Indiana Daily Student

ONLINE ONLY: Cardinal errors

For Catholics everywhere, like myself, we are in the middle of Holy Week, the final time of fast and prayer before the celebration of Easter.\nBut some church leaders in this country are using Holy Week as an excuse to make a political stunt. The Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, called for the faithful of his archdiocese to fast as a sign of solidarity for illegal immigrants and pray for "just" immigration reform (read: amnesty).\nFlashback: this is the same Cardinal Mahony that used his Ash Wednesday sermon to urge priests and parishioners to ignore the House immigration bill if it passed.\nThis is demagoguery, and a quotation by St. John Chrysostom comes to mind: "The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of rotten bishops."\nFortunately, not all bishops are like Mahony - he represents a phenomenon confined mostly to first-world nations. A large part of the church hierarchy in these areas is grossly liberal and therefore at odds with the majority of the faithful.\nI never could understand those who complain about the need for further liberalization of the Church -- it is already far too liberal after the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II ended up doing away with the traditional Latin Mass and replacing it with a watered-down version done in the vernacular. Restructuring the religious calendar, de-beatifying some saints and becoming lax on certain fasting rules soon followed.\nPope John XXIII, who called the council, thought it had gone too far. "This is no longer my council," he said after he saw what direction the council was taking. On his deathbed, he also begged those present, "Stop the council!"\nThe Holy Father was right to say these. What has been the net result of the "reforms?" In the US, 20 percent drop in church attendance and 30 percent decrease of priests over the last 40 years, not to mention a molestation crisis (admittedly blown out of proportion).\nNobody wants to go to a liberal church. Yes, and this is backed by plenty of statistics: Dave Shiflett's book "Exodus" details how millions of Christians leave liberalized mainline Protestant churches for Evangelical, Orthodox, or conservative Catholic ones.\nThis only makes sense -- churches that water down the doctrine to curry favor among narcissistic, hedonistic secular societies abandon their ideals and in turn give the faithful nothing greater, nothing beyond this world in which to believe. A church that adapts its practices to secular-progressive demands is in doubt of the truth of its teachings, and deserves to lose adherence because of this.\nThere is plenty of hope for the Catholic Church, however. The Latin Mass, which virtually disappeared after Vatican II, is rapidly growing -- six churches now have the Latin Mass in Indiana alone, just for one example. Fr. Samuel's last Latin Mass in Belgium drew more than 2000 attendants (Incidentally, Fr. Samuel is now being prosecuted by the leftist Belgian government for "racism" because he said Islam would dominate Europe soon).\nBenedict XVI even celebrated the Latin Mass on several occasions as a cardinal.\nGranted, Benedict XVI is not as conservative as they come, but his election may be a hopeful stride by the Church back in the right direction after the ignoble experiment of Vatican II.

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