Fr. Tomlinson on modernism and vocations

Fr. Ed Tomlinson reflects on modernism and vocations over at his blog.

He writes:

The Dioceses which have most fully embraced the modernist zeitgeist are struggling to inspire vocations. But dioceses which have embraced a return to orthodoxy  now experience a big resurgence in numbers entering seminary. Why is this?

As if the lesson needs underlining, the truth also applies to the religious life. The communities which ditched habits and went trendy in the 70’s and 80’s are now decaying but the orders which retained or returned to orthodoxy flourish. We might consider the Franciscans of the Renewal. (Could jealousy at their success explain why have been treated poorly by the very prelates most in favour of a modernist trajectory within the church today?)

It isn’t only a truth that rings out across the Catholic world. In the Protestant world studies have shown that the more biblically faithful a parish is, the more likely it is to flourish. Consider the Church of England which, despite a modernist bench of bishops, would collapse without the finances provided by thriving evangelicals. It is the Evangelical churches which grow whilst liberal parishes are lucky to number 50.  Across the denominations then we find a liberal leadership totally out of synch with the reality of what is working on the ground.

There’s a lot more.  Go on over and read it all.  By the way, I think the difference lies in whether we believe in a supernatural God and trust Him or not. Do we rely on supernatural tools like prayer to not only transform our personal lives but also to evangelize and foster vocations? Or do we hire lay ministers or adopt corporate models to manage decline?

Deborah Gyapong

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