FSSP sets own record for most ordinations in a year
Some great news from Rorate Caeli here.
Orders which hold to the Apostolic Tradition of the Church continue to thrive, while diocese with liberal bishops continue to struggle for vocations, and talk about closure and re-structure.
Rorate Caeli report:
The growth of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has been well known. This year, however, was a record-setter for the Fraternity as it ordained 19 young men into the priesthood -- its' most ever in a single year.
Some key takeaways, articles and photos:
1) First authorized traditional Latin Mass ordinations in the UK in decades by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool on June 17:
Catholic Herald's latest article
Ordination Ceremony: Pictures & Video
First Mass in Warrington by Fr Alex Stewart, FSSP
First Mass in Ramsgate by Fr Krzysztof Sanetra, FSSP
Solemn Vespers on Ordinations day
First Corpus Christi Procession across Warrington
2) Cardinal Raymond Burke ordains 7 in Bavaria on July 1 (one of many photos, above).
3) Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa ordains 7 in Nebraska on May 26.
Increasingly it seems to me in reflecting on this that the trend to an emotional faith which asks very little of its adherents (the "come as you are" trend which seems so prominent currently) is unattractive, especially to men. Young men especially, do not want this touchy-feely, bland approach. Thus they are drawn to solid foundations and a faith that means something and will cost them something.
The lack of education in the faith we suffer from at present leads to a place where many Catholics seem determined to practice their faith on their own terms where in truth, the message of the Gospel is about conforming to Christ. This is not their fault, they lack confidence, they are brainwashed by secular media that abortion/ contraception/ LGBTQI is normative, and they hear NOTHING from the Church even engaging with the argument, let alone convincing them of the truth.
This is particularly at the forefront of my mind after the gay "pride" event at the weekend. But it relates to much of what the Church teaches, not just how we think about homosexuality. We might want to follow Christ, but at the point where our espoused beliefs cost us something - where we might have to forfeit something we want - our pragmatism alleviates any guilt we may potentially feel. It is, after all, common sense to have a vasectomy, an abortion, to ignore the Church's consistent teaching on this issue or that one.
The error of these decisions are often compounded by a "merciful" clergy who minister to modern Catholics, condoning their peccadilloes, affirming that "everyone does that" or removing the need for any sort of repentance at all. They are facilitated by teachers in Catholic Schools who purport to be Catholic, but actually don't believe (or more importantly even know) any of what the Church teaches.
It is increasingly difficult to be faithful to Church teaching when the Church seems unclear about what it teaches. If you stand up for the Church, the least likely place you are going to get any support from is the bishops (except for a few, unbelievably). As John Henry Weston, Editor of Lifesite posted today,
The confusion caused by Pope Francis in the Catholic Church is out of control. There have been so many incidents over the last four years that the specifics, despite their grave damage, are often forgotten. In an effort to encourage prayer for an end to the confusion and disorientation in the Church, LifeSite presents the following A-Z list of concerns with Pope Francis.
Increasingly, those we look to for guidance seem to be abandoning the truth of Christ for popularism, for careerism, because they are worried that they will scare people away perhaps? It is very hard to be a priest or a bishop in the modern Church and this problem is only compounded by the papacy of confusion.
If you had a son who you loved, who you nurtured and taught the faith to with care and love, and who had decided he was being called to serve God and His people through the priesthood, would you be prepared to send him to your diocesan bishop for formation? Would you be concerned that he would encounter so many obstacles to the faith he would end up failing in his vocation? Would you want him to go somewhere that vocation would be fed, nurtured, cultivated and fulfilled?
Despite the worries, it is great to see the Church growing where the Gospel is preached and the truth still held to. We must support those good and faithful clergy who are standing up for Christ, because they are suffering even worse than we are under Pope Francis. It makes me think of these words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which seem more pertinent now than ever before perhaps: