Our New Clerisy

One of the great secular achievements of medieval Christendom was the separation of Church and State – or more exactly, the separation of the spiritual power from the temporal power. In those days the temporal power was in the hands of emperors, kings, lesser monarchs, and a city-state republic here and there. The spiritual power was in the hands of the leaders of the Catholic Church – popes, bishops, parish priests, monks, and nuns.

This division of powers quite naturally and quite inevitably led to constant tension between the two powers, a tension that sometimes rose to the level of outright conflict, e.g., the conflict between pope and emperor during the investiture controversy, or the English conflict between King Henry II and Thomas a Becket, terminating in the assassination of the archbishop. Deplorable though these conflicts might have been, the separation of powers served, in a checks-and-balance kind of way, to assure that neither power became all-powerful. Room was left for a significant amount of private freedom, freedom for individuals and freedom for associations.

With the coming of the Protestant Reformation, the balance of power shifted. There was still a division of powers, the new Protestant clergy having now become the spiritual power. But the temporal power – the power of monarchs like Henry VIII and Elizabeth I – now became dominant over the spiritual power. The Protestant church, instead of being an equal power with the state, became something like a department of state.

To a certain extent in England, and to an even greater extent in colonial and early-republican America, the multiplicity of Protestant denominations and sects led the state, as a matter of practical necessity, to adopt a “hand off” policy toward religion, a policy that was codified in the First Amendment to the Constitution. In the United States, the Protestant clergy became a formidable spiritual power.

This Protestant spiritual power wasn’t exercised only from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. It was also exercised in the many Protestant colleges scattered over the American landscape, colleges that educated the nation’s leading social classes. And it was exercised in the immense world of Protestant publishing – books, magazines, and newspapers. You found it also in the YMCA and in Chautauqua lectures. In short, the great Protestant spiritual power in 19th century American was in its influence reminiscent of the great spiritual power possessed by the Catholic Church in the medieval era.

Henry II and Thomas Becket, early 14th-century manuscript

When Catholics began arriving in the United States in great numbers, the role of clerical leadership in American life did not change significantly; for the Catholic clerical class had at least as much influence, if not even more influence, on Catholics as did the Protestant clerical class on Protestants. The Catholic clerical leadership, like the Protestant, ran schools and colleges, published books, magazines, and newspapers, and created religion-themed social associations.

But this Protestant-Catholic clerical influence waned in the 20th century, undergoing a great collapse in the second half of the century. Among the many reasons for this waning and collapse were these two. On the Protestant side, a great divide opened up between liberal Protestants and fundamentalist Protestants. Liberal Protestantism compromised more and more with secularism, gradually abandoning one element after another of traditional Christian doctrine and morality. On the Catholic side, the clergy became very much less influential when their flocks knocked down the walls of the old “Catholic ghetto” and entered the mainstream of American life.

Among Protestants of the more or less fundamentalist stripe and among Mormons, the clergy still remain very influential, but these conservative Christians are vastly outnumbered by other Americans.

Does this mean that the spiritual power has disappeared, or is in the process of rapidly disappearing, from American life? No. A new power has emerged and has become dominant in the “spiritual” life of the nation – a new clerisy (to use a convenient term coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge); a highly secularized clerisy; a profoundly a-Christian or even anti-Christian clerisy.

I refer to the powers that today dominate what may be called the three great “command posts” of American culture – our institutions of higher education, especially our high-prestige colleges and universities; our entertainment industry – the people who produce movies, TV programs, and popular music; and our mainstream media – that is, our national press, both print and electronic.

The clerisy who dominate these three institutions have little or no sympathy for old-fashioned Christianity, whether it comes in Catholic or Protestant forms. They are either atheists or near-atheists; they are great believers in, and champions of: fornication, unmarried cohabitation, abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. They look with indifference on the continuing collapse of the married two-parent family; and recently they have come to believe that Bruce Jenner is a perfectly splendid woman. They feel the time has long since come to abandon the old Christian view of life and experiment with a new view, a quite nonreligious view. Every day they work to promote this abandonment.

It is this highly secularized clerisy that provides the cultural food being consumed by our younger generations. May God have mercy on the USA.

