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Today your humble blogger will address a common PHENOMENON that manifests itself on a number of Catholic blogs. The best word to use to describe this PHENOMENON is DESPONDENCE. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (which is the official Deus Ex Machina dictionary) defines DESPONDENCY as follows:
The ROOT CAUSE of the DESPONDENCY amongst Catholics is no doubt the “muddied” message coming from the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the bishop of Rome, one Francis. This is unlike the “unmuddiedness” of the teaching coming from… say, the Archbishop of Philadelphia (see here). Hold that thought. But I digress… A good idea of the “muddiedness” of Francis’ teaching can be observed on the Denzinger-Bergoglio website. (see here)
Recently I observed this state of DESPONDENCY on the blogs of a couple of fellow bloggers, namely Fr. Z. and Mundabor. I wrote each of them a quick “uplifting” comment, and for my effort, Mundabor wrote the following post on the back of my comment. (see here) See folks, it’s not ALL bad news.
The reason that I mention this PHENOMENON today, is that I have observed the use of DESPONDENCY as a rhetorical weapon, and it has become quite common. One sub-set of human activity where one can readily notice this tactic of WEAPONIZED DESPONDENCY being used, is in the political area of human endeavor. On the Zero Hedge website, one can find a post titled: Is Clinton’s Lead Over Trump As Large As Advertised? (see here) In the post, one can read the following: (emphasis added)
Once upon a time, political polls tended to be pretty accurate (there were occasional exceptions to this rule, but they were few and far between). Recently there have been a few notable misses though. One that comes to mind is the Brexit referendum. Shortly before the vote, polls indicated the outcome would be a very close one, while betting markets were indicating a solid win of the “remain” vote. The actual result was around 52:48 in favor of “leave”, so this was quite a big miss.
Yet the question that is just begging to be asked is: why is the MainStreamMedia compromizing their organizations by publishing FRAUDULENT polls that erroneously forecast the election results?
The most likely answers to this question is as follows: The commercial advertisers will allow the MainStreamMedia to compromise itself to attain a “favorable” result. The polls in turn are transformed into a vehicle that creates a sense of DESPONDENCY amongst the voter base of the candidates. This WEAPONIZED DESPONDENCY is then used to suggest/convince the voters that their vote doesn’t matter since their candidate already has won or on the other side, will not win the election. One reason why this tactic is being used is to stigmatize the “unfavorable” candidate. Another reason is that the “winning” side has a quantitative advantage in its voter base, so low turnouts favor their candidate. These are just two of the reasons that come to mind off the top of my head.
And now to the subject at hand. Another sub-set of human activity where one can also readily notice this tactic of WEAPONIZED DESPONDENCY being used, is in the ecclesiastical area of human endeavor. The Neo-modernists have used, and continue to use this WEAPON very effectively over the last 50 years. The reason that WEAPONIZED DESPONDENCY is a weapon of choice amongst this sub-set of the population is that it allows the Neo-modernists to cover up their EPIC FAILURE over the last 50 years.
A sterling example of just this use of WEAPONIZED DESPONDENCY can be observed in the following article pertaining to Chicago church/school closings. In the linked post (see here), the following information is provided:
The Archdiocese of Chicago could close as many as 100 parishes over the next dozen years under a comprehensive review announced by Archbishop Blase Cupich.
The reason being:
Pointing to aging infrastructure and a looming priest shortage, Cupich said the nation’s third largest archdiocese risks “spreading our resources too thinly” if it fails “to face these realities” by taking steps to plan for its future.
And what is the nature of the “risks” of “spreading our resources too thinly”:
Priests who attended the meetings told the Tribune that as many as 100 parishes could close in the next 14 years, when only 240 priests are estimated to be available for parish ministry.
Shortage of vocations. Where have we heard that before? Oh yes, here.
With respect to the specifics, presently there are 700 priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago according to the article. Therefore, in numeric terms, the Archbishop is forecasting that the Archdiocese will lose 65% of its clerics in the next 14 years, or roughly 33 priests per annum.
Pretty dire, no?
It would also appear that the Archbishop is acting as if this rate of attrition is a foregone conclusion. Yet we also know that there are diocese who are experiencing increases in vocations. (see here) And this increase in vocation PHENOMENON is also starting to appear in large Archdiocese and for two years running (see 2015 here and 2016 here). But no hint of this fact in referenced article, what so ever.
