Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Whoopie! The New Springtime! Yay!

Just discussing Canadian Catholic demographics with a correspondent from the east coast.

He writes:

The Church here is hitting a wall. My family's home parish in Halifax is full of "cottontops", to use one of Tom Wolfe's words. The Basilica is basically 20-25% full at best for the Masses to which I go. [A young Halifax priest] said a few years ago we will be down to two parishes on the old peninsula in 20 years.

The old parish church in L'Ardoise (really a pocket basilica built by impoverished fisherman in the 1880s, and which eventually had an affiliated convent up to 30-35 years ago) burned down in '71, replaced by a small bland church with a now-rotten spire. Now, it's a mission not a true parish.

The collapse of the Catholic Church is THE salient event in the West in the past 40 years, yet it's a basically ignored fact.

Yep, Novusordoism.

Really packs 'em in, don't it?


Dad29 said...


I suspect the diminuendo of the Church was occasioned by the crescendo of material wealth.

Who needs salvation when you have a 52" TV and all the popcorn you can eat?

You don't have the shrinkage-problem in Africa, nor Asia, e.g.

Lee hamilton said...

Seems to me Roman Catholicism never had a firm foot-hold in English-speaking Canada, notwithstanding the Irish and some of the Scots. The about-face is much more remarkable in French Canada, once a Catholic bastion, but which has ditched the Church big-time (and yet manages to exploit Quebec's truly fabulous urban cathedrals and basilicas as lucrative tourism props nonetheless). But the collapse of Catholicism in French Canada likely has far less to do with Vatican II reforms than it does with the Church's heavy-handed bureaucratic authoritarianism and its cosy alliance with repressive political elements prior to (and during) the Quiet Revolution. The Church also lost my mother's generation of women, and that really changed things. That said, I'm definitely in favour of Benedict's 'Restoration' - but I think its real pay-off won't come in my generation or even the next.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I've lived in Nova Scotia. Catholicism was a major social force there. Not all of English Speaking Canada is Ontario.

Bernard Brandt said...

With all due respect to Dad29, I got outta dodge (i.e. novusordoland) about 21 years ago because I was tired of being treated like a child with kumbayas instead of hosannas (chant, polyphonic or hymnodic) and priests who could not preach their way out of a paper bag, either because their understanding of scripture, tradition or the magisterium were at about the level of post kindergarten, or because they were not able to reach the masses because they were talking about their golf games rather than what people needed to hear.

Or maybe its just me. Go figure.

BillyHW said...

Ontario speaks English?