David Carlin

David Carlin

David Carlin is professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

  • Michael Dowd

    Thanks David for a timely article as we enter the 2016 version of the house of horrors where we see the results of God being rejected and scorned. And how is the Catholic Church resisting the soul debilitating cultural trends? Don’t ask.

  • PCB

    Perhaps attributable to it being only the second day of the new year, I am feeling somewhat optimistic this morning – (great essay, by the way) – I predict this new Clerisy will ultimately share the save fate of Communism; that being an internally imploded failed social and political and religious system…even if it takes seventy-years.

    • FreemenRtrue

      if you think communism is dead you are not paying attention.

      • PCB

        As a failed political and social system, completely discredited in all its facets, yes, quite dead. I don’t deny there remain remnants of walking dead, but dead just the same…they retain their control through fear and intimidation, but I doubt even they believe their own party-lines any longer.

        • FreemenRtrue

          Communism is about political power – it is alive and growing – it is the goal of Progressive DemonicRats. It might stink like it’s dead but it ain’t dead.

  • richard ruesch

    the temporal power has always reigned on earth, before and after Constantine, the spiritual power reigns in Heaven and in the soul, spirit and mind of each practicing Catholic/Christian.

  • Walt

    That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. (St Pius X Vehementer Nos)

    • Michael DeLorme

      I sympathize with the impulse, A Catholic theocracy, governed entirely by Saints, would be great.

      But prudence being the virtue that mediates between what is best, everywhere and always—and what is possible, here and now—-Catholics accept the separation of Church and state so that, say, Sharia law doesn’t annihilate us.

      It is personal Catholic moral virtue that we should never surrender, even at the cost of our lives. St. Dominic Savio and St. Peter Chanel were virtually identical in saying: “Death before mortal sin.” St. Maria Goretti did just that…though sex isn’t the only issue sometimes requiring a martyr’s stance.

      That kind of witness lived by every single Catholic would establish the closest thing possible to a Church-state union this side of the New Jerusalem.

  • When so many American prelates objected to the contraceptive provision of Obamacare (The Affordable Health Care Law) as a violation of our First Amendment Right of “religious liberty” and said nothing about the moral evil of contraception we have the “Americanism” of the Church which Pope Leo XIII’ condemned in 1899:

    “we are not able to give approval to those views which, in their collective sense, are called by some “Americanism.” But if by this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and if, moreover, by it is designated your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception to the name”. (Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae).

    How many Catholics, we might add, profess allegiance to the original Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution over the Ten Commandments of God?

    • Bro_Ed

      We should remember that the Church used “Americanism” to disparage modernity, and they used it again in the 1990’s when they tried to minimize the clergy abuse scandal by calling it “an American problem” – only to finally admit it was a world-wide problem involving both the clergy culprits and their enablers in the Church itself.

      • Bro_Ed,

        I would add to your observation that our current American secular society is based on the “modern” prejudice that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution justifies free uninhibited expression in religion and in everything else, an individual narcissistic “personal” morality which our culture and media promote around the world. But “grace abounds” in these onslaughts of error and evil which the Apostle James wrote of:

        “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does”, James 1:22-25.

        • FreemenRtrue

          the Bill of Rights was simply intended to limit the Federal government. The failure of the Constitution is causing the present day persecution of the church.

