Scots Bishop: young must save Church

Scots Bishop: young must save Church

Does anyone seriously think that contemporary youth is equipped to “save the Church”?  Aren’t they kinda tied up saving the planet?  And doing Facebook and stuff? 

Some extracts from this Scottish Catholic Observer report follow [with editorial comment]

Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.

The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said.
[Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]

Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]

Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]

Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]

Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead.  A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer


Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…

Comments (22)

  • Helen

    Judging by the poll results on this page there are an awful lots of numpties out there! Or are they simply mischief makers?

    When I finally woke up to the fact that I was only a Catholic in name, I was truly shocked. I couldn’t understand how I didn’t seem to know what some of my aunties, uncles an grandparents knew. It all came out a a New Year’s party when two of my uncles were discussing “the ruination of the youth” and how they didn’t even know about “custody of the eyes”. The WHAT of the eyes? said I. Well bit by bit a lot of stuff came out and I knew in my heart that I didna ken muckle, as they say around here! I had been to a Catholic school and our family were faithful churchgoers but there it ended. I might have well have gone to any school, of any denomination or none!

    As I progressed in knowledge and practice of the Faith I felt, still do in fact, a burning anger (righteous, I hope!) at how our Bishops have let us down. Do they even care? Really? When will they get off their episcopal backsides and LEAD the people? That’s what crofters (shepherds) around here do. Imagine letting the sheep do the leading? That so ludicrous that it’s hilarious. If any of you ever worked with sheep you’d know just how hilarious it is! Hope this works! The shepherd aka Bishop. The dogs aka priests. The sheep aka us.

    March 20, 2018 at 10:36 am
    • Lily


      Great video and the behaviour of the shepherd and dog is just what we are talking about with regards to the bishops/priests – they go their merry way and leave the sheep to it!

      March 20, 2018 at 9:59 pm
  • chloe

    That video was very funny, but sadly reflects the state of the Catholic Church in many cases. Can you imagine if Doctors suddenly decided to ask their patients for advise/treatment we would have no other word for them but “Quacks”

    When St John Vianney first went to Ars, very few people went to Church, the French Revolution had also played a pivotal role in destroying Catholicism. The great saint, undeterred worked earnestly in bringing all back to the faith with very long hours in confession and hard- hitting sermons. The Devil himself remarked:-

    “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined!”

    Now where there is no love for the faith, there is no zeal. Priests also need our prayers today more than ever.

    A Prayer for Priests

    O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them.
    Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body.
    Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood.
    Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.
    Let Thy Holy Love surround them from the world’s contagion.
    Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister
    be their joy and consolation here and their everlasting crown hereafter.

    Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us: obtain for us numerous and holy priests. Amen.

    March 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm
    • Dano

      A truly wonderful prayer

      March 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm
  • Dano

    I enjoy this blog, even though I often disagree with Ed, and other contributors, but the one thing I think we could all concur with, is the need to pray for our priests. It makes perfect sense that they would be Satan’s prime targets, in order to destroy the Cathollic Church. With the decline of prayer over the past 3 or4 decades, this has sadly been clear to see. So the onus falls upon us, who still belief in the power of prayer, to CONSTANTLY call on the Holy Spirit to protect and guide all the Clergy, that they may in turn, protect and guide their flock along the true path of righteousness.

    March 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm
    • editor


      I’d be interested to know what it is that I write that gives you cause to disagree with me?

      Don’t get the wrong idea – I’m not annoyed with you or anything… Just curious…

      March 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm
    • westminsterfly

      Human Life International published a message to bishops and a litany to pray for bishops a while back. It can be found here:- (2 sided leaflet)

      March 20, 2018 at 4:41 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I hate to be cynical again, but I’m so good at it, why not….(that opening video is perfect!)

    “Paisley,” as in the clothing design, carries with it, in America, numerous evocations of the 1960s: hippies, Woodstock, free love, drugs, rock ‘n roll, Eastern religions and the Maharishi, tune out/tune in/turn on, etc. The revolutionary decade that was ignited by the assassination of President Kennedy and the Vietnam War…and, though I didn’t know it then, an even more devastating revolution accomplished in the Church.

    So when I read that the Bishop of “Paisley” said these embarrassing, completely idiotic things, my first reaction is to smirk about hippies and revolution. Don’t bogart that joint, Your Excellency: pass it over to me….(everybody in the Scottish episcopate sing along, now….)

    My second reaction is to compare what he said to what Pope Francis has been blathering about ad nauseam for this so-called “Youth Synod,” and it is just a variation on the same theme: the Church has nothing to offer you, but we are good listeners, so fire away!

