The Church Is a Bride, Not a Widow

Community in Mission | 9/17/2019 | Staff
fofo (Posted by) Level 3
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Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once wrote, “The Church knows after 1900 years’ experience that any institution which suits the spirit of any age will be a widow in the next one” (War and Guilt, OSV Press, 1941, pp. 138-139).

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).

Numbers - Catholic - Church - Loss - Fifty

Much is made of the declining numbers in the Catholic Church. The loss over the past fifty years has been staggering. Today, fewer than one fourth of Catholics attend Mass each week. But if the Church were to become the world, the number of Catholics would go to zero. Mainline Protestant denominations have tried just this method—giving the world what it wants—and their services are far emptier than our Masses. Some of them are in so steep a decline that it is hard to imagine them even existing in twenty years except on paper or in tiny pockets.

As Sheen notes, the Catholic Church brings two millennia of experience to this modern problem. That experience says, in effect, “This too shall pass.” In the age of the Church, empires have risen and...
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