  • mrskellyscl

    Although I found the history lesson in this article enlightening, I’m trying to wrap my brain around what exactly Mr. Carlin means by “old fashioned Christianity”. He mentions catholic college professors and media pundits apparently championing all manner of sexual sins and psychological issues.
    Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s I remember well an “old fashioned Christianity”.
    There were two kinds of old fashioned Christianity; a protestant old fashioned Christianity that abhorred Catholics, blacks, and homosexuals, and the Catholic old fashioned Christianity that was racist, bigoted and sexist. My father, until he converted to Catholicism for my mother, was a member of the first group and showed me the spot by his home where gangs of white men would hang Catholics, homosexuals and blacks (although he used other terms). I grew up with the Catholic brand of old fashioned Christianity and remember well watching Fulton Sheen on the black and white TV screen. My first memories of Mass was the Latin chants.
    This Church stayed silent as homosexuals in our society were forced to lead double lives or else risk being shunned by the community and losing their families, or tortured and killed, yet it looked the other way and made excuses as clergy and nuns with psychological, sexual or anger issues themselves preyed on helpless innocents as a release from their own demons.
    They permitted the destruction of the lives of young women who became pregnant, often from from incest or coercion, by allowing them to live in poverty and shame with the “bastard” children they bore, while the men who sinned against them lived their lives without retribution. They approved of women risking their lives by becoming brood mares and domestic servants to husbands who could rape, beat and abuse them with impunity, while threatening them with excommunication if they sought a way out. Even committing suicide to escape their torture would send them to hell. They couldn’t even get a Mass said for their poor souls.
    We see the same kind of horrors in the Caliphate in the Middle East today: homosexuals being thrown off rooftops to their deaths or burned alive, women being raped by evil men and then stoned or beheaded for the loss of their virginity. Is this the kind of “old fashioned Christianity” the author wants to return to?
    What concerns me much more than the new evangelization and the acceptance of the sinner instead of the sin, is the movement of some catholic clergy and writers toward a blind orthodoxy and rigorous observance of doctrine at the expense of the Gospel. I’ve read the writings of those whom I believe are the true cleritics and heretics of our day. They deny the work of the Holy Spirit because they’re not happy with the pontiff that was elected. They admit that they believe that the election of Pope Francis was a mistake – refusing to accept that he is the Vicar of Christ, or even Bishop. They use his birth name instead of using the name Pope Francis or Holy Father, and call for the bishops to rise up against him. This is not a return to old fashioned Christianity or Catholicism, it is a schism in the making, and it frightens me way more than a Church that desires to show Christ’s love and mercy so to bring all sinners to the Father through reconciliation instead of condemnation.
    Jesus said, “Go and sin no more” to prostitutes, thieves and tax collectors, but saved his condemnation for the pharisees and scribes. I love my church and in case my comments cause you to think that I am “championing” for abortion or any of the other sins mentioned above, I am pro-life to the bone. I’ve spent many days with a rosary in front of an abortion clinic, but given a choice between an “old fashioned Christianity” that judges, oppresses and condemns and a church full of repentant sinners, I’ll take my chances with the latter. May God have mercy on his Church.

    • sg4402

      Wow! Talk about wallowing in the mire. Pull yourself up, man!

    • Fr Kloster

      Boo and hiss for “old fashioned Christianity?” Hmmm.

      Lots of vocations to the priesthood in “old fashioned Christianity.” A great deal more of a percentage of people at Sunday Mass during the “old fashioned Christianity.” Lots more people getting married in the Church during “old fashioned Christianity.” Lots more babies getting baptized, lots more children receiving First Communion as well as Confirmation during “old fashioned Christianity.”

      Indeed may God have mercy on His Church. We have had many ebbs and flows in the history of the Catholic Church. I like to refer to them as cycles of 400 years. We are in one of the deepest ebbs ever! Perhaps you are not giving one of the best times in the Catholic Church enough credit. Perhaps you are trying too hard to justify where you feel “comfortable.” For my part, I always want to see results. Were there problems in the Church before 1965? Most certainly. Were they as severe as they are now? Most certainly not.

      • brendankiwi

        gosh where did all the problems in the church now arise— during the 40s 50s and 60s!

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        One recalls Jaques Maritain’s description of the French middle class: “the class in question had among its most solid members a number of practical atheists, more or less brought up by Voltaire and Béranger. They called themselves Catholic, though in all their principles of conduct they denied God, Christ and the Gospel, and upheld religion for merely temporal and political reasons — preserving social order and prosperity in business, consolidating their economic power, and keeping the lower classes in obedience by means of a virtuous rigor sanctioned from on high”
        I iimagine the American middle class were not dissimilar.

        • Fr Kloster

          The quote of yours makes a very astute assessment. So, one must emphasize that there are objective markers in each age. The Catholic Church has always kept good sacramental statistics for a reason. There is no way to judge each man’s heart in every generation. For anyone to point to favored particulars and then make assessments, he runs the risk of ignoring the prevailing trend. Emotion is never a good steward of the state of the Church in any age. We can look at the numbers of conversions and practicing Catholics as well as the catechisms produced and the fervor of the clergy/religious.

          By any measure, we just stepped out of a flow (ante mid 20th century) and into an ebb (post mid 20th century).

