Is There A “Man-Crisis” In The Church?

From the New Emangelization website…

CardinalBurkesmallRecently, I had the great honor to have an audience with His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to discuss the state of Catholic men in the United States.

Here is the full transcript:

Matthew James Christoff of the New Emangelization Project:  Your Eminence, we are delighted and blessed to be here with you. Today, we are here to talk about the state of Catholic men in the United States and how we might draw more men into the New Evangelization. Maybe to start, how would Your Eminence describe the state of men in the Catholic Church today?

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke:  I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.

Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society.

The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.

All of those virtuous characteristics of the male sex are very important for a child to observe as they grow up and mature. The healthy relationship with the father helps the child to prepare to move from the intimate love of the mother, building a discipline so that the child can avoid excessive self‑love. This ensures that the child is able to identify himself or herself properly as a person in relationship with others; this is critical for both boys and girls.

A child’s relationship with their father is key to a child’s self‑identification, which takes places when we are growing up. We need that very close and affirming relationship with the mother, but at the same time, it is the relationship with the father, which is of its nature more distant but not less loving, which disciplines our lives. It teaches a child to lead a selfless life, ready to embrace whatever sacrifices are necessary to be true to God and to one another.

I recall in the mid-1970’s, young men telling me that they were, in a certain way, frightened by marriage because of the radicalizing and self-focused attitudes of women that were emerging at that time. These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women. These divisions between women and men have gotten worse since then.

Everyone understands that women have and can be abused by men. Men who abuse women are not true men, but false men who have violated their own manly character by being abusive to women.

The crisis between man and woman has been made much worse by a complete collapse of catechesis in the Church. Young men grew up without proper instruction with regard to their faith and to the knowledge of their vocation. Young men were not being taught that they are made in the image of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These young men were not taught to know all those virtues that are necessary in order to be a man and to fulfill the particular gifts of being male.  Read entire transcript here

Comment

Is Cardinal Burke correct  – IS there a “man-crisis” in the Church?  If so, what, if anything, can we do about it?

28 responses

  1. Editor,

    I think part of the problem here is the calibre of seminarians and priests. Growing numbers of effeminate men were admitted into seminaries, many of whom became priests. I think a lot of ordinary men became alienated because of the lack of strong, male role models.

    Similarly, with advent of female altar servers and Extraordinary Ministers, the Church appeared to be quite feminine and lots of young boys and teenagers became disillusioned.

  2. Petrus,

    Agreed. I remember when “girl altar boys” (as they’re called in some parts of the USA) were introduced. I was teaching at the time and two of the lads who had been servers called into my room to tell me about the “girl altar boys” being introduced in their parish and said they would not be going back. As far as I know, they didn’t. The girls look ridiculous, frankly, dressed as altar boys.

    I really hope everyone reads the entire interview to the end – click on the link provided at the end of the blog extract, to read it at source, as it is really important to read the whole thing. It is such an important interview that I’m reproducing some of it in the February newsletter, for our non-internet readers. They’re certainly NOT going to read it in the so called Catholic press, unless it’s Mgr Basil Loftus’ mocking version. No thanks.

  3. That is a great interview and Cardinal Burke has hit on many important issues, not least the bad effects of the feminist movement on family life. How many children are now growing up in broken homes because of that diabolical drive to push women’s so called rights. It just amazes me how many women were taken in by it and are now single parents as a result.

  4. Yes, that’s it Fidelis. There is a man-crisis in the Church AND in the world, which has been caused by radical feminism and the homosexual rights movement.

  5. Cardinal Burke is wholly correct. The modern Church is a deeply unappealing place for men.

    The order and dignity of the traditional mass is far more appealing to me, than the “children’s party” atmosphere of the Novus Ordo.

    Things I have endured at the Novus Ordo include dancing priests, being asked to hold-hands during the Lords Prayer, mincing effete priests and a sanctuary dominated by women and/or children. Toe curling.

    I noticed that increasingly, ‘girl altar boys’ were the norm and in many places it seemed boys wanted little to do with serving anymore. (This particular issue is thanks to JP2s foolish pandering to secular sensibilities).

