Editor’s note: The following comes from Jack P. Oostveen, emeritus assistant professor of soil mechanics and foundation engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and David L. Sonnier, associate professor of computer science and director of international studies program, Lyon College.
Now that over fifty years have passed since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, we can observe the development of patterns and attempt to understand why some religious orders are surviving while others – in fact, the vast majority – are stagnant or dying. In this study, we seek common traits among various male religious institutes by categorizing them according to patterns of either growth or decline from 1950 to the present. We will refer to these patterns as “characteristic timelines.” By grouping the various institutes among others with similar characteristic timelines, we can seek common threads among those that are thriving and those heading toward possible extinction. We can also identify the precise point at which flourishing religious institutes began to decline.
This study is an abbreviated version of an observational analysis of data from the public domain pertaining to Institutes of Consecrated and Societies of Apostolic Life for male religious over the period from 1950 to the present. For a more comprehensive version, please visit the Christendom Restoration Society page and download by clicking here.
This research includes in its original version 110 Institutes of Consecrated Life and 24 Societies of Apostolic Life using data taken from a variety of sources. Leaving out the smallest institutes, 88 are included herein. All of these institutes experienced a prolonged period of steady growth for decades prior to the Second Vatican Council. Almost all went into decline following the Second Vatican Council.
The diversity of institutes that went through a period of decline is stunning.
There are few similarities among these organizations other than the fact that they all suffered some form of decline beginning between 1963 and 1966. This prevents one from speculating on a cause other than Vatican II itself, since each of these congregations responded in its own way to the canonical reforms and underwent internal changes. For the Institutes of Consecrated Life, the overall membership declined from 256,137 in 1967 to 162,732 in 2014. For the Societies of Apostolic Life, membership declined from 25,347 religious in 1967 to 14,038 religious in 2014. This represents a total decline for these congregations of about 36.5% and 44.6%, respectively, between 1967 and 2014. We also use data from 14 congregations representing about 1.5% of all religious in 2014, which were founded after 1967 and therefore counted zero at that time. These particular 14 congregations are not a complete list of those founded after 1967.
Institutes Grouped According to Characteristic Timelines
The institutes for which we have sufficient data for analysis are grouped by characteristic timelines that can be distinguished from one another. Seven different categories were established. The data used for the timelines are provided primarily by  and . Additional references are found in the original report.
The categories are as follows:
- Category 1: Institutes in Severe and Extreme Decline
- Category 2: Institutes in Decline but Eventually Finding Stability
- Category 3: Institutes in Decline but Eventually Reaching a Slow Rate of Growth
- Category 4: Institutes Eventually Restoring the Pre-1965 Membership Level
- Category 5: Institutes Eventually Restoring the Pre-1965 Rate of Growth
- Category 6: Institutes Suffering No Post-1965 Decline
- Category 7: Institutes Founded after 1967
Figure 1 shows the timelines of those religious institutes that represent Categories 1 to 5. This is the vast majority, leaving out those institutes in Category 6 (there are only five of them) that suffered no post-conciliar decline and also leaving out those in Category 7, which were founded after 1967.
Category 1: Institutes in Severe and Extreme Decline
Figure 2 and Figure 3 depict the timelines of those institutes in severe decline and extreme decline, respectively. Figure 2 includes all large institutes such as Jesuits, Franciscans, Salesians, Benedictines, and Dominicans. The Jesuits and Franciscans together and by themselves represent 24% of the 110 religious Institutes of Consecrated Life in 1966 and 19% of these religious in 2014. While the average decline of all these religious in 2014 is about 38.1% of their high point, the decline of these two institutes is about 53.5% and 48.2%, respectively. In other words, by 2014, the Jesuits and Franciscans were reduced to about half of their 1966 numbers, and the decline continues.
This category also includes the Benedictines, within which there is not a universal decline. Notable exceptions are found among those monasteries in which a traditional prayer life is retained. So while they are a part of the larger “Benedictines” of Category 1, those Benedictines who live according to the original understanding of “Ora et Labora” belong to another category in a future study.
