The Decline of Catholic Culture,
This review is from: Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church (Hardcover)
David Carlin has written this book as a sociologist to examine and analyze the decline of Catholicism in America since the end of Vatican II in 1965 and the confluence of two other social major factors that coalesced about 40 years ago to undermine and severely damage the US Catholic Church's culture and teaching authority. These three factors according to the author calls the "perfect storm" that include Vatican II, the end of the tight knit Catholic community called a "ghetto", and the American cultural revolution of the late 1960's and early 1970's.
This is a very easy to read sociological study that flows. The author does an excellent job as he explains the factors that influenced the identity of America before it became a nation through the emergence of secularism. Country founded on Protestant fundamentals that were agreeable to the various sects that composed early America, a nation whose basis was Christian. That evolved through emigration to a country based on Judeo-Christian principles as the people as a group were admitted into the main stream of American life, to what we have today a nation whose religion is non-Christian if not down right secularist
We see that as the new belief systems are brought in that a denominational mindset sets in to allow all to work together and live in peace and prosper in the new paradigm. Each religion focuses only on what they have in common and not their differences. When the culture changed from Christian to Judo-Christian there was still founded on biblical morals. The Catholics who since the Council of Trent had a built a wall that emphasized the difference of Catholic's and Protestant's was destroyed by Vatican II. This event along with the change in national identity is when Catholics entered the public mainstream and started to adopt the cultural aspects of their country.
The problem as shown was at this time that secularism was being accepted as a respectable group in America and therefore its own denomination. This had the affect on the Judeo-Christian denominations having the need to find what they had in common with secularist in order to keep the "American Experiment" alive. This and a definite lack of leadership in the Catholic Church which still has a vacuum of true Catholic Leaders has lead to the decline of the Catholic Church in America.
The misuse of the intent of Vatican II documents embraced by the modernist, both laity and clergy, was used as the justification of the dismantling of the Catholic Church and its ancient traditions. The most important one was the liturgy in the form of the "New Mass" that was acceptable to all Christians. And the lack of courage or will of the bishops to stand up and defend the doctrines and dogma of the Church accelerated this destruction that was embraced by many. For without the biblical moral foundation what is to stop people from sliding too a selfish attitude instead of the normal Catholic community attitude.
Most of the authors work is on track and all is well researched but his proposed solution to create new rituals to differentiate Catholic's from secularism as the Council of Trent did for Protestant's follows in the thinking of the modernist that caused the development of the "New Mass". So though he is interested in the Catholic Church surviving in America, for it will thrive in other countries, his solution follows the thinking of those who caused its decline in the first place. Even though all the ramifications that were the results of Vatican II are not touched on in this book and the author proposed solution lacking in systematic thought this book is worth reading.
The Catholic Church is over two millennium old and has always used its tradition as its bulwark to fend off all attacks. That is what is needed now. There are a remnant of laity and religious trying to do just this. All that is needed is true leadership to rebuke this ongoing attack of modernism on this ancient religion. The author is right in his analysis that the Catholic Church will survive, but the question is will it survive in America? The same could be ask of other Western countries.