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[Image: Archbishop Dennis Schnurr (Archdiocese of Cincinnati video screen capture)]

By Eric Sammons, Crisis Magazine, Oct. 14, 2021

Eric Sammons is the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine. His most recent book Deadly Indifference (May 2021) examines the rise of religious indifference and how it has led the Church to lose her missionary zeal.

Earlier this month the Archbishop of Cincinnati announced 
his plan to restructure the archdiocese in light of changing demographics and the declining number of priests. The goal: to reduce the number of parishes by 70% over time.

Pause for a moment and reflect on that: a major United States archdiocese plans to shut the doors of 7 out of every 10 existing parishes. If you weren’t convinced the Catholic Church was in a state of crisis, then surely that number should wake you from your slumber.

It’s easy to criticize the plan, and it’s easy to lay blame. It’s also tempting to play “What If?” What if the Spirit of Vatican II were a spirit of faithfulness and orthodoxy, rather than a spirit of chaos and destruction? What if bishops and popes had acted quickly and decisively to stop priestly abuse? What if the liturgical reforms that followed Vatican II actually followed Vatican II? …

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