themselves Catholic today actually are.


#12

I think Buchanan’s position leaves a whole lot out. I think the main blow to faithfulness and following Church teachings was the whole atmosphere of the 60’s - drugs, free love, “women’s lib”, etc.

Yes, it happened around the same time as Vatican II, but does that mean VII was the cause of it all? It is possible, but I think one has to look very carefully before saying one thing caused the other.

Aunt Martha


#13

[quote=AuntMartha]I think Buchanan’s position leaves a whole lot out. I think the main blow to faithfulness and following Church teachings was the whole atmosphere of the 60’s - drugs, free love, “women’s lib”, etc.

Yes, it happened around the same time as Vatican II, but does that mean VII was the cause of it all? It is possible, but I think one has to look very carefully before saying one thing caused the other.

Aunt Martha
[/quote]

I agree–the sexual revolution and dramatic secularization of our culture advanced through the mass media had an adverse effect on the Church. Those developments have more to do with problems affecting the Church than did Vatican II. Because the sexual revolution followed V-II, are we to say that V-II caused it? No, the fruits of Vatican II are just now beginning to be realized.

Every ecumenical council in whatever century–because it is convened to address particular situations in the Church–results in a swing of the pendulum toward one extreme or the other. But the pendulum always swings back toward the center.


#14

Take your children and protect their souls, be the exception and PRAY, volunteer for your Parish, support our youth with religous education and TRUTH. Every Catholic teen should be able to attend a REAL Catholic High School, not one watered down to suit the needs of wealthy non-Catholics. My children are in Catholic homeschool until we can afford a good Catholic school. I refuse to let secular schools teach them “morality” I went to school to teach elem. education, anyway. PRAY the rosary in your home, protect your children from the media, raunchy secular music, and idolizing musicians, actors and “our lady Paris Hilton”. They should know more about the Holy Family than the Osborne Family. This culture of death is nicely wrapped in great glittery paper and bows, set to a music video It is easy to be lost in the gluttony of materialism, I battle it all the time. By the way I just turned 30, so I’m not “old.”


#15

[quote=AuntMartha]I think Buchanan’s position leaves a whole lot out. I think the main blow to faithfulness and following Church teachings was the whole atmosphere of the 60’s - drugs, free love, “women’s lib”, etc. Aunt Martha
[/quote]

Agreed. And none of the anti-VII folks seem to want to acknowledge the fact that there must have been something seriously wrong in the Church for so many people to have been ready and eager to embrace and promote the heterodoxy and heresy that followed the Council.

When Buchanan laments the inability of Paul VI and JPII to “arrest” the spread of heresy, he fails to address the fact the best way to arrest heresy is catechesis- especially of the young. We won’t see the fruits of JP II’s catechesis for at least another 10 years when the generation he spoke to starts to enter into the affairs of the world and the Church- it’s much too soon for him to claim that JP II has failed to stop the decay following the Council.


#16

Im one of those, a victim of lack of catechesis, we went to weekly Mass, but I went to an anti - Catholic public highschool, verbally attacked and demeaned for my beliefs, with no way to defend them. After 10 years of an adult conversion led by JPII, Here I am Lord, send me, Im ready to go! My husband and children are right with me. I don’t know how all the good in Vatican II could have opened the door for so much heresy, It was there before Vatican II, but I was almost a victim of that heresy and I feel very strongly about making a difference!


#17

[quote=liberal friend]Truth is truth–whether you can “stand it” or not. The purpose of VII was to “embrace the world.” After centuries of the Church standing against the materialism and relativism of the world…VII embraces those tendancies: we see the obvious result.
[/quote]

Truth is truth, but hate is hate. That is what I hear when you get to the extreem ends of the spectrum. I am not saying what they say is not true, but it is tainted by the lenses of hatred, especially when it comes to their solutions.

As for the Church embracing Relativism, I think Pope Benedict XVI has already spoken out on relativism and its threat to the Church. I see it also as a threat, especially when it come to moral and ethical relativism.

PF


#18

Pat praises John Paul II there. In the past Pat has refered to JPII’s personal holiness. But somehow some people, perhaps who haven’t even bothered to read the article, interpret this as an attack on JPII by Pat. Saying that JPII was not an Athanasius is not an attack on JPII, especially when one praises him as good, great, and noble.


#19

[quote=Axion]There is little doubt in my mind that the loss of clear Catholic teaching and clear discipline following Vatican II, and the replacement of this by a sort of vague Liberal protestantism (wrongfully introduced as “in the Spirit of Vatican II”) has led to the catastrophic declines in belief, church attendance and vocations.

Such a decline is unprecedented, and comes at exactly the same time that the teaching of Catholic truths was dropped and replaced with trendyism, and worship was de-sacralised in a neo-calvinist direction. Denying the connection between the two is burying our heads in the sand.

This is not saying Vatican II was wrong. What was wrong was the tidal wave of abuses and laxness in teaching that followed Vatican 2. Nor can we just say “the times are more materialist”. The times are just as materialist for fundamental protestantism and for other religions.
[/quote]

My sentiments, exactly.

jb


#20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.