Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Why the crisis of faith of today?

"As one looks over the history of Christendom, it seems that there is a crisis about every five hundred years. The first cycle of five hundred years was the fall of Rome, when God raised up the great Pontiff Gregory the Great, who had been a senator in Rome. He became a Benedictine monk and then set about conversion of the barbarians and prepared the way for a Christian Europe. The second cycle of five hundred years brings us roughly to the year 1000, when there was the Eastern schism, but also the decline of holiness in the Church. Three dominant evils prevailed - clerical concubinage, simony or the buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices, and the naming of bishops by princes and kings. Gregory VII, who was a Benedictine, was raised by God to heal that crisis against much opposition from within and prepared the way for the great medieval civilization. In the third cycle of five hundred years, there was a breakup of Christian unity. Clergy again became corrupt, nuns became secular and everyone recognized the need of reform. Some undertook to reform the Faith. There was nothing wrong with the Faith. What needed reformation was behavior. The great Dominican Pontiff, Pius V, saved the Church by applying the reforms of the Council of Trent and by establishing missionary activity throughout the world. Now we are in the fourth cycle of five hundred years, with two world wars in twenty-one years, and the universal dread of nuclear incineration. This time God has given us John Paul II, who has drawn the attention of the world to himself as no human being has done in history."

-Treasure in Clay by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, c. 1980.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict has done more for the church in the past few years than JPII did in 27. JP II allowed disobedient bishops to go unchecked, heresey to be taught in the seminaries, nuns and male religious to live horribly worldy lives, allowed altar girls which further hurt vocations. Yes he brought down the Soviet Union. But he left a church in need of reform. Pope Benedict has restored the ancient mass as normative in the church. This will be the first step in rebuilding the church. Pope Benedict doesn't tell people what they want to hear in order to make them feel good. He tells us what we need to hear. Pope Benedict will go down in history as great. Not someone who was charismatic and allowed the church to slip more and more into modernism.

TJB said...

I don't remember the exact year of this quote, but I used it in a presentation on JPII once and it was written around one year after John Paul II was elected. In other words, Archbishop Sheen at this point should have had no idea that John Paul II would be the great Pontiff that he became. These words were incredibly prophetic.

As to the comment by "anonymous," who must have chosen such a name as to not embarrass himself in his great ignorance, you have obviously formed your opinion based on the latest gossip from traddy cliques and the latest ramblings of Bishop Fellay, rather than actual events and facts.

Anonymous said...

Response to TJB. Please don't call me ignorant. If you disagree with my views that's fine. But there is no need to be uncivil. The truth is the late pope did permit altar girls, let liturgical abuses go uncorrected, even permitting them inside St. Peter's. Remeber the natives dancing down the aisle with their swords? How did he deal with Cardinal Law, he made him archpriest of a major basilica. He did nothing to a habit-less nun who reprimanded him publicly for not allowing women priests. He is the one who got together with protestants, pagans and heathens in Assisi and encouraged them not to convert to the truth but to be good pagans and heathens. Do you recall the statue of budda that was placed over the tabernacle in Assisi? Maybe that was why the present Pope placed control of the basilca in the hands of his personal representative, taking it away from the Franciscans. I do not wish to argue. But what I have stated is fact not opinion. I do not intend to show disrepect to the late pontiff. My original point is that I feel people should move past their feelings and look at the state af the church realistically. Example, world youth day. Thousands of young people show up for world youth day, which the late pope encouraged. But how do they act during the mass? I don't see them on their knees praying. I see them lying around with baseball caps, eating, drinking and talking while mass is being celebrated. And excuse after excuse is given to rationalize that kind of behaviour. That's the church we live in.

Brian said...

Actually, as shown clearly by the late Fr. Richard Gilsdorf, JP2 did an awful lot in his 27 years, especially in the beginning. Indeed, B16 would not have been possible without JP2. Look what he and Cardinal Felice did at the Synod on the Family back in the early 80s, what he alone did in the special Synod on Holland, the Synod on Catechesis (which gave us the Catechism), and so much more.

For more, read *The Signs of the Times: Understanding the Church since Vatican II*. It has done more to help me understand "the crisis of faith today."

Hidden One said...

Anonymous, you impugn a saint because he was not the greatest Doctor the Church has ever had. When you possess such a Doctor's sanctity and prudence, by all means, continue.