A note should be made about the Basilian Alepian Order (Ordo Basilianus Aleppensis Melkitarum), whose trend is radically different from the others in Figure 3. Its immediate and extreme decline started at the same time as the others, but from 1973 onward, there is a certain stability not demonstrated by the others. This is a religious order of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church; hence, they were shielded from many of the liturgical and doctrinal disturbances following Vatican II. Without further information, we can speculate that the timing of their decline is coincidental and that the decline is related to disturbances in the Middle East rather than liturgical and doctrinal disturbances. The authors welcome input from anyone having insight.
Category 2: Institutes in Decline but Eventually Finding Stability
The nine institutes in Figure 4 exhibit, after the initial post-Vatican II decline, a period of stability beginning about 1980. These institutes include congregations that are actively engaged in parish, school, and missionary work. Some in this category maintain the use of the habit and a full community life of prayer.
Category 3: Institutes Initially Declining but Eventually Reaching a Slow Rate of Growth
Figure 5 depicts timelines of three institutes representing about 5.2% of the mentioned religious of Consecrated Life in 1966 and 8.4% of the religious in 2014. After the decline in the first decade following Vatican II, these institutes stabilized and began to grow at a rate sufficient to reach a rather constant membership in 2000.
Category 4: Institutes Eventually Restoring the Pre-1965 Membership Level
Figure 6 shows the timelines of six institutes representing 0.8% of the mentioned religious in 1966 and 1.6% in 2014. After the decrease of the number of religious in the first decade for some of these institutes, even to about 50%, the number of religious then increased rather rapidly by a rate of 2.5% per year until a sudden stabilisation occurred.
One thing to be noticed about these organizations is their strong association with nationalities outside Western Europe. Also in this category we find the Ordo Antonianorum Maronitarum, a congregation attached to the Maronite Rite, which maintains most of its traditional ritual. This suggests a growth in congregations attached to a more stable liturgical tradition. Like other churches in the Eastern tradition, the Maronites were at least partly shielded from the well known reforms implemented so vigorously in the West, and they may have benefited by attracting Catholics seeking stability.
Category 5: Institutes Eventually Restoring the Pre-1965 Rate of Growth
Figure 7 shows a cluster of institutes representing 0.3% of these religious institutes of Consecrated Life in 1966 and 0.6% in 2014. The timelines of these institutes show an eventual restoration to a rate of growth similar to that experienced prior to Vatican II. After a moderate decline in the first decade after the council, they increase up to 2014. These institutes have grown to about 140% to 150% of their number of religious in 1966.
Category 6: Institutes Suffering No Post-1965 Decline
Figure 8 shows five institutes representing in 1966 only 0.8% of the mentioned religious, but by 2014, their proportion had increased to 4.3%. These institutes did not suffer the post-conciliar decline during the first decade after Vatican II. While one of these institutes made a remarkable increase of the number of religious up to about 750% in 2009, the other institutes grew to about 250% to 300% with respect to the numbers in 1966.
Here we should note that this analysis also marks irregularities that can be caused by specific events. An example can be seen in the timeline of the Legionnaires of Christ (Congregatio Legionariorum Christi) that shows, after a period of prolonged growth, a sudden decline due to well publicized internal problems.
Category 7: Institutes founded after 1967
Figure 9 gives the timelines in absolute values for some institutes that have been founded since the Second Vatican Council. The membership of these institutes cannot be expressed in relative values regarding a maximum number of religious during the period of the Council.
Figure 9 has an overlay of the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pie X (SSPX) clerical population, showing a solid black line representing their timeline and showing 575 priests at the time this data was made public. Data from the SSPX was not included in the original study, but statistical information has been requested, and we await that as well as the clarification of the SSPX’s status within the Church.
