Tradition is the future. Authenticity continues to bear fruit wherever it is permitted to take root and grow. While many within the Church still seek to limit (or in some cases even suppress) the Traditional Roman Rite and its accompanying spirituality and formative influence, it’s growth in recent years is having immediate and measurable success throughout the world. The most recent example of this is France.
As reported today by the Catholic Herald U.K. (from a La Croix article), French ordinations in 2018 paint a very clear picture as to where vocations are booming, and where they are a bust. Not surprisingly the trend is consistent with what we’ve seen elsewhere. Tradition (authenticity) is literally the future of the Church.
According to the Herald, 20 percent of the 114 men ordained to the priesthood in France this year belong to traditional or classical orders or societies. One out of five. These include three ordinations for the Institute of the Good Shepherd, two for the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) and two for the Institute of Christ the King.
Compare this with the diocesan parishes, firmly grounded in the Novus Ordo Mass and post-conciliarism, where approximately 60% of the country’s 96 dioceses have zero ordinations this year. Zero. In 58 French dioceses. Zero.
As we have touched upon repeatedly here, the truth, beauty, and goodness of our Catholic faith attracts. It attracts men to hear the call to the priesthood, giving their lives in service to The Lord and Holy Mother Church. Young women also hear the call to the religious life in traditional parishes and chapels.
Despite the resistance of many within the heirarchy, even to the point of active suppression of traditional orders, the momentum is on the side of recovering authenticity. Restoring the Sacred is a movement of the Spirit. Thankfully more are beginning to discern this and are cooperating with the Holy Ghost.
Let us pray that those slow to rediscover authenticity begin to recognize what is happening. With humility and true charity may more of our shepherds support the resurgence of tradition by providing greater availability to the Traditional Mass and those orders and priests who offer it. And with this support we will begin to see an increase in ordinations, in Masses offered, confessions heard, orthodox formation, and a fighting chance for western civilization to rebuild its Catholic foundation.