One could fall into a state of DESPONDENCY reading this Chicago Tribune article, no?
But it gets better.
So how is this proposed “restructuring” taking shape?
It would appear that the first area of the “restructuring” appears to be taking place on the Catholic education side of the Archdiocese operations. In a post that appeared at the Mahound’s Paradise blog, (see here) we find out the following:
I was reminded of this while reading a local story about the opening of the new Pope Francis Global Academy in Chicago, although the opening is actually more of a consolidation or downsizing – one school with two campuses will replace four schools that just closed. Cupich candidly admitted that the new school will be the “end of an era” for the Far Northwest Side of Chicago.
Oh my. Looks like those Neo-Promethian Pelagians are being targeted?
On a personal note, I know these schools quite well since I grew up and attended one of the schools mentioned in this post. (see here) I have a sentimental attachment to OLV since they used to have a very solid athletics program (best on the Far Northwest side) and used to “slaughter” our school in sports on a regular basis. In high school, quite a few teammates from OLV helped us win a couple of conference championships, so at the end of the day it worked out well. I was also very envious of their church (see here), since ours was… shall we say… rather fugly.
But back to the subject at hand. According the said post, it would appear that on the Far Northwest Side, “Enrollment at all other Far Northwest Side Catholic schools is flat or slightly higher”.
Looking at the specific schools closed, we find out that Our Lady of Victory has a school population of 159 students. This would mean an average of 18 pupils per class ( K-8). Now the school, like most in that neighborhood was built to support at least 500+, so the maintenace costs are quite sizeable, no doubt. But having said that, my sons go to a school where their class size is 13 and the school is very profitable. Excuse the digression… Going over to the Our Lady of Victory website, we find out that the parish presently has 600 families to support the school. Furthermore, it would also appear that attendance is increasing at the other schools in the area, but this NORMALIZATION PROCESS™ must not have come soon enough at OLV.
So the decision was made based on solid economic rationale, in keeping with the 2nd Principle of the LEX ARMATICUS, namely “Even Neo-modernists need to eat”?
Or was it?
What is also of interest though, since we have touch onto this Darwinian element of the LEX ARMATICUS is that two schools refused to join the “restructuring” program. Those two schools are St. Thecla and St. Constance, both solid Polish parishes.
In the case of St. Thecla, the following is the case:
“We have grown significantly during the past year,” Collins said, noting that the school began the 2015-16 academic year with 191 students but finished with 212 students.”
As for St. Constance, the following is the case:
St. Constance School spokeswoman Leslie Figler declined to release the school’s enrollment, saying only the Jefferson Park school’s “enrollment is steady and healthy.”
So in the age of FrancisMercy, how did the FrancisBishop Cupich (see here) react to the slight from the above two schools? Here is that part:
Both St. Thecla and St. Constance are now prohibited from borrowing money from the archdiocese to make up for shortfalls caused by low enrollment, rising costs or emergencies.
Officials with the Archdiocese of Chicago warned during community meetings that the two schools would be closed if its enrollment fell and their budgets slipped into the red.
Not too charitable or merciful is it? It is as if the two words that comprise FrancisMercy has very little to do with either Mercy or Charity for that matter. (see here) But I digress…
And the sense of DESPONDENCY just oozes from the text.
Concluding, as we see from the above, a sense of DESPONDENCY is being introduced by Neo-modernist prelates/clerics that drives their HIDDEN AGENDA. In the case of St. Constance and St. Thecla, both are profitable schools and are being strong armed into joining this FrancisGlobalThing. Since their managements refused, they were both made an offer, a PUBLIC one at that, that they could not refuse, namely this: if their budgets “slipped” they would not only be PROHIBITED FROM BORROWING MONEY FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE, but WOULD BE CLOSED if they “slipped into the red“.
In other words, if your budget or enrollment “slips”, you will FAIL (DESPONDENCY). And even if you survive, you will still eventually FAIL because just like with vocations (forecasts) and experiences in other ZombieArchdioceses™, “history is against you” (DESPONDENCY).
So what is in fact happening is that the ZombieBishop Cupich is threatening economically viable schools just because they don’t want to join his “end of an era” for the Far Northwest Side of Chicago project.
And this Neo-modernist’s weapon of choice is…