Dom has some good thoughts about the Crisis magazine report about so-called “healthy dioceses,” linking to some responses the Crisis solicited. Dom highlights, and so do I, this comment by Russell Shaw:
Consider: Of the three criteria used in ranking sees, two (priestly morale and priestly vocations) concern clerics, while the third (“effective evangelization”) refers to newcomers to the Church. None reflects the situation of the great majority of Catholics—the longtime lay faithful. Casual readiness to disbelieve, as manifested by the moviegoer quoted above, is typical of an alienated, marginalized, and apparently large segment of this mass. But the laity doesn’t make it into the special report.