Of those institutes whose timelines are depicted in Figure 9, we can ask ourselves what they have in common, aside from the fact that they were founded at a time of liturgical and doctrinal crisis in the Church. They all, in some way, are meeting the challenges of today. Each of them is confronting the crisis through sound liturgy and doctrine, like teaching, preaching, or living their religious lives in accordance with the Deposit of Faith.
According to St. Matthew, “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16-20). Such statistics can objectively indicate a distinction between the work of the spirit of the time (zeitgeist) and the work of the Holy Spirit in the modern Church. The Holy Spirit cannot be held responsible for the long-term continued decline of a congregation if we are to believe the words of St. Matthew.
We hesitate to use the word “conservative” to describe the pre-conciliar period or “liberal” to describe the post-conciliar period. These words represent human ideological constructs and have political meanings that vary from one country to the next. In the search for an appropriate term, we find no alternative other than “traditional” to apply to those institutes that seem to still have a future. Those whose members obey the laws of their founders and preach and teach the gospel in accordance with what was handed down to them, dress and comport themselves as their predecessors did, and pray as their predecessors did seem to have a future. In short, if their religious lives represent a continuation of the visions of their founders, and that of the Founder of our Faith, Jesus Christ, then they seem to have a future. Those institutes founded after 1967 were founded in an attempt to resurrect the religious life that was lacking in larger, well established (but dying) institutes. The authors welcome an alternative term, but for lack of a better one at the moment, the word “traditional” seems to apply to those institutes that are not dying.
Considering the magnitude of the loss, one has to wonder: why is there such reluctance among so many of the prelates and Superiors of the Congregations to acknowledge the reason for which the decline began and then to respond accordingly? The ongoing decline does not only pertain to those religious congregations in severe decline; it affects the entire Church and all humanity. The loss of those religious who, for centuries, worked in missions worldwide has handicapped the Church. The loss of orders that once ran hospitals and schools has left our inner cities violent and destitute. The superiors of those congregations in continued decline have a heavy responsibility in this and will be called to account for it. They can continue propagating this ongoing catastrophe, or they can begin the process of recovery by returning to the original spirituality of their founders.
The authors hope that this study will inspire further investigation into the subject. But more importantly, it is our hope that it will inspire action by those responsible for leading the Church into the future. Those institutes that are thriving should be held up as models to be emulated. Those that are slowly dying and show no signs of recovery should be corrected on points of doctrine and liturgy, and if they refuse to conform, they should be suppressed. The stakes are too high simply to ignore the devastation of the vineyard.
1 The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church statistical data per institute: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org.
2 Annuario Pontificio (1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967 and 1969); Typografia Poliglotta Vaticana.
3 Agenzia Fides: http://www.fides.org/en/stats#.WEBYCa-V419.
4 GCatholic.org (formerly Giga-Catholic Information): http://www.gcatholic.org/about.htm.
5 CARA, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate: http://cara.georgetown.edu/frequently-request ed-church-statistics.
6 Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2001, L’Osservatore Romano (2001): https://www.ewtn.com/library/chistory /annu2001.htm.
Jack P. Oostveen is emeritus assistant professor of soil mechanics and foundation engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
At the time of my writing this comment, Figure 7 is wrong. It is a duplicate of Figure 3 (religious in extreme decline), despite that Figure 7 is supposed to show religious that restored pre-1965 rate of growth.
Right you are, Jim.
Indeed, Figure 7 has to be replace by this figure
Indeed, Figure 7 has to be replace by this figure
Indeed, figure 7 has to be replaced by this one
Consider Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction. Creative destruction keeps the economy fresh and dynamic. We once had buggy whip factories, which offered gainful employment. Then automobiles made buggy whips obsolete. Short-term pain as buggy whip makers were laid off, but that’s the way a dynamic society works. Nostalgia for buggy whip factories or religious orders isn’t productive.