    Before I stopped going to the Novus Ordo, it was typical (in any parish) – when the entrance bell rang – for a young girl server and elderly priest to appear, both wearing the same shapeless white robes and the same inane grins. Were it not for the priests advanced years, I could imagine them skipping as they emerged into the Church proper (perhaps even with the ‘Care Bears’, or ‘My Little Pony’ in tow).

    All this would be bad enough, but most novus ordo parishes are dominated behind the scenes by rival cliques of elderly ladies – meaning an environment of petty gossip and jealous backbiting – and so there is precious little to attract men at all.

    This is undoubtedly a major factor in lack of priestly vocations, no matter how much the Novus Ordo crowd try to deceive themselves that its down to social change and other invented excuses.

    Since I started to attend the traditional mass, I note that the congregations who attend it much better reflect society and family groups, with men being represented in good number, as opposed to the environment being dominated by women and children. I also notice that the traditional priests are more masculine and carry themselves with more dignity and a bit of reserve even, unlike the “Graeme Norton” figures which are endemic in the modern priesthood.

    • Gabriel

      I agree with 99.9% of your post, but I bridle a little at your comments about the cliques of elderly ladies causing an environment of petty gossip and jealous backbiting. Undoubtedly that is true, but in my rather extensive working life amongst men I haven’t failed to noticed that they too enjoy gossiping and backbiting – it’s not behaviour limited to the female sex, by any means!

      Feminism has been a terrible scourge on society, but it’s only fair to acknowledge that men have been quite happy to reap the “rewards” themselves; despite what feminists say, the pill is a greater “boon” for men than for women in these decadent times, and the vast majority of men of my acquaintance have been very keen for their wives to go out to work to enable them to buy the latest car/have exotic holidays etc.

      By not being real men, they have failed women, perhaps even more than women have failed men.

      • Therese,

        You are 100% correct that gossip etc is not the sole preserve of women – please accept my apologies if It seemed like I was suggesting that.

        I didn’t mean to make a sexist or unkind remark, I think I was just careless with how I phrased things.

        I completely agree with what you say about the contraceptive pill and how in fact it has proven much more of a “boon” for men, than the women it claimed to ‘liberate’.

        • Gabriel

          No apology necessary – I was perhaps being a little pedantic in picking up your comment. No need to refrain from “sexist” comments on my account either – I’ll be arrested some day for the “sexist” comments I make. I’m too old to pretend that men and women are the same, and it annoys me that stereotypical comments about men are accepted whilst the the fur flies if one makes such a comment about women. It’s time for men to fight back!

      • Therese,

        I agree with you, men have been quite happy to reap the rewards of ‘feminism’, from the ‘pill’ to having their wives work to be able to own a bigger house, and fancier cars.

        And yes, men have failed women by not being real men. His eminence in the interview, offers this insight, “men were not taught to know all those virtues that are necessary in order to be a man and to fulfill the particular gifts of being male”. 😀

        • Jobstears,

          I was speaking to one young mother today who was very interested when I told her about this thread, and plans to read it, as she wants her sons – who don’t have a Catholic father – to “know all those virtues…”

  6. I sometimes wonder if boys become effeminate as the result of their mothers having been ‘on the pill’.

    After all, as we know the ‘pill’ messes up the hormones, big-time. Hermaphrodite fish have been found in rivers and lakes into which treated sewage is discharged. The treatment, however, doesn’t seem to be effective when it comes to removing or neutralising the surplus estrogen.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/birth-control-pills-have-negative-effect-on-lake-ecosystems-study-1.2051279#

    Maybe there is some mileage in the ‘born that way’ claim after all…..!

    • Pat

      I have suspected for years that the pollution caused by the vast quantities of hormones that inevitably end up in our water supply and are subsequently consumed by one and all is causing all kinds of unpleasant side effects. I remember reading some years ago that it was thought that the decreasing lack of male fertility was a direct result of this.

      • Another contributing factor could be formula milk given to babies which have a high soya content. Soya can disrupt the balance of male hormones!

    • Pat McKay,

      Given all the talk about the cost of the NHS, is there any way we can find out how much money is paid out by the Government to supply prescription contraceptives?

