The Catholic Church in this country is on fire and has been for decades.

Did we not see that when people started bolting for the doors, leaving confessionals in cobwebs, Masses empty, and once thriving parishes mere shells of themselves.

Did we not see that when seminaries, religious houses of formation, convents, and novitiates started emptying out? Did we not see it when parishes, seminaries, convents, and other Catholic institutions shuttered their doors.

Did we not see that when religious education printery houses unloaded tepid, trite, and banal feel good subjectivism masked as catechesis?

Did we not see that when all sense of transcendence was chased from Mass like a unwanted mongrel and gave way to a self congratulatory exercise in spiritual narcissism?

Did we not see it with the wholesale carte blanche given to anyone who wanted to overhaul and change church teaching while those who wanted to hold onto to the Deposit of Faith were viewed with suspicion and contempt?

Did we not see it when that when priests and religious abandoned telltale signs of their calling and religious orders drop charisms in favor of a do what you want attitude? Did we not see it when clergy became better at cocktail parties than confessions?

Did we not see that when our religious leaders in this country paid much attention to political issues while allowing moral decay to invade the ranks? Did we not see it when good administration was seen as superior to good shepherding?

Did we not see it when sexual libertine attitudes were adapted by clergy, taught by clergy, and promoted by clergy and theologians?

Did we not see it with the rancorous dismissal of Humanae Vitae, Fides et Ratio, Evangelium Vitae by clergy and theologians?

Did we not see it when families went from praying for a vocation in the family to actively dissauding vocations out of fear their son or daughter would be seen as weird?

I know I have complained that sports and other activities take precedence over faith. Surprise! Too many in our ranks have screamed how irrelevant we are…how dangerous to modern thought we are. There have been greater times of persecution in our history. It is never persecution that gets us though. When churches fall, it from rot from within.

The church in this country is on fire and it is her own leaders holding the matches. There are many good leaders, bishops, and teachers ready to put the fire out. They need our prayer and support for the devil does not like losing ground he gained.

For many decades we let our guard down. No more. We engage the enemy, we don’t abandon the battlefield.

Read next: The 7 Keys to Putting Out the Fire: Priest Who Wrote Viral Post Offers His Best Crack at a Solution

Originally posted on Facebook

[See also: This Powerful Meme Tells the Hard Truth About Mistreatment of the Eucharist in Our Parishes]

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