While the Church is dying in Canada, parishioners get mostly pablum homilies
|The Church of St. Jude, in Montreal:
Is this the future of Canada’s Catholic churches?
The Catholic Church in Canada is dying. The religious crisis is most evident in Quebec. Quebec is experiencing like most of the West a demographic winter. The birth rate is 1.6 per couple, way below the level required to just replace the present population. No politician has the courage to seriously address the problem. Political correctness rules the day. As the Christian community decreases, Canada’s leaders welcome Muslim and other immigration.
Just take a look at some of the facts. The Diocese of Montreal has sold more than 15 religious buildings in the last twenty years. The Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec, Gaetan Proulx has said that 50% of all churches in Quebec will be sold in the next ten years. This is a pretty stark outlook.
There is more. One generation ago, there were close to 9,000 priests in Quebec but less than 3,000 today. Just after World War II, Sunday Masses were attended by 90% of the population. Today that number is just 4%. The Christian communities in Quebec are dying.
In addition, according to the Quebec Council of Religious Heritage, in 2014 the number of churches that closed their doors was 72. In the Archdiocese of Montreal in 2013, there were 169 parishes. In 1966, there were 257 parishes and in 2,000 it was down to 250. These are grim statistics for the Catholic Church in Quebec. Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine has put a stop to the sale, but without parishioner support churches cannot be maintained.
Secularism continues to sweep Quebec and the rest of the country. The irony is that many streets in Quebec are named after Catholic saints. Nevertheless, post-modern governments have made a concerted effort through policies and laws to uproot Canada Christian past. Eradicating the Christian heritage is being done in the name of progress, diversity, multiculturalism and state neutrality, The truth is that citizens are being encouraged to build a culture devoid of history, family, faith and meaning. While political leaders talk of freedom and diversity, they are offering young people little hope for the future. Canada, with legalized abortion and euthanasia, has for decades embraced a culture of death.
Just to replace the declining population, Quebec has to let in 70,000 to 80,000 immigrants every year. This means that a cultural shift is also taking place as Muslim migrants and other groups respond to the open invitation by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to come to Canada.
Nobody is suggesting that we can go back a century when Catholicism was strong in Quebec and the rest of the country. However, Western nations should not be afraid of recognizing that much of their cultural identity comes from Judeo-Christian values. This historical fact is what western leaders including the Prime Minister of Canada are refusing to recognize. Many Canadians don’t even know that most members of Canada’s Parliament refused to take the religious oath that requires them to say, “So help me God.” But the majority do pledge unofficially alleginace to the cult of “diversity.”
In conclusion, we cannot help but ask: what would happen if those in Canada’s pews were given instructive, practical, counter-cultural and spiritual inspiring homilies like the one on marriage delivered by Fr. John Lankeit at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. Visitors can watch it in the posted video. Care to share your thoughts?