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Restoration roundup is thème du jour and as usual, we will “post hop”. The idea for the title of today’s post comes from two blogs who appear to have identified groups of “undocumented” Catholics who allegedly “exit”, yet are not counted in the official statistics of their respective churches. And naturally, as the title suggests, one of these groups is real, while the other exits…. only in the deep recesses of the clericalist’s N.O. minds. But all in all, good great news all around!

Starting with the “imagined” Church Invisible. Over at the Eponymous Flower blog, a post appeared with the statistics of “departures” for the Austrian Catholic Church. (see here) Needless to say, the numbers did not disappoint. The number of Catholics leaving the Kirchensteuer rolls in 2015 was 16,103. This comes on top of a 15,897 decline in 2014 and a 15,889 decline in 2013. A grand total of 219,320 departures from the EVIL AUSTRIAN NUCHURCH for the period 2002 to 2015, while the number of departed Catholics during the reign of the EVIL Archbishop of Vienna, one Christoph Schönborn reached 300,000.

And now for the explanations. According to one Erich Leitenberger, the explanation in 2009: (emphasis added)

‘tried to gloss over the numbers of departures by pointing out “that the official number is yet difficult to estimate since the group of ‘underground Catholics’ should be added” – well that did not change the continuing progressive Development.’

From the above, one can deduce that the number of “underground Catholics” increased by ~120,000 (~220,000 – ~100,000) between 2009 and 2015, or a whopping 120%, adding to the rolls of the “imagined Church Invisible”. Here is the graph:

Austrian Church Figures

And now for more current explanation and riposte with respect to the record number of departing Catholics in Austria:

“The protestations of Schönborn’s spokesman Michael Prüller, that a focal point in Vienna must be missionary, are empty words: The re-entry numbers are negligible, as are activities also. In addition, the Conciliar Church has no missionary efforts among the heretics. [At least not in Austria]”

So there you have it, but not to worry, the revenue from the Kirchensteuer increased to a total of €435m, up €8m from the previous year. However, one does not need to be a financial genius to realize that increasing revenue from a shrinking base IS NOT A sign of a sustainable business model. And like we like to point out on this blog, even Neo-modernists need to eat!

And now to the good “great news”. Over at the Pertinacious Papist blog, a post appeared titled A response to Charles Msgr. Pope: The unseen growth of the TLM. (see here)

The “response” was to an article in which Msgr. Pope claimed that a glass ceiling was reached with respect to Mass attendance at proper Catholic Masses. On an aside, Msgr. Pope also claimed that evangelization is the key. Excuse the digression, but hold that thought for future reference…

Here is how Alex Begin responded to Msgr. Pope’s assertion:

Of vital importance when assessing the big picture is the new phenomenon of one-time-only or sporadic Tridentine Masses taking place. Their irregular character prevents them from being listed on the various directories of Extraordinary Form Masses, thus any study that uses those directories to count the number of Masses is actually ignoring a significant number of the Masses being held. It is primarily because of the freedoms granted by Summórum in 2007 that sporadic Masses can take place with such ease. Examples of such special Masses include:

• Juventútem Masses, held at different churches each month
• Funerals, weddings, bus tour, and special event Masses
• Irregularly scheduled Masses, locally including those at St. Albertus, St. Joseph, and Our Lady of the Scapular Churches”

And here are those figures:

US Catholic Mass Growth

So what we see in the above text and accompanying graph is evidence that suggests that in the case of the Immemorial Mass of All Ages, what is causing the numbers to look “weak” is an “underground Church Invisible” that is very real. One can say that it is IN FORMATION.

And while we are on the subject of the “real underground Church Invisible”, noting that the graph above does not include the SSPX, over in the Philipines, the SSPX Novitiate (future seminary?) has decided to build a “very large” and “very real Church” in Iloilo City, the Philippines. More pictures can be found on the St. Bernard Novitiate post on the SSPX website (see here).

And in South America, the SSPX Sisters have built another “very real Church” in the city of Pilar, outside Buenos Aires Argentina. Here is the link to that website: see here.

SSPX Pilar Argentina

While over in Phoenix, the SSPX just completed a “very large” and simultaneously “very real Church”. Here is a video (see below) and their website (see here):

And while we are at it, over in Dylwinn Virginia, the SSPX is building a “very large” and simultaneously “very real Seminary” which is set to be operational in the fall of this year. Here is a video (see below) and their website (see here):

So as you see sports fans, no need to worry. The real Church Invisible is doing quite well.

Well, aside from one small issue.

Guess what that is?

Yes, it is the common thread in all the examples cited above, namely evangelization. The be more precise, some do evangelization better, while others do evangelization less better.

And guess who does evangelization the worst. (see here)

I will leave off here and pick up with this theme in my next post.