The Future of the Catholic Church: The State it is in

Forgive me if this is posted in the wrong section, I wasn’t entirely sure which subforum was appropriate.

I would appreciate reading here any opinions or predictions on this subject you would be willing to share with me on this matter. I am aware that according to its own teachings the Catholic Church will not dissolve, indeed I don’t see that ahead either. What I am curious about is how you, as believers see the future of the Church in Europe.

A great deal is claimed about what will happen at this upcoming synod of the family, far more than is realistic I think but the situation around it seems nothing short of bizarre. If the Vatican surveys made public knowledge are anything to go by most Catholics not only in Europe, but the world over reject at very least one element of Church teaching, if not in Europe and North America several.

Several countries in Europe; more shockingly traditional bastions of Catholicism such as Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland amongst others like the Netherlands and perhaps most vocally of all Germany (It always seems to be the Germans :D) are all threatening schism. While the gates of hell prevailing over the Church is not a possibility according to Catholic teaching, schism apparently is a very real threat.

What do you see coming in the next few years? On one hand I see a very real fiery passion amongst the Germans to take some form of action, on the other in Ireland I see more a grim satisfaction, as if a form of poetic justice had taken place with the Church collapse rather than any desire to salvage anything from it; not really lending support to any form of schism.

How do you perceive this situation? What do you expect will take place in the coming decade or so? Do you see the New Evangelization making any headway? Will Catholic influence wane further in the western world? Will we see a third great schism?

Any and all thoughts are valued.

Schism has always been a real threat, and there have been schismatics throughout all of history. The church, while certainly being smaller or weaker in some points of history, has been a constant fixture throughout history since Christ instituted it,and it will continue to be until the end of time.

The New Evangelism will bring new people into the Church, and apathy, misinformation or malice will cause some people to leave the Church. The western world will likely see a sharp decline in all forms of Christianity, while countries like Africa, India and China will begin to see an increase. We’re in for a rough time that will probably last a couple of centuries, but we will reemerge stronger on the other side and start picking up the pieces, just as we have done throughout history.

That many will decide to leave the church because they find its teachings as not conforming with modern trends (and that’s not a new trend) fulfils prophecies of the end times and biblical warnings such as the seed that fell on the various ground conditions and the one about people running here and there after the latest new things and worldly ideas.

While I don’t enjoy seeing people reject the truth and place themselves in spiritual jeopardy I have no concerns about the future of the Church founded and commissioned by Christ. It is His mystical body and could no more cease to be than God Himself could. Holding the line on truth is what has kept the Church secure since Jesus laid hands on the Apostles.

The Church will not be judged on numbers of the faithful but on its efforts to teach truth and obey Christ’s command to teach all nations. That some reject this truth once heard comes down to their freewill and they like all of us will reap the consequences of our freewill decisions. You can lead a horse to water etc.

In 1969, then-Cardinal Ratzinger predicted the Church would become “small.” I think this may be playing out now or still in the years to come. See Fr. Z’s blog for extended quote of Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments. Pessimists and antagonists will claim this is bad for the Church. Optimists and allies will see this as a purification that will ultimately strengthen the Church.

Christ’s church will be fine. We have a great leader, and it has been around for quite a while, surviving all sorts of man made disasters. It will never be perfect, but its the best thing I’ve ever run across.

The CC has saved my life in every way you can think of, in this life and the next. Schisms and scandals are just weeds in the garden.

THAT promise actually comes from Jesus

Mt 16:18 I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

BTW, in that promise, Jesus doesn’t promise individual Catholics will be faithful and remain in the Church as faithful Catholics thereby avoiding the gates of hell prevailing against THEM. Catholics need to remain faithful Catholics and live the faith till the end, just as Paul taught. [2 Timothy 4:7](“https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Timothy+4:7&version=RSVCE”) , [1 Corinthians 9:27](“https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians+9:27&version=RSVCE”)

When Paul wrote Romans, he was writing to the Church of Rome. After 2000 years, the chair of Peter in Rome is still in tact. Pope Francis is the 267th successor to St Peter in Rome.

Division / schism / heresy / sedition, are grave sins unfaithful people commit. If THEY remain in that sin at their death THEY won’t inherit heaven.

For example

Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21
The Greek word for “division” in those passages, διχοστασίας dichostasia (division / dissension / factions /sedition) is used in both Rom 16:17…. And Gal 5:19-20. The consequences for one who dies after dividing from the Church and remains in that sin, will not inherit heaven. [Gal 5:21] as in they go to hell. **Note: **there is no expiration date to those warnings. .