It’s not “nostalgia” to enquire exactly what caused the “creative destruction” of religious orders. In fact, we could back up one step and ask if the destruction is actually “creative”. In the case of buggy whip factories, they were replaced by factories producing a superior invention. What has replaced the destroyed religious orders? Not other religious orders since parishes are now amalgamating in many places due to lack of clergy and monasteries and religious houses are closing. Likewise, schools which were once staffed by religious orders are now staffed by laity, so it has not been a zero sum game. There has been a net loss of religious vocations, a big loss and anyone with rudimentary critical faculties would want to know why.
If this destruction has been “creative”, then so was the 1968 influenza pandemic.
Interesting you mention 1968
Thomas Merton wrote great books but he praised Joan Baez too much!
That created a lot of confusion.
And middle class Catholic parents who can no longer afford to send their children to Catholic schools, even at the relatively low wages the lay teachers are paid.
The poor used to be able to give their children good Catholic educations in schools run by nuns. Unfortunately, the nuns left to help the poor, and now the children of the poor are educated in hellholes.
One of our local public high schools is nicknamed “The Pharmacy.” Guess why.
Given the extreme politics of so many of the teaching orders, Catholic schools are not a universally safe place to put a Catholic child.
Even at CCD, when exposed to nuns, the results are disturbing. Some singing, a little Kumbaya or the modern equivalent, and an undertone of why the Catholic church is too Catholic and not enough like UNICEF.
But I agree with your lamentations, certainly. They’re pricing themselves out of existence in many municipalities, from what I can see in the northeastern suburbs.
I think Hudson is talking about real nuns, not nuns on buses.
“If this destruction has been “creative”, then so was the 1968 influenza pandemic.” Well said!
I think kiwi meant the *1918* influenza pandemic.
I think you meant the *1918* influenza pandemic.
No, I meant the 1968 “Hong Kong” influenza pandemic which killed about a million people. Not as disastrous as the 1918 pandemic but it happened in my lifetime and the lifetimes of many on this forum.
I didn’t know that (yours truly was probably in diapers then ????).
You are comparing the slow death of our religious orders to nostalgia for buggy whips? Something we have outgrown because we’ve progressed and we’re just so darn clever now.
You are comparing the examination of the slow death of our religious orders to nostalgia for buggy whips? Something we have outgrown because we’ve progressed and we’re just so darn clever now, eh?
We’ve gone from a mighty though deeply flawed and very human institution dedicated to the Lord Himself to a less-secular UNICEF with socialist eunuchs in Rome polishing the brass on the Titanic.
The buggy whip metaphor is an apt description of post 1965 thinking, to me. And yet groups like SSPX who reject Vatican II are growing? Hmmm. It’s almost as though the crisis of faith started at the top and worked its’ way down.
Well, if you addressed your question to the Chief Resident of Casa Santa Marta and managed to catch him in an unguarded moment (not easy, I grant you) I’m pretty sure he’d give the answer,”Just about everything.”
You’re being sarcastic
That someone with such views is a “religious ed teacher” is hardly surprising. More evidence of the collapse…
“The Holy Spirit cannot be held responsible for the long-term continued decline of a congregation” – Whew! I bet the Holy Spirit is breathing easier since you let Him off the hook.
But firmly on the hook and manifestly wriggling ever more ferociously (for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear) is the Spirit of the “God of Surprises”…which is either the zeitgeist or something infinitely more destructive.
Everybody knows when the catastrope began, but it is utterly impossible to say it aloud since the post conciliar train continues to run full steam in the fog. The successive drivers are autistic, unable to open their eyes and radically change their minds.
Diabolical disorientation: When God wants to chastize the disobedient men He clouds their minds.
I remember two apalling notices made by the commissar-sisters who were instructed by Francis to “visit” the Fanciscan Sisters of the Immaculate (on the way to be destroyed like the FFI):
– “The FSI are too much cloistered” (!)
– “They pray too much (!)
St Francis opn
PADRE PIO pray for us
Show these graphs to an alien from outer space who knows nothing of Catholic history or culture and ask him to comment and he will say……“da hell happened in 1965?”.
