Preface

Recent Developments

                This book was written before some recent very significant and unfortunate developments within the Catholic Church. One of these developments was the release of the July 27, 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on child sex abuse within six Pennsylvania Catholic Dioceses and the second was the release of the August 22, 2018 Testimony by Archbishop Vigano, Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana regarding serious allegations of sex abuse and the related coverups by officials of the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

                The immediate statements by Cardinal DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Review Board (a lay member only Board) about their commitment to fully investigate these allegations is reassuring, but it remains to be seen what will come of such investigations. We believe that everyone should resist the temptation to make premature judgements about these allegations. Please give very serious study to the Conundrum section of this book and let GOD judge the individuals involved even as we might condemn the actions of those same individuals. This will not be easy.

                This book will not analyze or discuss either of these two documents. However, we believe that it is important for all Catholics to read both of them. They can be easily found on the internet. Also, learn the meaning of “Clericalism” which we first heard of reading Vatican materials about this matter. It might very well be part of the problem. It is also important to realize that these two documents might also underscore the need for the Catholic Church to make some very big changes, even some of those suggested in this book.

                One thing is certain. We all need to continue our unwavering belief in our faith and pray a lot more for our beloved Catholic Church and clergy.

Continuing

It is really risky writing about The War Against Catholicism in America.  Risky because we love our Catholic Church, all the clergy and worry that we may offend some very loyal and well-meaning Catholics and our beloved clergy. However, we have no agenda other than to do whatever we can to help the Church and motivate others to continue the cause.

This book is for everyone (not just Catholics) who believe in a GOD, believe in good vs bad, believe in truth vs falsehoods, believe in charity vs selflessness, believe in love vs hate and more.

We could have very easily titled this book “The War Against God” because the War is clearly not just about Catholics and not just about America. However, we know little about other religions and very little about religion in other countries. Therefore, we have decided to only write about Catholicism and America.

There are many very qualified and educated Catholics in the USA, but for whatever reason we cannot find where any of them, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), have proposed actionable solutions to the Church’s problems. We believe there are many potential solutions and this document describes many of them in detail. Now we recognize there are many wonderful suggestions by groups such as the Cardinal Newman Society and The Dynamic Catholic Institute that have spoken up about various solutions, but unfortunately these proposals are not very actionable at all levels of the church.  The USCCB, which is the only group that has the authority to make a difference, has obviously not stopped the bleeding.

WARNING! This document, especially some of the suggested solutions, will be inherently controversial. Audacious even? Yes. That is inevitable because any change will be resisted by both laity and clergy.  However, this is not meant to be critical of our beloved priests who are devoting their lives to “Following in Jesus’ footsteps”.

This project came about because of our efforts to help two Catholic parishes we belonged to with their strategic planning efforts. Who are these audacious authors and what credentials do they have that makes what they write even worth reading? Good question. The authors have had a long lifetime of both observing and participating in Catholicism at many parishes in the U.S. and have been involved in a number of consulting and strategic planning efforts both within a former International accounting firm, where we were a partner for over twenty years and with entrepreneurial and other clients and then many other organizations. The combination of the intellectual discipline from being a practicing CPA and many years of business experience provides the main credential for tackling this problem.  If anyone wants to know more they can go to this web site http://www.rolandgley.com. 

It became obvious to us that the methodology for successful planning was essentially the same for all planning. After doing a little research, we realized that many aspects of Strategic Planning for Catholic parishes and all Catholics were universal and thus we decided to put our ideas in writing and make them available to all Catholics and the public by printing the booklet “Planning for Catholics” and posting it on its web site.

Originally, we believed that the solution to the Catholic Problem was simply better and more strategic planning. However, as time has gone by and for the most part the effort to instill a planning mentality in some of the Church’s institutions has gone nowhere, we realized that the solutions to the Problem required more than just better planning and, in fact, required a broader range of solutions. We have come to realize just how naïve we have been and that actually there is and has been a war going on against Catholicism and all Christian and God fearing religions. This has led us to believe that the Catholic Church in the United States needs to partially reinvent itself. Better planning is still a big part of the solutions, but we also need-

  • To recognize that Catholics and many others are in a war against evil forces,
  • better communications,
  • better training and education for our wonderful clergy,
  • better use of modern management practices,
  • much better marketing of our “product”,
  • more consistency in promulgating our beliefs, a change in attitudes of our clergy and all practicing Catholics,
  • a strong authoritative and charismatic leader who will fight for and speak out in defense of Catholic beliefs,
  • higher level of commitment to the Church’s universal mission and
  • finally confronting the alleged, but false, conundrum of welcoming all while still fiercely defending and promulgating our beliefs.

 All are critical to success and winning the war.

It should also be understood that this document only attempts to deal with the Catholic Church in the United States and not the Catholic church worldwide, even though some of the problems, causes and solutions for the United States may also apply elsewhere in the world or even worldwide. Also, this document should not be a reflection on anything or anyone in our current parish nor the many very good people who do not belong to any church or religion.

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Anyone or any organization can use the information contained in this document in any way they wish, but not for profitable purposes without charge. To obtain permission for usage they need to contact the owner using the contact information contained on the inside cover of this document. 

If anyone finds this information useful and deserving of some type of payment, they may make a donation using the DONATION button below (Internet version only at Planningforcatholics.org), to the following 501(c)3 organization, Planning for Catholics Inc. 100% of any such proceeds, in excess of direct costs, will be used to help needy Catholic Parishes or other Catholic entities, hire professional facilitators for their planning effort.

Acknowledgements

Thanks first to a beautiful, patient and all around great wife for putting up with our spending many hours on the computer researching, writing and editing this book. Also, thanks to many lay friends, family and members of the clergy for their review comments and encouragement to move ahead with this project