Next example

What about Catholics who deliberately miss mass on Sunday. What happens to THEM? If they die in that sin THEY go to hell. CCC 2178 , #22

Ever wonder where the statement “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” comes from? As one can see, It’s right out of** scripture **& we can see it’s from **sacred Tradition **as well. #34[/FONT]

Next example

Titus 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( αἱρετικὸν heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

(definition of heresy 2089 ).

[FONT=Arial]The Great Heresies[/FONT]

Every second of every day, 24/7/365, 10’s of thousands of people die on this planet. For THEM it’s the end of the world. They enter into eternity. With memory intellect and will fully intact. They will be judged by Jesus and they know where they will spend eternity.

one’s ignorance is not a safety net unless it is innocent ignorance. 1791.

:thumbsup:

Pardon my ignorance here, but what is the crux of the issue (which the synod on the family is supposedly going to address) that is supposedly going to be relied upon/cited by the these potential schismatics, as the basis for schism?

…also, the Netherlands was long ago lost to the protestants, as was Switzerland, and Germany has been in a state of collapse (ironically enough) since early in Pope Benedict’s papacy.

Those countries would hardly be considered ‘bastions of Catholicism’. Ireland, yes (until recently–about the last 10 years or so, it’s been slipping (but then so was England, before Henry VIII); Belgium, I don’t know enough about. But in Europe, your ‘bastions of Catholicism’ would be Italy, Poland, Spain, and France–off the top of my head.

^^^never mind. I figured out what the issue is.

*… Reinhard Cardinal Marx underlined in view of the family synod in autumn the bishops’ attempt to “go down new paths” and to “help that doors be opened”. In the universal church there were “certain expectations” of Germany. He hoped that some questions could already be tackled before the synod, Marx told journalists in Hildesheim on Tuesday [Feb 24].

The synod would have to find a text that would “further encourage” discussion and find a common position in fundamental questions. Doctrinally, one would remain within the community of the Universal]Church, but in detailed questions of pastoral care “the synod cannot prescribe in detail what we must do in Germany”. Therefore, the bishops wanted to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the synod. It was not the duty of the bishops to wait for permissions.

We are no subsidiaries of Rome. Each conference of bishops is responsible for pastoral care in its culture, and must, as its most proper task, preach the Gospel on our own.** We cannot wait for a synod to tell us how we have to shape pastoral care for marriage and family here**”.

The basic question was, are only Scripture or Tradition sources for theological understanding, or are [such sources] also “the reality of men and of the world.” [Bode], The chairman of the pastoral commission of the bishops’ conference reminded his audience of the “dialogical structure” of reality, which had already been mentioned in the pastoral constitution “Gaudium et Spes” of Vatican II, and quotes this conciliar document: “there is nothing truly human, that has no resonance in their hearts.” Thus Bode concludes: “Not only does the Christian message have to find resonance with men, but also men must find resonance with us.” Bode stated that it was important for him that the Sacrament [of the Eucharist] was not only a sign of unity, but also a means to unity, and could contribute to healing.

Cardinal Marx announced a bishops’ statement on the synod that should be published within the upcoming weeks.*

Wow. Please note the epic self contradiction here, that indicates that they have pretty much elected to split:

Therefore, the bishops wanted to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the synod. It was not the duty of the bishops to wait for permissions.

BUT:

We are no subsidiaries of Rome. Each conference of bishops is responsible for pastoral care in its culture, and must, as its most proper task, preach the Gospel on our own.** We cannot wait for a synod to tell us how we have to shape pastoral care for marriage and family here**”.

So on the on hand, this issue is SOOO urgent that the German episcopate “can NOT wait for [the] synod”…

…and on the other hand, the German episcopate is going to WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE SYNOD to publish its own letter on marriage and family.

:confused:

Troubling to say the least.

After Humane Vitae was published in 1968, in the midst of the Sexual, without love, Revolution, here was the reaction:

"Within 24 hours, in an event unprecedented in the history of the Church, more than 200 dissenting theologians signed a full-page ad in The New York Times in protest. Not only did they declare their disagreement with encyclical’s teaching; they went one step further, far beyond their authority as theologians, and actually encouraged dissent among the lay faithful.

"They asserted the following: “Therefore, as Roman Catholic theologians, conscious of our duty and our limitations, we conclude that spouses may responsibly decide according to their conscience that artificial contraception in some circumstances is permissible and indeed necessary to preserve and foster the values and sacredness of marriage.”

Source: Regnum Christi

Ed

Smells like SCHISM!

The Blessed Mother has warned us of this time in history. Faithful falling away, Bishops and Priests at odds with one another, false theologies running rampant. Our Lord also warned us, as did St. Paul in his epistles. This will be painful to watch, and it probably will cost those who remain faithful much, but it must happen. Pray for the grace to remain faithful, and for the gift of discernment to not fall into heresy.

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