Can Catholic Church find a correct path?

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A recent Associated Press Story that appeared in the OBSERVER concerned the possibility that the Catholic Church in the U.S. is becoming more conservative. The story did not indicate how widespread this movement is or where it is occurring.

However, I know that some conservative Catholics have felt that Vatican Council II in attempting to make the church and its teachings more relevant in the modern world severed vital connections to the Church’s past. In their view the council caused many of the problems the Church faces today characterized by declining Mass attendance and negligible vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

I want begin by stating that I am a Catholic. I attended Christ the King Seminary, not as a candidate for the priesthood, but to earn a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from that institution. I have worked within the Church in both voluntary and paid positions.

I was Baptized, made my first communion, memorized the Baltimore Catechism, and was Confirmed in the pre-Vatican II church and have lived the last 60 years in the post Council Church. They are different animals.

In the old church I was an Altar Boy at a time when girls need not apply. Catholic women could not be on the Altar at any time except when they cleaned the altar on Saturday. Females also had to wear a hat or a lace mantilla at Mass or if those were not available, they could make do with a piece of Kleenex that hopefully had not been used.

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