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                                                          #306 DEC 2013 POST VATICAN II


                                         POST VATICAN II


The ABCRC is fully bound to assist our bishops in “choosing” an oversupply of priests and we concentrate our research on the whole of the One Church to provide commentary that is part and parcel of that objective. In our younger days, we were pleased to observe the Church hierarchy take on a Renewal via Vatican II. We were old enough to realize that various rules of the One Church needed updating to fulfill Our Lord’s instructions to “go forth and teach all nations.” It is now many years post Vatican II and we conduct an evaluation of the achievements that are a result of Vatican II.


With many accomplishments, we must always consider the “bottom line” as a measuring stick. First of all, the One Church has increased from 572,005,993 faithful in 1963 to 1,213,591,000 in 2011, that is more than a doubling in 48 years, an increase of 212%. The world’s population grew from 3,119,464,628 to 6,933,310,000, an increase of 222%.  The percentile measuring stick indicates that the growth of the faithful was heavily due to population growth; in fact, the growth of the faithful was 10% less than population growth.  Vatican II, with its many updates, did not increase the faithful growth rate.

The worldwide holy priesthood in 1963 numbered 432,247 priests and decreased to 413,418 priests in 2011. The sisters decreased from 1,014,292 sisters to 713,206 sisters. The seminarians increased from 106,163 in 1963 to 120,616 seminarians in 2010, an increase of 13.6%.
The increase of 14,453 seminarians is a positive growth but the measuring stick is that we need 1,116,834 seminarians worldwide to provide one priest for every 776 people to equate to the faithful per priest that existed in the United States in 1963. With the 2010 worldwide faithful per priest at 2,936 and the population to be at 9 billion in 50 years, we are headed for a new ecumenical council to solve our priest shortage.   


In the ABCRC website, www.abcrc.us/, the illustration of the married clergy solution within 20 years to solve the priest shortage after the Byzantine Catholic Rusyn Church was terminated by the Soviets, is a good example of the One Church solution. Unfortunately, the Roman Church hierarchy has placed their manmade mandate of celibacy above the Lord’s instructions "to go forth and make disciples of all nations."


In the United States, the particular Byzantine Catholic Rusyn Church was denied its papal approved canon for a married clergy (Ea semper in 1907 and Cum data fuerit in 1929) by the Roman Catholic bishops via the Roman Curia; we are being systematically terminated.  With a faithful of 312,793 in 1963, the Rusyns in the United States have been reduced to 83,315 and continues to decrease annually. With less than 10 seminarians, our priesthood numbers must be solved before termination.   

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States had 47,574 seminarians in 1963 and 5,153 seminarians in 2013. It was planned that Vatican II would “renew” the One Church but the ABCRC measuring sticks indicate that an ecumenical council, Vatican III, is needed with but one subject, solving the priest shortage. One must believe that Our Lord “calls” adequate vocations but our Church Leaders will not “choose” them; in fact the solution to the subject is “off the table.”

Post Vatican II has many measuring sticks. In the United States, abortion has been legalized and primarily because the Catholic voting power has been denied (see ABCRC #305) by its inadequate teachings of the faithful. The status of same-sex marriage, contraception, etc, is the beginning of serious turmoil especially with the decrease in priests and sisters.  In 1963, we had 776 faithful per priest and now we are at 1,764 faithful per priest. Based on the number of seminarians during the past 20 years, the faithful per priest will soon be at 3,000.

Our Lord instructed the One Church “to teach” and “make disciples;” when our full time teaching priests in Catholic schools numbered 11,749 in 1963 and today number1,219, we have cause for alarm.  In 1963, teaching sisters numbered 12,343 and today number 4,421 sisters. It is difficult to know that the statistics quoted herein are from our Church Leaders, our bishops. AND the subject of a married priesthood remains “off the table.” Mandated celibacy is a self-inflicted wound knowing that Our Lord selected married men to be amongst His First Apostles and for the Early Centuries our clergy were of married priests. Post Vatican II without a Vatican III indicates that our present Church Leaders are in need of an awakening.


                                            Joseph P. Bonchonsky