    The truth is exactly the opposite: these clergy have absolutely nothing to offer Our Lord, His Church or to her faithful – except betrayal. They should just keep their mouths shut, go on a long retreat, and learn to practice Carmelite mental prayer, if they can ever get past contemplating their navels and their benefices.


    March 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I enjoyed that nice easy tune! I confess, though, that I had to Google “Bogart that joint” to confirm my wild guess – and I was right (yet again… gets wearing, this business of always being right, even when I don’t really know something, if you get my drift…)

      Personally, I’d have gone for “I did it my way” because that’s what these bishops seem determined to do; no matter how dire things get, no matter how often it is pointed out to them that the only way to restore the Church is to restore the Faith and the ancient Mass which nourished saints and gave us martyrs throughout the history of Christendom, no matter how often… they are determined to do it their way. And I fear that not even those chilling opening words will make them think again… Here’s Frank…

      March 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      RCA Victor,

      I agree about the opening video being perfect – I am stunned that any adult, let alone a bishop, would think young people could “save the Church”. It is completely mad. They don’t know the first thing about the Church. If they’ve been brought up in the new Mass how can they? But give Bp Keenan his due – he did say he was going to bring Pope Francis’s vision of the Church to Paisley when he was made the bishop there, and that’s what he is doing. It’s truly unbelievable.

      March 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm
  • crofterlady

    Oh man, that brought old Frankie back 😑 I just loved his music..

    March 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm
  • Helen

    Hahaha, VISION? Hilarious! Even better than the sheep…….Baaa

    March 20, 2018 at 8:39 pm
  • Lily

    33% of the voters in the poll, think it’s a great idea to have young people running the Church, LOL! What’s wrong with them!

    I’ve not met any young Catholics in a long time who have the foggiest about why they are Catholics and they think the Church is all about helping the poor.

    How can young people who have no knowledge of the faith and no track record of practising it, be asked to “save” it, whatever that means!

    I think the bishop is grasping at straws, wants to be seen to be trying to do something about the decline of the Church in Scotland and he’s hit on this silly idea. It’ll come to nothing, IMHO.

    March 20, 2018 at 9:57 pm
  • editor

    It would be interesting, would it not, to discover Bishop Keenan’s reaction to this news – I think it is safe to assume that he will be in favour…

    March 21, 2018 at 8:34 am
  • gabriel syme

    I see the SCO has subtly changed its article from “the young must save the church” to “leadership roles for laity needed to save Church”.

    Clearly ‘Catholic Truth’ is having an effect!

    Regardless of how its pitched, the scheme boils down to ‘pander to the lay people and make them feel important, in the hope they might stick around’.

    Only a return to proper catechesis and practice will save the Church.

    People must understand what the Church is and why it should be important to them. People must feel that they have something to “live up to”, and feel challenged by their faith.

    That’s what I love about the SSPX – any time the priest ascends to the pulpit, you know he will say something that is challenging to the congregation. Go to confession. Pray the rosary. Do penance. You are re-motivated at every mass.

    As for the new SCO headline: if the lay people are to be leaders, what is the point of the Bishops? (You wonder if they ever think these things through, before publishing them?)

    March 21, 2018 at 9:13 am
  • Josephine

    It’s totally ludicrous to suggest that young people take leadership roles in the Church or save the Church, whatever, because they’ve not been taught the Catholic faith. Doesn’t Bishop Keenan know that? He’s young enough himself to know that there is something wrong with the teaching in Catholic schools (and seminaries!)

    I also wonder if the bishops think things through – frankly, I don’t think they do, they just rush to grab a headline – even if it’s changed later, LOL!

    March 21, 2018 at 9:16 am
  • RCAVictor

    All this pandering does have a long-term purpose (the short-term purpose being simply “popularity,” aka human respect). The long-term purpose is to create the illusion of a populist surge of lay opinion regarding the teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church that her enemies want eliminated.

    In other words, those enemies think they can disguise their destruction with “this is the will of the people,” or some variant of that lie. That is straight out of the Communist playbook – e.g. “the People’s Republic of China.” Communist playbook? Pope Francis and his crew of Marxist thugs? No!

    As for what the growing tide of the faithful really want, I’d say it would be useful, for starters, to compare attendance at diocesan churches with attendance at traditional chapels.

    March 21, 2018 at 1:26 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I once belonged to a parish in England with an outright Modernist (succession of) parish priest(s). Surprisingly, the church was always packed on Sundays.

