I have been meaning, for the past day or so, to point GetReligion readers toward a withering Boston Globe report by Charles M. Sennott on the state of the Roman Catholic Church in postmodern Europe. (Hat tip to Amy Welborn, of course.) The statistics on the collapse in the pews are amazing, even without taking into account the fact that church attendance numbers are always inflated.
And then there is this amazing paragraph about the crisis at the altars: "The decrease in the number of men entering the priesthood across Europe, with the notable exception of Poland, is equally dismaying for Catholics. In Ireland, for example, the Archdiocese of Dublin ordained only one priest last year. This year, for the first time in what historians say is hundreds of years, the diocese says it does not expect to ordain a single priest."
Has anyone seen a quality MSM report with a less bleak point of view?
Once again, this is an angle of the Benedict XVI papacy that is going to be fascinating to watch. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he was known for his candor, when it came to discussing the dark side of the modern Catholic Church. I always agreed with the critics who said Pope John Paul II struggled to grasp the icy reality of Europe, because he viewed it through the lens of his experience in Poland.