Crisis on Kansas City-St Joseph

The survey of US dioceses has hit print, courtesy of Crisis. Rock seems to think well of it. Sherry has issues, pretty much the same as mine. But I was interested to see how Kansas City-St Joseph fared.

First, they missed our other city, St Joseph. Seeing as how my baptismal patron lost his proper listing, that’s one big strike.

The survey compares two moments, 1995 and 2005, pretty much the episcopate of Bishop Boland, our recently retired prelate. Given the rejoicing across the St Blogosphere for our new bishop, you’d think KC-SJ would be in the tank. But no.

Under Boland, Crisis tells us we rose from a bit below the middle of the pack, #109 out of 176 to #43. Only thirteen dioceses had greater improvements. And we rank number one in RCIA receptions.

I think you need a lot more than ordinations, clergy ratios, and RCIA receptions to rate dioceses accurately. The survey authors concede they couldn’t take into account the devastation in many dioceses hit hard by clergy and bishop scandals. As long as we realize this piece is a start to the conversation, not the ned, it might be an interesting piece to figure out why we Catholics aren’t doing nearly as well in a lot of areas as we could be.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Crisis on Kansas City-St Joseph

  1. Tony says:

    I once heard the Church described as the spokes of a wheel with God at it’s center. As we get closer to God, we get closer to each other.

    I think the major focus of “spirit of Vatican II” theology has turned to the opposite. In other words, we get closer to God as we get closer to each other (through social justice, deemphesizing the priesthood, removing the concept of sin so we all feel good about ourselves, etc).

    I believe this is wrongheaded, and the diocese and parishes which get closer to God (through right teaching, devotion to the blessed sacrament, the blessed mother, communion of saints, etc.) will be the parishes which foster more butts in the pews, and more priests in the sanctuary.

    Now you can skew the goals to redefine what you consider as a “vibrant” parish, but that’s simply declaring success by moving the target in the way of the bullet.

  2. Liam says:

    A story related to my point:

    A family member of mine works at a Fortune 500 company, for about a year. He and his partner have been together over 20 years, and were and remain each other’s first and only loves. For their 20th anniversary last year, they exchanged rings. My family member told me that women in his office rather suddenly started treating him with greater warmth. One of those women told him that the ring was a sign to the women of the office that he was not a divorced-or-single reject, that he was OK, so they changed their assumptions about him.

    When I heard this, I was floored. But it was my naivete that was at fault in not understanding the depth and breadth of cultural programming we get.

    Think about how much unhappiness and misery it brings in its wake. A beautiful, shallow image with an very dark and violent shadow.

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