Tuesday, October 4, 2011

God bless Ian Hunter

Who dislikes church bureaucracy as much as I do, and for many of the same reasons. He cites some stats from an Ontario diocese:

Mass attendance: down
Numbers of priests: down
Sacramental Prep. numbers: down
Donations: trending down
Ecclesiastical bureacracy: UP! 

Mr. Hunter:  

In numbers the apparatchiks multiply while the worshippers dwindle.

What is to be done?  In the local paper London Free Press, Bishop Fabbro  called the Church to an agenda of “change”, and he mentioned specifically mastery of Twitter, Facebook and the new social media.  His letter to the parishes promised a seemingly endless round of consultations and “strategy planning” with “…Episcopal Vicars and Directors, Deanery Chairs, Diocesan leaders…” and others.

Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath; the Bishop is consulting precisely the kind of people who have reduced the Church to its present morass and I anticipate no eruptions of Solomonic wisdom from such quarters.  Whom should he consult?  Young families, particularly home schoolers; recent converts who come to Rome, despite the times, because they perceive her to be Peter’s rock. Consult with Opus Dei.  Will this happen?  Not on your life.

The basic truth is that the Roman Catholic Church is, or should be, at war with almost everything that passes for contemporary “culture”.  The Church has nothing to learn from current mores; it need not embrace modern technologies.  Modernity is an abomination, a daily disgrace to a Judeo-Christian heritage whose legatees we are, and the Church needs to challenge our culture at every turn.  This is a truth which, it seems to me, Pope Benedict XVl understands well, and his Canadian Bishops, for the most part, do not.

Do read the whole thing. I don't necessarily agree that the church should not embrace modern technologies (here I am blogging), but it's true that endless rounds of diocesan workshops, consultations, and more bureaucrats staffing and facilitating more programs etc. are NOT the answer. Bureaucracy doesn't bring forth conversion; it brings forth more bureaucrats.

Getting a headache. Must go put on an 8-track tape of Carey Landry to calm myself. 


  1. "Getting a headache. Must go put on an 8-track tape of Carey Landry to calm myself."

    Snorting and choking on my Earl Grey tea over this line. Should sue you over the first degree burns in my nasal passages.

  2. If that removes nose hair, I plan to try it myself.

  3. Whenever I read things like this I think St. Jean de Brebeuf must be looking down on all the parish workshops and consultancies and departments and thinking, "Hmmm, I got a lot more done with just a canoe...."

  4. Which sums it up in a nutshell: as a certain dude name Joe Ratzinger said over 20 years ago in this book called, oddly enough, The Ratzinger Report: "The church needs saints, not bureaucrats."
    But you'd never convince anyone to donate at all (never mind 'sacrificially') to the Bishop's Annual Appeal with that kind of ad copy: The Church Needs Saints! Give us money...cuz Money Makes Saints! (People would instinctively know it wasn't true.) Instead you can sell them on the need for eight thousand programs and workshops and a bunch of facilitators with psuedo-certificates in Collaborative Ministry Facilitation and Coordination from the Buddy Caesar School of Liturgical Dance and Balloon Rental to facilitate them. Headache...coming...back...