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            If by “ante mid 20th century, you mean the era of l’Action Française and the “Catholic Atheism” of Charles Murras, then I can only reply in the words of Maurice Blondel:

            “A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love, a Church that would rejoice at the insulting tributes paid to the virtuosity of her interpretative and repressive system… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes—is not all this, under the pretext perhaps of thinking only about religion, really a matter of pursuing only politics?”

      • FreemenRtrue

        There were also Catholic orphanages to place children. We children, in the 50s were taught that our bodies were temples of the soul and that we shouldn’t befoul them. We had nuns to teach us at a tuition of $2 a head thanks to their sacrifice. We had priests we admired not the least of which Bishop Sheen was a notable one. We did not have the stain of Marxism and ‘social justice’ running through our church. We had many and large Catholic families in our parishes – 7 or 8 kids was common. It is materialism as advanced by the commies and Darwinists that has undermined the spirituality of our church.

    • RainingAgain

      A lot of broad statements with very little empirical evidence to support your allegations. Certainly, the past wasn’t perfect, that isn’t achievable in this world. Most things men achieve in society are trade-offs. The modernists attempt to impose categorical solutions. Therefore, for example, instead of discrimination against unmarried mothers we end up with the mass murder of the unborn innocent. Incremental reform is far wiser than the radical changes we see in recent times which represent a utopianism that intends to destroy anything and everybody that gets in its way. I would remind you that Christ mentions Hell more than anyone else in the Bible. Why would you think this is?

    • Veritas

      Help me to better understand something.

      Was the Holy Spirit missing from the Church back in the days of “old fashioned Christianity?”

      If so, then please tell me about the sabbatical.

      • mrskellyscl

        What an interesting question, although I’m not sure what the point of it is. I’m not sure how to answer it. Are you baiting me, playing gotcha, trying to prove that you are more intelligent or more catholic than me, or just being snarky? Is this not a place to discuss opinions? My opinion is that the old fashioned Catholicism didn’t exist as some believe. The good old days weren’t all that good and today isn’t all that bad; however, I believe that the mindset of certain individuals is more dangerous to the church than those who seem to be okay with some of the cultural morality of the times.

    • Dave Fladlien

      I hesitate to reply to your comments because there is a lot of ground covered in there, and I agree with some and disagree with others. The “old Church”, I agree, was not all that wonderful. I certainly cannot vouch for all that you say, but at the same time I do know that there were many things that were in serious need of improvement. My problem is that I’m not thrilled with the “new Church”, especially the Church of Pope Francis, either.

      Where we once had what I consider runaway legalism, we now have what I would call runaway humanism. The focus used to be on laws and rules, not on God; now it is on humanitarianism (which is definitely not always the same as Christian charity), again instead of on God.

      We do need some rules (properly understood and applied), and we do need to care deeply for our fellow men and women (carried out in a way that lifts them, not enslaves them), but I don’t think we have what we need any more today than we had 60 years ago. We just have different shortcomings.

    • Paul Vander Voort

      “but given a choice ……., I’ll take my chances with the latter.”

      Is that the real choice?

      Isn’t the problem the sinner refuses to repent?

      We are all sinners, but we don’t all agree on what is a sin.

  • Diane

    We have lost our way as a Nation and we are rejecting God and Holiness more and more every day. We need a new President who can bring back a moral code, just like Ronald Reagan did. Obama has caused a great deal of the secularism that has been taking over America. Obama takes prayer and God out of everything. The worst president we have ever had and hopefully ever will. Our Pope also causes confusion among the faithful and that is also disturbing. As a faithful Catholic I look to the Pope for the moral code. I do not feel that I am getting that from him. He needs to get the Church of Jesus Christ (Catholicism) back to being Holy by eliminating all of the homosexual clergy from its ranks, both active and inactive and all those who protect them and are sympathetic to them. This would start getting us back to morality. We have a very, very long way to go.

