Adding fuel to the fire were disenchanted priests and nuns, who, either thinking the Church had changed too much or had not changed enough to their liking, left. But they did not leave quietly. Rather than seeking a dispensation and a lay vocation that would complement their calling and work in unison with the mission of Holy Mother Church, they became angry rebels. Lacking the guidance of the Holy Spirit they began to lash out at all that was holy, not only affecting the youth, already in a rebellious state from the Vietnam conflict, but older parishioners as well who were drifting in a sea of confusion and lukewarmness. Many priests and nuns, not receiving the proper guidance and instruction on the true changes wrought by Vatican II from their bishops, were susceptible to the wiles of satan and he maneuvered his disenchanted ones to cry foul from the rooftops through the new voice: the media, which ate up every gripe and accusation. The worse the news, the better the ratings and like ravenous wolves the fifth estate tracked down these rebellious religious, who in turn, goaded by ego and pride as well as anger, ate up the publicity and continued spewing at the mouth spouting lies and calumny. The sad part is too many believed the lies. Even devout Catholics began to doubt what was going on. Bishops remained silent and this only added to the fuel. In South America a new theology was formed - "liberal theology" that would cause grave damage in the southern hemisphere and slither into the northern hemisphere as well. Many of these disenchanted and disenfranchised religious were well-educated, adding to the idiom - a little knowledge can be dangerous. They articulated well and the media feasted on their half-truths. Satan was having a field day. Vocations, once a flowing river to seminaries all over America, dried up. Younger nuns, "in the spirit of Vatican II," modernized; disposed of the sacred and meaningful habits that had been the garments of obedience, chastity, and poverty. As the older nuns died off convents became empty chambers of the glories of yesteryear. The younger nuns, no longer confined to the strictness of the convent, began to seek freedoms that would have Saint Claire and Saint Teresa of Avila turning over in their graves. Soon entire orders were going the way of the dinosaur - orders who relaxed their rule, relaxed the dress code. Skirts were shortened, blouses were donned, and hairdos were the rage as no one could tell a nun from any other woman except for maybe a small cross hung around their neck. Children, who had been nurtured by the good holy nuns who had fostered so many vocations, no longer had this wise and disciplined teaching in parochial schools. Lay teachers were hired much the same way as public school teachers. The once tuition-free parish schools were forced to institute tuition which escalated as the years passed because of faculty costs and increasing maintenance. The corp of financial income in each parish - older, established and faithful parishioners - still confused over the changes that had been wrought, slowly but surely began cutting their donations; not always sure where the Church they had been weaned on was heading with all these drastic changes and very little leadership from their bishops and pastors who many felt were walling themselves up in an "ivory tower," thus losing touch with the common Catholic. This, too, played right into the hands of the progressives who, without any opposition, became bolder in their reforms and their criticism of the Magisterium and all the Church stood for. Young, naive and impressionable minds were molded to believe that ecumenism meant all faiths were equal and so they didn't hesitate to search out the religions that catered to their needs and wants. The charismatic renewal, a good and holy liturgical movement intended to emphasize the Holy Spirit and the gifts inherent through the Sanctifier, was abused to no end. Evangelical sects lured the youth with their promise of social interaction if they would accept the only source of God: the Bible. Many left the Church in droves, claiming they had never read the Bible before. Parents were ready to tear their hair out at such blasphemy for the Word was part and parcel of their family life through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Yet the new generation was completely oblivious to its meaning. The Baltimore Catechism, the staple of Catholic education for nearly a century, was shelved. Why? To this day that remains a mystery. The teachings, doctrines and dogmas of Holy Mother Church had not changed so why the banishment of such a simple, practical and solid teaching tool? Many believe this, too, was the underground work of modernists who had long planned this attack on Christ's One True Church.
Next week we will continue with the latter part of the seventies and how the media played right into the radical left's hands as well as Hollywood's portrayal of the Catholic Church in "Persecution and Prejudice Pile up on Holy Mother Church" as we continue to expose the false prophets in American Church in this on-going megaseries.
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.