WHY DID SO MANY PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS LEAVE
THEIR VOCATIONS IN THE 1960’s
AND WHY ARE THEY STILL LEAVING?
The priests and religious who began leaving in their thousands in the 1960’s and are still leaving found themselves in a modern garden of Eden. The modern world was so alluring, so appealing. There were all the wonders of modern technology, especially washing machines, freezers, vacuum cleaners, marvellous health care, limitless opportunities for pursuing an academic career, and easy international travel. Vatican II told religious to go back to their roots to the pure inspiration of their founders, and to some extent they did, but like little Kay in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, their vision had been distorted, not by the splintered mirror that fell from the hands of the devils taking it up to Heaven, but by the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Once they had eaten of this tree their knowledge was distorted beyond belief. The poison was all but deadly; the vision perverted.
These poor men and women interpreted their founders and their past using the bitter fruits, and they were these. The fruit of Darwinian evolution, the fruit of Marxist social and economic theory, the fruit of Freudian psychology and all the other essentially anti Christian psychologies, which are simply a new form of Pelagianism, albeit a secular one. There was the fruit of Malthus namely the false notion of the population explosion, and the worst fruit of all for Christians and Catholics, the fruit of Biblical Higher criticism which emptied the Bible of the miraculous, and in doing so the factual. This fruit when eaten made the priest or religious believe that the Bible was not much different from other ancient religious writing.
The sixties priest and religious, especially the gullible religious sister saw the world through different lenses. They would be told that the Bible had to conform to evolution, which was presented as a fact. The problem with Evolution was that in a way it did not appear to have a beginning, or its past was so many millions of years away from us that it all became a bit abstract. If God was overseeing evolution then he must be very slow or very uninterested, so why should we be too bothered what he thought, because it looks as if either he does not care or is not really bothered about what we get up to. Then the priests and religious would be told the Freudian lie that all relationships are sexual, and they would be told that because there was this terrible spectre called the population control then artificial contraception was the good and true response. They were also told that Marx was basically right, and that the Soviet Union was an aberration. The final fruit that was not so obvious but as deadly as the others and sprang from them was that which said you must express yourself, fulfil yourself be yourself at all costs. The poison of this last fruit was so deadly, because it presumed that you were alright, basically you were a good person, and that your feelings really mattered more than anything else. The problem was that this fruit blinded you to your sinfulness and concupiscence, however what was the problem with that as we were all evolving and we knew better than our fathers of the past. We were on a higher plane. That the priests and religious and even the bishops could have swallowed such tosh can be explained by one thing and one thing only. Did they really know Christ as presented in the Gospels. Did they really love him, wish to imitate him and follow him with all their hearts? Only they can answer that question and most of them are old, and many will be bitter.
Armed with this mad mixture of pseudo philosophical intoxicants priests and religious produced anfalse Christianity, a false humanism, and a false psychology and they walked out of what they thought was an antiquated Church or remained in it to destroy it. These men and women, like Eve, fell for Satan’s lie, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5), and they ate and found that they were naked and not ashamed. They exulted in their bodies, rejoiced in their sexuality, and began to worship the Golden Calf, namely themselves, though it was far more subtle than that. They would chart their way to God, they would interpret the teachings of Christ, and they would redefine Christian morality. They would be their own gods, and they would worship themselves. They did not realize that they were doing this, but they had preferred chosen comfort not Christ, and they embraced pleasure and not penance, and they believed that they could have Heaven on Earth, and Heaven in eternity, and very few were in danger of going to Hell, if indeed it existed at all. Feelings triumphed over thought, subjectivity of objectivity, lies over truth, and that is why the Church is in such dire straits today, but we should not fear, for Christ has conquered and his Mother Mary has crushed the head of the serpent with here heel. If we are humble like Bernadette, and the little shepherds at Fatima, if we are heroic like the martyrs of old and the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries, and if we have the love of Thérèse of Lisieux, a Vincent de Paul, or a Francis de Sales, and if on top of that we have the zeal of a St. Francis, a St. Dominic, a St. Francis Xavier, and above all the sheer power and love of St. Paul, then we will transform the Church and the World, but to do this we have to vomit forth those deadly fruits so that we may see again clearly, and see the World for what it really is the Devil’s playground, whereas it should be the Kingdom of God, the domain of the Prince of Peace, Christ Our Lord, Universal King and Lord of All.