      Not so the queue for confession, of course, and even the shortest conversation with some of the “faithful” revealed an ever-growing gulf between their way of thinking and Catholic teaching. Not even when a “former” priest from a nearby parish turned up with his live-in mistress and he, together with their several children, joined the queue at Communion (to receive the standard “blessing” – as if God could possibly bless his situation) did anyone bat an eyelid. On the contrary, I was on the receiving end of some unpleasant verbal abuse when I dared to express my concerns at this scandalous state of affairs (excuse the pun!)

      So, I’m not sure it’s so much to do with the emptying churches (although that is becoming more and more the case) – the comparison you suggest might be revealing, that’s true; but what would definitely highlight the crisis would be some kind of questionnaire/survey of the “views” of contemporary church-going Catholics. Anecdotally, we know there is a huge gap between Christ’s teaching and the everyday Catholic in the pew who has gone along with the “reforms” (revolution) of Vatican II, but a formal statement of the schism in some form of survey would help those of us trying to explain to those outside the Church that what they are witnessing in the diocesan parishes is not, repeat not with bells on, authentic Catholicism.

      Today, the news comes through, for example, of the Pope’s planned visit to Ireland – where they’ve now legalised same-sex “marriage” and are about to hold a referendum to legalise abortion. ‘Twill be very interesting, then, begorrah, to see how much the view from the pew coincides with papal opinion – “close” I’d say… To the best of my knowledge, Papa Francis has not said not a word about the same-sex “marriage” victory for the LGBT lobby in Ireland and I doubt if he will say anything about the abortion referendum, certainly if there is a YES vote. If (as we hope and pray) it turns out to be a vote to save the 8th amendment, and thus, save countless babies’ lives, he just might use that to affirm that Ireland still represents sound Catholicism, never mind that moral issues such as abortion are not, per se, “Catholic” issues. Plenty of Protestants and others will vote against repealing the 8th amendment – only today I received an email from a Protestant group raising funds to support the pro-life cause in Ireland right now. We know what they think of the abortion referendum in Ireland – we’re still waiting to hear from Pope Francis on the subject.

      Tragic times – but then, again, we have the privilege of living through this turmoil and must thank God for the grace to see it for what it is, because we may, hopefully, make a difference to others because of this grace. I’ve had the great privilege, in recent days, of meeting with people who are not Catholics, but, certainly in one case at least, showing an interest in learning more about the truths of the Faith and the crisis in the Church – please pray for these good souls.

      Meeting these good souls has reminded me that the one thing that the Modernists forget is the simple fact that human nature does not change; that, as Sacred Scripture teaches, God has placed the desire for knowledge of Him in each and every human heart. There’s no way round that truth – which means they’ve lost the war before they begin, notwithstanding their apparent victories in a number of battles along the way.

      Christ the King, WILL reign supreme! To quote the great G.K. Chesterton about the Catholic Church which he held up as a bastion of orthodoxy (written before his conversion, when he was yet an Anglican):

      ““It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

      March 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Also from the SCO, here is the Church preparing the youth to “save the Church”.

    Young kids being taught “Christian meditation” (the posture of which is strongly reminiscent of Buddhism) by a casual dressed “meditating priest”.

    Then, when they reach maturity, the Church will claim to be genuinely puzzled as to why these kids show no interest in Christianity and appear ignorant of even the basics.

    This reminds me of the classic proverb regarding use of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets:

    “Rubbish** in, Rubbish out.”

    The meaning is, of course, if you enter rubbish into the spreadsheet to start with, then you will get nothing but rubbish back from it. What a good analogy for this type of Christian ‘formation’.

    **when I first heard the saying, there was a much cruder term – rhyming with kite – used instead of “rubbish” but obviously that is wholly inappropriate here, even if extremely apt for this meditation lark.

    March 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      There’s another saying which springs to mind, not unlike “rubbish in, rubbish out” – popular in the world of executives preaching the need for change to their middle managers, and it is this: If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting.

      In this case, for bishops to continually pass the buck and lay responsibility for the restoration of the Faith onto the shoulders of those who have not been taught it, then they’ll keep on getting empty churches and disaffected youth…

      March 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm
    • Lily

      Gabriel Syme,

      That is a terrible scandal – that young girl is sitting in a “Yoga” position and so it has nothing to do with Christian meditation. Yoga is diabolical and that priest should be ashamed for introducing children to it, even if he’s not calling it that.

      I wonder, would it ever occur to that priest to teach the children the rosary which is the meditation Our Lady wants.

      March 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm
  • Helen

    Gabriel, thanks for the SCO article. Wouldn’t that photo of the peedie lass meditating with outstretched hands just break your heart. She looks about 6 years old, the same age as my firstborn. Tragic. Poor, and possibly, soon to be, lost soul to the Faith of Ages.

    March 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm

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