      • Editor,

        I’ve asked our good friend Wendy Walker if she has any ideas how we might go about this.

        Meanwhile, some of you may be familiar with the leaflet published by Father James Morrow (+ R.I.P.), titled….’Don’t Poison Your Bride’…Father was absolutely right when he said ‘what a travesty of medicine it was, when the doctor is called upon to damage the healthy instead of curing the sick.’

        • Thank you Pat. I hope Wendy can uncover those costs as I’m certain they will be exorbitant. And if the powers-that-be can identify groups like smokers and the obese as people who should have a question mark over whether they receive health care or not, why not those who are living promiscuous lives as well? I’d love to know the costs of providing the “health care” for those who need regular screening for sexually related risks, due to their “relationships” with more than one lifelong partner in traditional marriage.

          Here endeth the sermon… for now 😀

        • We hear often enough about the burden the ageing population has placed on the NHS (a furtive way of softening up the sheeple prior to introducing euthanasia) but never a mention of the cost of abortions or vasectomies and their reversals

          They never mention that a large part of the “burden” is met by the elderly themselves by the sale of their hard earned property.

          • Frankier,

            Well said. I couldn’t agree more, with every word. For all the talk of the need for critical thinking these days, I’ve yet to hear anyone who has rung in to contribute to a radio or TV discussion on the topic, say what you’ve said. Their “views” on whether certain groups should be denied health care on the NHS (usually limited to smokers and the obese) are generally no more thought-provoking than “well, we live in a democracy, if they want to smoke etc…” blah blah.

            So, well said. Very well said. Did I say I agreed with your every word? I’ll get your autograph later… 😀

  7. If you have not already done so, I would recommend that you read: Michael S. Rose’s ‘Goodbye good men’, which can be bought here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Good-Men-Liberals-Corruption/dp/0895261448

    ‘Goodbye! Good Men: How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations from the Priesthood’, by the same author, which can be bought here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Good-Men-Seminaries-Generations/dp/0967637112

    Interesting to know that one of the few US dioceses NEVER to experience a vocations crisis or Priesthood shortage is the Diocese of Lincoln. Guess what…they banned altar girls.

    • CC – In addition to the ban on altar girls, that particular diocese had always provided the traditional latin mass from JP2s 1984 indult onwards.

  8. One recalls what Cardinal Heenan said to the Synod of Bishops in Rome after the NO was presented to them: “At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.”

  9. Can you just imagine the phenonimal cost ?….when added together of so called contraception ,abortion ,sterilization abortion pills ..the costs when these go wrong ,counselling ,operations to repair the damageif they can … ,NHS sued for botched ops ,deaths ,ill health bought on by these dangerous drugs both physical and mental add to this all the cosmetic surgerys for people wanting sex changes and again counselling and breast enlargements ..meanwhile people with really life threatening diseases are just put on the back burner …all these £billions could then be spent on Schools ,Hospitals ,Nurserys we would think it was Utopia with so much cash to splash .
    Good points you have raised here Pat ,and Pat [Editor }……lets see what we can find…

  10. I believe one of the main problems we have is a effeminate liturgy and namby pamby priests. Cardinal Heenan sure was correct about male Mass attendees or lack of.

    An interesting story: we spend a lot of time in York and some time ago we saw that a Tridentine Mass was to be offered on Sunday evenings at the parish church of St. Wilfrid’s. The priest explained that the bishop of Middlesbrough had asked his order, the Oratorians, to take charge of the parish and they would be offering regular old Masses. We attended on the second occasion and there were 15 persons present. About 3 months later we attended again and there were over 50 persons present. a year later, it had increased to nearer a 100 and guess what? The majority were young AND male.

    My sons say that if they want entertainment there are plenty of good theatres around and that the NOM is really crass in entertainment value….

  11. Crofterlady

    It is obvious your sons haven`t had the enjoyment of going to a balloon Mass.

    If Sammy Davis Jr. had been born after 1970 he would probably be a cardinal today.

  12. Well, since we have a ‘balloon’ on the Chair of Peter I dare say it’s all right to have some on the altar!

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