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Church needs a Fulton Sheen

The devastating news out of the empire to the north is that all of the Dunkirk, Fredonia and north county Catholic Church’s, with the exception of that strange building on Central Avenue, will close. It is reminiscent of the arrogant closing of Mindszenty High School in 1979. One can argue that Mindszenty needed to go. It was the local canary in the coal mine, where the reforms of Vatican 2 took root in fertile ground with some very morally questionable ordained clergy staffed there.

The Catholic Church lacks strong leadership at every level, from local to Rome itself. Where are the Fulton Sheens or Padre Pios of our church? That of course presupposes that the destruction of the church is not intentional, and there are indications that it is. The recent video announcement by the Bishop of Buffalo Michael Fisher regarding pending closures did not evoke feelings in me that I would follow this guy to the buffet line, let alone through the rigors of spiritual warfare. In Buffalo that has been the rule regarding our “Shepherds,” not the exception.

We seldom recognize God’s plan but the current situation is part of it. Within Marian apparitions and prophecies we are told that the church will virtually disappear but in the end the gates of hell will not prevail against it. What we can see is virtually no children at Mass with the exception of our Hispanic community. Those at Mass are predominantly, like me, old with gray hair. Where are the children? Where are their parents? The grandparents are there. No children, no future. No Catholic education, no Catholics. No children, no priests.

What we are seeing are the results of the “long game” played by Marxists and masonic influences within the church that was set in motion by Vatican 2, an ecumenical council that took place from 1962 to 1965. This was instituted to address the needs of “the modern world”. The Sacrifice of the Mass was changed from Latin to English, but more significantly the rite was changed. This effort was led by Cardinal Bugini, who investigators and witnesses have provided strong evidence of membership in freemasonry. As a child I remember the heated exchanges between my father and my grandmother after Mass concerning the changes. Ahhh yes, destruction and disharmony in the family, all hallmarks from below.

What the Council has given us is worldliness, with its downstream effects of immorality in our lives and in the clergy, the elimination of Catholic education (and hence the children), declining attendance at Mass, and too much irreverence in church by many who are there. Instead of being a bulwark against the excess of the world the church has become its cheerleader.

Parishes in other parts of our country that embrace tradition are thriving. Young priests are generally embracing tradition more than their predecessors.

If these young priests will embrace tradition and develop Fulton Sheen-esque leadership skills we can survive. A strong laity that will hold the line is as important. We have been abused too long in every which way imaginable in our community by Buffalo. No more free-rides, no more second collections for anything that isn’t local. We can pray,…preferably the rosary every day. Attending Mass, going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist worthily are key. Don’t leave the church. Stay and fight.

That would be like giving the abusers a “two-fer” of abuse and the destruction of soul by leaving. The reformers can leave. Personally, I’m not going anywhere.

It is interesting that all of the traditional buildings, art and architecture are slated for elimination, yet Mass-in-the round stays, along with its guitars and felt banners.

I have an idea. Close Holy Trinity.

They already had the nerve to chip the words Holy Trinty off the school building. Let’s keep St Hyacinth’s, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Saint Anthony’s. House retired clergy in the very suitable rectory and convent buildings.

George H. Burns III is a Fredonia resident.

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