There's been a lot of talk lately about proselytizing, the "new evangelization," etc. Many of these same people who think the Church has it all right now say that the Church was broken pre-Vatican II. That no one understood the Latin Mass and it had to go. That the rigid Church turned off non-Catholics and that the firm stand against false ecumenism was a barrier to great conversions of non-Catholics.
A priest reader of Rorate recently saw a 1959 version of the Kenedy Directory (now The Official Catholic Directory) for sale and purchased it. As the priest tells us: "Much to my joyful surprise, there was a beautiful tribute page to Pope Pius XII, this being the first Directory published after his death."
For those who say we are now living in the greatest age of the Church, let us consider the numbers below. They are remarkable, to say the least:
While all these numbers may make one yearn for the Church of old, a few of them are truly staggering for the modern mind to comprehend in today's Catholic-lite world: a 200+% increase in American converts; a nearly 250% increase in seminaries built; a 200+% increase in seminarians; and a 50% increase in priests. All of this happened over Pius XII's glorious 19-year-reign.
While we would never criticize the canonization of a saint, we can say, looking at these numbers, that there may be one venerable former pontiff who is conspicuously missing from the lineup on April 27.