Still thinking about Werribee Mansion and Catholic decline in the West. A few observations:
- As a movement you could be at the height of “success” but a decade away from serious decline. It's the “failure of success” syndrome.
- In fact, when the world changes it is the institutions with huge investments in buildings and in outmoded educational models that have the most to lose and are the last to change.
- The decline in numbers training for the priesthood cannot be explained by external factors alone, such as the secularism of the West. The turnaround was not gradual. It was sudden. At the same time other Christian movements were growing. There are internal factors at work. The same internal factors that are at work in the demise of Catholic religious orders in the West were impacting the recruitment and retention of priests.