Back when Pope John Paul II died, I let myself be bothered by all the media coverage. I heard that the new pope, Joseph Ratzinger, was known as a conservative figure, and went on to read one of his books, written before getting the big job. I don't remember the exact quote, but he said in some place that the modern liberal assault on Christianity will continue, and the Church will continue losing numbers. But a small core of believers will remain, and after liberalism collapses, he foresees that small core of hardcore Christians to rise again and rebuild the world.
Of course he doesn't say that now that he is pope. But I thought his thinking interesting. If you think about it carefully, it's not only Church attendance what has decline in the last century. Public morals have collapsed, and taste in art has also declined precipitously. Does the Church really want to be relevant in a world in which people don't have manners and artists build ugly stuff?
Few churches have been built in the last century, but see the few that have been done.
Basilica of our lady of Guadalupe, Mexico.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool
Church of the Holy Trinity in Fatima
Hideous stuff. That's what modernity does to you. I hope that St Peter sends those responsible to burn in Hell for all eternity.
Mr Ratzinger must know that the Church is better off with its elegant decay. Modernity is toxic.