|Where have all the young men gone?|
Certainly not to the Knights of Columbus!
The song asks, "Where have all the young men gone?" Catholics could well ask that question of their bishops. The attack on the faith doesn't just involve an attack on doctrine, the liturgy, reverence, etc. It's an attack on manhood.
In my own parish, most of the lectors, cantors, and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist are women. We don't have altar girls, thank God, but adult men seem to have disappeared from most parish roles outside the Knights of Columbus. And even that organization looks more and more like a refuge for the geriatric set. In Europe the pews are empty except for old women fingering their rosaries. Thank God for grandmothers, but our boys need male role models vigorously defending the faith. There's a man crisis in the Church and that translates to a Catholic crisis in the family. [Read more here.]
The female-dominated Church is so common that, when my husband and I travel, I sit up and take notice when a man walks to the lectern. Generally women do the readings and the altar girls outnumber the boys, if, in fact, there are any boys at all. I can think of one exception. When we visit our daughter's TLM parish in a Pittsburgh suburb, the "woman's place" is in the pews and most sit there with their children, all the girls in dainty chapel veils that make them look like little brides.
At the entrance hymn one can hear women in the congregation singing, but during most of the Mass male voices from the schola fill the Church with Gregorian chant. The sanctuary sans women reminds one of the Last Supper where Jesus presided with his twelve apostles. The altar BOYS impress one with their reverent service to the priest who is alter Christus (another Christ). My son-in-law sits with his notebook during the sermon (obviously not from the internet!) recording things he wants to remember and reflect on during the week.
The liturgy is ground zero in the war against the Church. And there at the TLM it is the men who are the warriors protecting their families. The TLM is their boot camp and training mission. We know some of the families at our daughter's parish and see them raising the troops who will defend the faith in the next generation. Praised be to God!
Yes, we are in a war. And we can't allow the war of attrition to continue, where our men called to serve are fleeing the field. The next battleground is the muddy rainforest of the Pan-Amazon Synod. If the Church wreckers get their way, the celibate priesthood will get the axe and women deacons will ascend to high places in hopeful preparation for women's ordination, an impossibility. Men will continue to run from a feminized Church that treats them as expendable and homosexuals and metro-sexuals in roman collars will happily celebrate the exodus of real men from their effeminate enclaves. Those of us who care about the future of the Church need to resist, hold our ground, and work to regain the field calling our men to be the real men God calls them to be!
Indeed, "where have all the young men gone?" And what can bring them back?