Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vibrant Church

A common statement by theological liberals is that the Church is losing steam, membership, and vibrancy because of its continued embrace of Orthodoxy. The other claim is that the Church itself is morally bankrupt because of the sex abuse scandal and has forever lost trust with the average Catholic.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal today had a story which puts the lie to those statements and underlines the vibrancy not only of the Church of Southeastern Wisconsin, but also of the Orthodox direction of the archdiocese since the disgraced former Archbishop Rembert Weakland stepped aside.

Annysa Johnson writes in Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee raises $46 Million:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee and its parishes have raised $46 million, nearly half of the $105 million goal set for the local church's largest capital campaign ever, and another $48.3 million in pledges to be fulfilled over the next three years, the archdiocese is expected to announce Sunday.

In all, the church is projecting to raise $94.3 million, or 90% of its goal, a feat archdiocese officials described as extraordinary in the economic downturn and with the sex-abuse scandal and other issues facing the church.

That is an astounding figure and one that highlights not only the vibrant faith of the Archdiocese where in the midst of an economic recession (though the recession is actually over by economic indicators), the faithful have come together to support the local church. The faithful have Faith in our Future, the future of the Church.

Yes, the Church suffered a crisis when the clergy sex abuse story broke. The Church leadership was implicit in many cases, yet, the faithful did not abandon the Church. Catholic religious orders are booming (those orders that are faithful to the Church). Orthodox Bishops have been able to inspire vocations to the Priesthood. Orthodox Catholicism is triumphing. The rumors of the death of the Church were greatly exaggerated. Sadly, in many cases, it was more wishful thinking. That thinking failed to recognize the power and vibrancy of the Church.

It is Pentecost. The Spirit is with the Church. See you at Mass.

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