One of the long-standing critiques of religion made by modernists has been that as modernity spreads, orthodox religion would die. It was made in the 1920s. It was made in the 1960s. It was made in the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s still being made today.
While dissidents within the Church may try to use this year’s low numbers in New York to bolster their calls for women’s ordination and a removal of the celibacy requirement for priests, the latest data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) reveals that ordination rates to the priesthood are at a 20 year high. Last month, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Traditional Catholicism is Winning,” Anne Hendershott and I argued that there are real signs of renewal within the priesthood. Moreover, these priests are attracted to the priesthood because they are fully committed to the teachings of the Church and desire a lifestyle that demands them to be counter-cultural.