Francis, meanwhile, strokes his chin and muses with furrowed brow…”it’s complicated….I worry when I see religious orders with abundant vocations. It’s indicative of a certain rigidity and an unhealthy desire for certainty in all things”. Yeah, he really said that.
So well put!
Everything is rigid!
Excerpt from your link (*** = my emphasis):
***The pope also acknowledged that he’s worried about the decline of religious vocations in the West, something for which he said he hopes the next Synod of Bishops, directed to youth and vocational discernment, can address and suggest solutions.***
RELATED: Young people to be more than study subjects in upcoming synod
Yet he’s also worried about the rise of some new religious institutes that attract many religious vocations, but which then fail, some because of the scandals of their founders. These, he said, are not inspired by the Holy Spirit but by a charismatic person.
Some of these new orders, Francis added, are “restorationist,” seemingly providing security when in reality they give “rigidity.”
***“When they tell me that there is a congregation that draws so many vocations, I must confess that I worry,” he said.*** “The Spirit does not follow the logic of human success.”
He says he’s worried about the decline in vocations in the West but is “worried about the rise of some new religious institutes that attract many religious vocations…”. This doesn’t make sense to me.
Indeed, Figure 7 has to be replace by this figure
You can find the full report here: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/fruits-of-Vatican_II-part_1.pdf
You can find the full report here: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/fruits-of-Vatican_II-part_1.pdf
This table concerns the turning point an continue growth into a severe decline the five largest Institutes of Consecrated Life.
So there are no women’s religious included here? It would also have been nice if those orders listed could have had a link to their homepage so that one could find out if the order is known since the language is not english and many orders have similar names.
Nashville Dominicans & Sisters for Life are two booming orders
Same with Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity
Missionaries of Charity….. sorry
Incidentally it is the dying orders in figures 1 and 2 that remain the preferred religious orders of most diocesan bishops today.
The Seven largest congregations:
Dear Jack P Oostveen,
Mijn grote dank voor dit geweldige research and sharing dit met ons!
This is the key message!:
“The superiors of those congregations in continued decline have a heavy responsibility in this and will be called to account for it. They can continue propagating this ongoing catastrophe, or they can begin the process of recovery by returning to the original spirituality of their founders.”
About this: “The authors welcome an alternative term, but for lack of a better one at the moment, the word “traditional” seems to apply to those institutes that are not dying.”
I can say as already before a few times, we are now in that age of Catholicism, when we cannot just say a Catholic anymore.
The meaning of this, once strong and beautiful word with clear meaning is now watered down, to the extent to the sludge!
What once was just a Catholic, now must be called a Traditional-Radical-Orthodox-Catholic.
Otherwise, it can means whatever the world, and all kind of the enemies of the Church wants to mean.
Jack P. Oostveen, First of all, thank you for the immense amount of work and thought put into this report. However, at age 75, having lived through the time period under review, without at all contradicting your assessment and recommendations I have another take altogether on the cause of our present crisis, which in my view gets to the more fundamental cause.
The setting was post-War U.S. in the late fifties and early sixties. The churches were jammed with a people that had lived through the Depression and WWII, a people that were on the whole very devout and holy. Many of them had seen death up close and personal, and I am sure many of them had a very close brush with it. They had all lived very frugal lives all their life long . . .until post war prosperity overwhelmed us all. How devout were we? Well, if you came the least bit late to the 8, 9, or 10 o’clock Mass, you could not get a seat. The ushers would go up and down the aisles to see if they could squeeze you in somewhere. If you went to the parish mission for men, it was jammed. It moves me to tears now to think of it, but at the “et incarnatus est” of the Creed all those men, many of them lately soldiers in Europe or the South Pacific went down on one knee to genuflect to the their King. It was thunderous. It was glorious, the thing I miss most about the old Mass.