  • JGradGus

    I think, Prof. Carlin, that the two reasons you cite “for this waning and collapse,” are not reasons but rather the results of a collapse that occurred because of a perfect storm called “the 1960s.” The same “great divide” that was already opening up “between liberal Protestants and fundamentalist Protestants” opened up big time between liberal and traditional Catholics thanks to Vatican II. The Sacrifice of the Mass became the Celebration of the Mass, and we were told to follow our consciences, and it’s been downhill for Catholicism ever since.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      In 1907, Maurice Blondel wrote, “With every day that passes, the conflict between
      tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms…”

      And also, “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” (for the spirit of faith does not die), nor even an “evolution” (for the spirit of faith does not change), it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth…”

      That was the state of affairs, sixty years before Vatican II

      • FreemenRtrue

        Vatican II was the surrender of the Catholic Church to the demonic influences of Marx and Darwin.

    • ThirstforTruth

      How right you are about these “reasons” offered being more the results come about since the introduction in the 1960’s of the “pill”, the sexual revolution, with the promotion of what came to be known as the “spirit of Vatican II” by the powers that be in the Church here in America. Couple those with the disaster brought about following the clergy sex scandal and the inept handling by the USCCB and there is much to blame for the current state of affairs of Christianity in the USA in general and the Catholic church in particular.
      Without the words of Jesus’ promise to preserve His Church against the evil one, we Catholics would indeed lose faith. However, a serious read of CC #675 strikes me
      as time to re-examine His words and realize that the promise depends upon
      His faithful ones which brings to mind His words concerning His return, wondering aloud if He would find anyone of faith anywhere on earth. Read CC $675 and get serious about the belief that the Church will always follow Christ .. even to its death ( the Great Apostasy) and resurrection. We are indeed in troubled times. Even knowing that the victory is Christ’s, there is a final tribulation which we seemed to have enter and must go through as Christ went through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Pray that Mary, our Mother and Queen of Peace will guide us faithfully through her spouse, the Holy Spirit and that we will not falter in our belief.

  • Dave Fladlien

    Your article seems to focus heavily on sex and sexual relationships, but I think that is a symptom, not the disease.

    The disaster you refer to was the event commonly called the “sexual revolution”. But that is a misnomer; it wasn’t inherently about sex, it was about authority. What drove that revolution was the anger and frustration many of us felt at an authority (the government) which wanted to send us to die, and even kill, in a war we either didn’t believe in or didn’t care about. And as a group we decided they didn’t have any *true* authority to do that. Unfortunately, the churches often did not support us, which put many in a position of rejecting church authority as well.

    But a number of other important concurrent things were happening: the common person had become educated, and therefore inclined to think for themself. In Europe, there was a sexual revolution: many of the things you complain of were already taking place in northern Europe.

    Many people can’t separate God from religion in their mind. Religion has a vital role, but religion is not God. Most people can’t see that, so that when they rejected religion, they rejected God too, a rejection that “science” was eager to help with. And once God is rejected, then all that follows from God is rejected, and then, only then, do the desires that had been there since original sin come to front and get acted on: casual sex, rampant adultery, even homosexuality, all of which were always there but were held in check by belief in God.

    The solution has to begin with a real concept of God. People have to be led to an awareness of God in every part of their life, as their one truest “partner” in life. Only then will people again see God as real and as desirable, and again be willing to pay the price of rejecting the behaviors you complain of, and others even worse, in order to have that friendship.

    Please give this some thought. I was there in 60s, I know what happened, and I know why I found that I want God. It’s not because I did something wonderful; it is because I was given something wonderful, something that the churches have to start offering again: real, individual, personal friendship with the Creator and Ruler of all that exists.

    • Phronck

      Religion is simply a structured way of communicating what ‘god ‘ is. People with a ‘same’ view of their ‘god’ get together and communicate their views to others, they start forming structures to do this as it is a pragmatic solution. Without religion you can make your own mind up on what ‘god’ means to you. Of course this leads to relativism and a ‘god’ that suits my lifestyle. I could believe my ‘god’ promotes free sex, you might believe your ‘god’ believes all material things are evil. No religion = no understanding of God. Catholicsm has 2000 years of great thinkers in philosophy and theology to at least put forward cogent arguments and to let people decide. This is far more useful to society than primitive individual beliefs based on convenience and prejudices.

      • Dave Fladlien

        I’m not sure why you are addressing this to me. All I said above is that religion must focus first on God, not on law, not on humanity, or anything else. If we focus *first* on anyone or anything except God, we become in effect a kind of idolator.

