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“Silver and gold I have none…”

I believe that the apparent decline in Catholic Church attendance is owed far more to the Church’s loss of secular power and influence in modern history than in any liturgical changes–as if people thought Mass was cool and exciting before Vatican II.

When the Church’s spiritual power was entangled with secular power, Church membership was a means of social mobility. One could not afford NOT to be a Catholic in good standing. Today, if you’re not interested in the spiritual blessings of the Church, there’s nothing to attract you.

As the secular world changed outside the Church, the Church’s leaders prepared the Church to lose the secular support that caused the Church to appear to be much stronger than it actually was. Over the last 200 years (not 60), we have watched the Church’s secular influence reduced to what is more and more a Church like that of the Apostles: simple and spiritual.

St. Peter again says to the world, “Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee.” (Acts 3:6)

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