chapter  1
8 Pages

Destabilization of Structures in the Local Church

ByAndrew M. Greeley

In The Catholic Revolution theory, based on the "event sociology" propounded by William Sewell (1996) that Vatican Council II was a revolutionary event that destabilized the structures of the Catholic Church—habits of routine behavior and supporting motivations. If one grants the theory of the curialists that nothing has changed, one must contend that tremendous destabilization has occurred around the Catholic world. In 1970 there were 1141 diocesan priests, 8331 religious women, and 1607 seminarians in the Archdiocese. In 2006 there were 839 priests, 2397 religious women, and 348 seminarians. If ever there was evidence of destabilization of structures, it is to be found in those numbers. Churches that were packed on Sundays are half-empty. Rectories, which once housed four priests, have only one. More than half the priests are from outside of the Archdiocese, most of them from outside the country.