(Disclosure: I am a traditional Catholic.)
Did you know that for every person who enters the Catholic Church in America six leave? It looks like this:
Incoming Catholics Outgoing Catholics 1 6
Simple answers are often problematic, but one answer seems obvious: Catholic leadership sucks. The Church in America offers nothing larger or more significant than the paltry pleasures of television and Amazon.
And who is Catholic leadership?
And how bad do the suck?
Well, almost every state’s attorney general has a task force commissioned to uncover the thousands of rape and sexual predation cases committeded under the bishops' watch and covered up by the bishops. Or, in the case of many Catholic cardinals and bishops, sex crimes committed by bishops and cardinals that have been covered up. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is more like the Mafia than anything else.
Another sign of the weak leadership of the USCCB is personified in Archbishop Edward Lori of Baltimore. Lori epitomizes the weak leader. Or leader in name only. He has zero leadership ability. He’s bureaucrat. A yes-man. He’s no Bing Crosby character.
Lori investigated the corrupt and perverted Bishop Bransfield, but deleted from his report the fact that Bransfield gave Lori $7,500 in personal cash gifts over the years. I guess that fact wasn’t important. (Lori later came clean in a self-serving video.)
Today, Lori, who is archbishop of one of the most dangerous dioceses in the world, attacked President Trump for pointing out that Baltimore is awash in rats, drugs, poverty, and crime. Lori effectively denied that Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in America. Lori was bothered that President Trump’s tweets might hurt the feelings of the people who get shot at every day in his archdiocese.
That’s sucky leadership for you. Shoot the messenger.
And it’s why young people scoff at the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church lacks bold, courageous men.
Sure, there are many bold, courageous Catholics in America. (I can name many.) But the Church’s hierarchy, the bishops, are almost all weak men. Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas stands out so clearly simply because he’s one of the few men in the episcopate in America.
Young people, especially young men, want missions. They want to fight and bleed for something much, much larger than themselves. It’s why our military is so kick-ass. Give me a cause worthy enough and odds steep enough, and I will rally a million young people who will happily ride to the sounds of the guns.
But the bishops of the USCCB continuously lower the bar and soften the mission. They don’t tell young people that the Catholic life is hard and full of temporal disappointment. They don’t tell them about spiritual warfare and the glory of God.
They tell young people to pray now and then, if they feel like it, and feel free to wear their “do-me” outfits to Mass, to catch the host tossed by some Boomer in a Hawaiian shirt and flip it in their mouths on the way out the door as they consider themselves among the most devout Catholics since Saint Peter hung upside on a cross.
That’s not inspiring. It’s not believable. It’s not worthy of a Christian life. And it’s not worthy of the sacrifice Christ made for us.
So, when President Trump informs the world that Rep. Elijah Cummings cares more about flooding the Democrat voter rolls with illegal aliens than about the people living in rat-infested hovels in the district he represents, the USCCB, speaking through Archbishop Lori, blames the messenger and passes Baltimore off as a model city.
Blessed Mother, please clean house!
Until the Church hierarchy literally mans up, expect that 1:6 in-out ratio to grow and grow.