Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi, = Lex Provendi

This is a very very important subject.
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 It may be a bit heady and boring to study, but is the crux of the problem all of us traditional catholics have experienced in the church and are trying, with God’s help, to correct.  So please be patient and study this well.

Parroquia de JalosWe need to do go the root of the problem of mass desertion from the church, mass distortion of the catholic teachings, and the immoral way that most catholics are living today.

My hypothesis is this: since we have stopped offering the Tridentine mass and the other Tridentine rites ( e.g.  Baptism), and began offering the Novus Ordo Mass and rites, (Lex Orandi), that this change in how we pray (Lex Orandi), has caused the great exodus of catholics from the church and the dissension of most catholics with catholic teaching like birth control, same sex marriage, abortion, and divorce (Lex Credendi).

pius xii paintingThis ancient catholic saying “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” means “As we pray so we believe”.   I think that the second part “Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi” which means “As we believe so we live”was added on later.

The original saying was by Prosper of Aquitaine from the 5th century; “ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi”.  This means “that the law of praying establishes the law of believing”.  How we pray and what we pray will effect what we believe.  What we believe will have its effect how we live.  I made up the last latin word “Lex Provendi” to say that “the proof is in the pudding” (the law of proof).   So to prove if the content of prayer and the way we pray is correct, we will see that our beliefs are correct.  If our beliefs are true we will see fruits in how we live everyday.  If we are praying wrong we will see bad fruits.

Padre Pio manipleSo, being a stickler on empirical evidence, I want to empirically show, with statistics, that because we changed our Holy Mass and other catholic rites, that most catholics do not believe in what the catholic church teaches and therefore are not living as catholics.  The other empirical statistics are abundant when it comes to catholics falling away or not practicing the catholic faith since the liturgical change to the New Mass and Rites.

Empirical statistics on the Catholic Church the United States of America from cara.Georgetown University study 2012.

Priests. In 1965, 58,632   in 2012, 38,964. By 2020 over half will be over 70.

Ordinations. In 1965, 994 new priests ordained.  In 2012, 480 new priests ordained.

Parishes. In 1965, 549 parishes were without priests.  Today 3,389 parishes with out.

Graduate-level Seminarians.  In 1965 there were 8,325.  In 2012, 3,723.  In 1965 there were 600 seminaries.  Today 189 seminaries.

Women Religious.  In 1965 there were 179,954 sisters.  In 2012, 54,018.  Average age 68.

From other sources;

Mass attendence.  Gallop Pole showed that 1958, 3 in 4 catholics attend Sunday Mass.  Now Notre Dame Univ. found that 1 in 4 attend.

Annulments.  1968 there were 338.  In 2002 there were 50,000. (Kenneth C Jones)

Catholic women make up 31% of the U.S. population and account for 31% of abortions.  From Alissa J. Rubin “The Catholic Abortion Paradox”.

Marriages.  I tried googling marriage statistics and only came up with older statistics that show a steep decline in catholic marriages.  But as a pastor for 10 years, I witnessed a huge decline in marriages.  Most couples today just live together and maybe later on will get married civilly and have a con-validation ceremony in the church.

the_flagellation_of_christ 2So the verdict is in and it is not good.  Malum Lex Orandi, Malum Lex Credendi, Malum Lex Vivendi = Malum Lex Provendi.  Bad law of prayer = bad law of belief = bad law of life = bad statistics.

If the content of our catholic prayers and liturgies are correct, you will see correct catholic beliefs in the catholic people.  If our catholic beliefs are correct we will see catholics living holy lives.  I think we all traditional catholic agree that for the good of our beloved catholic church, we need to return to the Mass of all Ages and the other Tridentine Rites and we will see a reverse in the decline of our church and correct beliefs amongst the faithful.  And the final result will be happier souls and families.  God, Mary, St. Joseph will be happy too.