We were a disciplined and holy people, and kept a Lent that is simply unimaginable now to the sensuous, delicate people that we have become. The Communion fast was from midnight on, no food or water, under pain of mortal sin. The Friday abstinence from meat was kept rigidly, by ALL, and again under pain of mortal sin. It was something that definitely set us apart as a people, as objects both of ridicule and admiration. Well do I remember the “Blue and Gold Dinner” held for cub scouts and their fathers on one Friday in the basement of the Presbyterian Church, where fish was made available for the Catholics and we ate it under the amused looks of our neighbors. We were truly a people set apart. This, of course, was a good thing, but as children of recently arrived immigrants ( our grandparents and great grandparents) we desperately wanted to fit in. And now, God help us, we do fit in.
Those Lents, and those abstinent Fridays brought down a great deal of grace on the Church, to a degree that was almost palpable. About two or three times a year the Lord would show up in a very big way at Sunday Mass. It is hard now to describe, but He made His presence felt and we all knew it. Yes, the glory of the Lord was present in our midst, unseen, unheard, except perhaps in the sermon. . . Was this the result of the Traditional Latin Mass per se or our fervent lives of prayer and sacrifice as a people? Honestly, I think it was the latter.
So, if we were so holy, what happened? Again, post war prosperity, and especially television. The priest had forty-five minutes a week to sanctify us, but television had three and four hours a day to demonize us, and that is what happened. Similarly, I well remember leaving Mass sanctified, and we stopped by the local delicatessen to pick up the Chicago Sunday Tribune. We went home, had breakfast and sat around reading the Tribune for an hour or two and rose up secularized. Yes, that is what happened. In other words, it is very likely that even without post-Concilar confusion, we would would probably be in much the same boat we now are in, with ourselves and our children being carried away by secularism, hedonism and apostasy.
The Council and all its changes hit us at a psychologically vulnerable moment, when those who wanted to cast off the old restraints of a highly disciplined life now had a passably good excuse to do so. In many respects we were already in spiritual and psychological turmoil and rather than the Liturgy being the steadying influence it could have been, it too became a catalyst for more turmoil. Our lives dissolved into controversy. We had been overwhelmed by the Culture of Distraction.
So can the revived Latin Mass reverse all this? That is putting a very heavy burden on it. In my view, the far more apposite thing is to get the secular media out of the Catholic home. Once we do that, the Holy Spirit can get a word in edgewise and we will have more vocations than we know what to do with, full rectories, full convents, Catholic schools with teaching sisters, a well instructed people once again.
A few excellent nuggets of wisdom from someone who remembers that far into the past are always helpful. I could disagree with almost nothing you’re saying; only that your question “can the revived Latin Mass reverse all this?” has already been answered in the affirmative. When it’s given a chance vocations tend to follow (along with restrictions on the secular media that should be enforced in the Catholic home). But as it stands now, access is extremely limited even ten years after Summorum Pontificum. Often when we attempt to introduce the old rite into a local parish, people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s believe that we’re trying to force them into something and they resist our efforts; we’re no match for them as we are working and raising children and they are retirees with unlimited time on their hands. My family has been part of three different “Latin Mass communities” ejected from three different local churches. Usually it was the elderly who didn’t want us around, even though we’ve already had one vocation in the family. Why not just give it a chance? It’s not seen by young people in the same way you remember it, and the numbers speak for themselves; it results in vocations.
David, Bear with me for a moment, for I certainly have no animus against the Latin Mass. Far from it! However, I think your argument may be based on a correlation vs. causation fallacy. Does the fact that vocations come from Latin Mass parishes prove that the Latin Mass produces vocations? You would think so, but . . .
When we first came out here to Portland in 2008 we discovered a Latin Mass parish, St. Birgitta’s, from which came many vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Based on this discovery, I wrote a letter to the Catholic Sentinel suggesting that the Latin Mass promoted vocations. They published it, and I triumphantly sent a copy to my Carmelite daughter, because her monastery not only had the Latin Mass, but sang all seven offices in Latin.
