For those who say we are now living in the greatest age of the Church, let us consider the numbers below, just for the dioceses of the United States during the reign of Pius XII [Eugenio Pacelli]. They are remarkable, to say the least -- if the canonization of a Pope also takes into consideration the appraisal of his pontificate (other than his personal holiness and his prophetical wisdom, both of which are irreproachable regarding Pope Pacelli), then these surely deserve observation:Adfredo concludes:
While all these numbers may make one yearn for the Church of old, a few of them are truly staggering for the modern mind to comprehend in today's Catholic-lite world: a 200+% increase in American converts; a nearly 250% increase in seminaries built; a 200+% increase in seminarians; and a 50% increase in priests. All of this happened over Pius XII's glorious 19-year-reign.Related: Rita Ferrone, "Room at the Font: Is the RCIA Still Working?" (Commonweal, April 22, 2014):
While we do not question the canonization of a saint, we can say, looking at these numbers, that there is a strong case to be made that the lineup on April 27 is short one great man.
From 2005 to 2010 adult baptisms fell by 41 percent. Those losses were masked by a gain in adult receptions into full communion; then those totals began to fall too.