        I certainly wasn’t questioning that religion is important, in fact I said it has a “vital role”, but it also isn’t God, and when people think a religion is in error, and search for truth, then they have a chance to gain greatly (if that weren’t true, there would be no converts to Christianity or to Catholicism). But if, as happened extensively in the 60s, people can’t keep in mind that they are seeking God even if replacing their religion, then they turn their back on God Himself, and that — assuming full accountability — dooms them, as it did then. That’s all I was saying in that paragraph.

  • TBill

    The new clerisy may dominate in the west but will lose overseas to peoples they will not be able to coerce successfully as at home. Whether it will end up being China, Islam, Russia and other “illiberal democracies”, or India or Africa 50 years from now is up for grabs. A gay rights/safe spaces trigger warning ethos won’t fight. After the dust settles, the Church will remain.

  • Brian Seibert

    Amazing …not the article so much but the subsequent discourse or comments…Jesus turned to Peter and said …Petre !, You are the rock! and on you ” I ” will build my church, the gates of heaven shall not prevail against her, whatever YOU loose on earth will be loosed from heaven, whatever YOU bind on earth will be bound in heaven…not you commenter but, PETER. The arrogance and naked pride posted in response to one man’s lament of a truly beaten down and punch drunk church,is astounding. On one side , A heartless , soulless religiosity that worships by rote. On the other side , A rootless liberalism that attempts to rationalize sin and neglect with a cursory history lesson of abuse. The stones that built the Holy Mother church are found in the Gospels, and their application,not their theoretical consideration. The mortar is the Body, Blood ,Soul and Divinity of the promised Christ Jesus. Everything else is of man and his ego and pride and ultimate folly.

    • Veritas

      If you could excise the scriptures cited in your post, I would take the Protestant’s side and base my thoughts on my own private interpretations, or anything else I personally liked. Thank Jesus for telling me to listen to and always err on the side of the Church.

      That being said, I cannot wait to terminate Veritas tomorrow at midnight and no longer post on any blog.

      The cheers are deafening, but who really cares.

      Lord, into your hands I commend your Church.

    • Michael DeLorme

      “arrogance and naked pride”? Have we read the same comments? Possibly an occasionally naive and earnest lack of articulation is in evidence; and certainly I find some of the claims of mrskellyscl rather outlandish and unbelievable. I suggest third or fourth-hand, hearsay accounts.

      But who, here, is guilty of a “…heartless, soulless religiosity that worships by rote”? Most of even those with whom I might take issue, even yourself, seem to voice legitimate concerns.or analyses which, to them, explains the problems. Why is your frustration with the state of things any more valid?

    • Gene M

      Did you mean to say: “the gates of hell” & not: “the gates of heaven”

      • Brian Seibert

        thank you I edited it, thanks again

    • Phronck

      ‘The stones that built the Holy Mother church are found in the Gospels’. I believe the stones that built Holy Mother Church are to be found in Peter and the Apostles through the divine action of Jesus Christ. While the Gospels are the inspired Word of God, they nevertheless are product of the Church itself. First came the Church then the Gospels.

      • Brian Seibert

        …Phronck, respectfully, I submit to you, Jesus said I am the Alpha and the Omega…beginning and end. We acknowledge him as the word incarnate…that word existed before time , before man was created and most certainly before the people of “The Way” ,became the Universal Church of Jesus Christ on Earth.

        • Phronck

          I agree with your response, I must have misinterpreted your post.

  • veritasetgratia

    this is a very grim observation about the clergy (clerisy) – we must remember that the meek are quietly going about doing their Christian work. The noisy elements are more secular. Let’s go read what Blsd Catherine Emmerick as to say in book 2 of her life about what is happening in the Church now – whilst it is not reassuring it has hope for us.

  • Jim Curry

    The heyday of Catholic colleges and universities was the second half of the 20th century. Their growth was fueled by Federal money: GI Bill money. Accepting federal funds was a mistake, but these schools, for the most part, still don’t realize it. The same thing has happened to Catholic charitable agencies and to Catholic hospitals: the lure of Federal (and State) funds has secularized these institutions and watered down their missions.

  • SJ Man

    And may God Bless Canada. We’re further down the road to ruin than you in America. Excellent article.