In fact, two of the young ladies from that parish were in the same monastery with her, a monastery that is overflowing with vocations, the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso Nebraska. These young nuns ( about fifteen of them) discussed my letter at recreation, and they disagreed with me! Rather, their conclusion was ( attention bishops and directors of vocations!) that for the most part their vocations came from families where the parents read the children bible stories and lives of the saints from a very early age. This kind of lifestyle may well be called a culture of vocation, no?
Isn’t it true that the families who have that kind of care for the formation of their children are the very ones who would seek out a Latin Mass parish? So on the matter of what is causing what, it would seem that families who have a culture of vocation are causing Latin Mass parishes, not the other way around.. Put differently, good Catholic parenting is conducive to Latin Mass parishes. This is a critically important distinction, for just from the standpoint of expanding the number of and population of Latin Mass parishes, it would seem that the strategy would be to promote excellent Catholic parenting and the Latin Mass parishes would follow naturally.
Well I suppose that we are saying the same thing, or very close to the same thing, and I agree with you. We visited the Carmel in Valparaiso, and our trip out there (11 or 12 years ago) to see a young lady from our parish enter the Carmel was what resulted in my own daughter’s vocation. Thanks for your comments and the clarification!
In the full report (http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/fruits-of-Vatican_II-part_1.pdf) we wrote about this subject:
General spiritual qualities that influence the vitality of religious institutes and societies can be categorized as:
1 Teaching and preaching in accordance to the Depositum Fidei (Deposit of Faith);
2 Living one’s religious life as inspired by the Depositum Fidei;
3 The state of the liturgy within the religious institute;
4 The associations of faithful from which vocations are taken.
The first category involves the fundamental way in which the full Faith has to be accepted as the law for any expression of Religious Life. The second one concerns the genuine expression of the Religious Life inspired by the Holy Spirit at its foundation. If this expression came from the Holy Spirit, it cannot then be rejected later as being inauthentic. The third category involves in a fundamental way the manner in which the Holy Mass is celebrated and daily prayers are offered as true expressions of the Depositum Fidei within the religious institutes and societies in accordance with the principle Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi. The fourth category concerns the ability of religious congregations to attract vocations, according to their fulfilment of the aforementioned three categories.
So the fourth point contains the generation of vocation by the example of the religious.
I’d also add that most women dressed modestly, covered their heads in church and were in the home. Gentlemen wouldn’t even THINK of going to church without a hat, suit and tie. People would dress up in their Sunday best to go to a baseball game.
Society was also secularized by Hollywood. Think of White Christmas (1954). Rosemary Clooney’s black dress in the latter half of the movie is immodest, yet this the Legion of Decency rating:
White Christmas (Paramount) A-I
This is the link to the Legion of Decency ratings:
The study above adds support to the contention that Vatican II should be abrogated in it’s entirety. Nothing good has come from this council. The Catholic Church is an on-going catastrophe as continually highlighted on One Peter 5. Our current Pope personifies the Protestantization that has befallen the Church where now adulterous relationships are not an impediment to Holy Communion. If the Church is to grow again it must return to Traditional worship and dogma. Failure to do this will result in a infinitesimally smaller Church no more than 5% of it’s present size. And time for change is quickly running out as most of the orthodox Catholics are now aged and dying.
Was Opus Dei not included because it didn’t fit the definition being used? Thanks!
Opus Dei is indeed not included because no data were available
The Vatican II “renewal”: what a farce!
How does what measure up?
My favorite order, or my favorite statistic (to bash V2 combox apologists over the head with) of declining orders due to Vatican II?
This is what makes it so difficult to teach at my “orthodox” Catholic university, where some (if not most) of the theology faculty will still look you straight in the eye and talk about the “renewal ushered in by Vatican II.” It is very difficult to suppress the contradictory impulses to laugh out loud and slap them up the side of the head!