Some images from the 1970's that I was exposed to in my parish growing up, in my seminary and elsewhere. This dying breed is rallying for the last hooray prior to their timely demise. But it won't work, view the last picture for the victory that awaits the patient.
This was actually one of our text books in our Spirituality class at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore in the 1970's. The author, Matthew Fox left the Church some years later. The cover of the book really does say it all and is a symbol for much of the stupidity of the 1970's that still is around today but dying.
While I have read this book and some of it is based upon St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore of the late 1960's and very early 1970's (before I got there (BIGT)it is much exaggerated in many places in the various chapters, but still offers some kernel of truth about that era and the silliness and decline and fall of a great number of seminaries. These once powerful seminaries are no longer, having shut their doors due to declining numbers and bishops who refused to send their men to these institutions and men who refused the priesthood and/or religious life because of the sullied reputation these once great institutions began to earn.
I'm a baby-boomer and experienced the "spirit of Vatican II" which began around 1966 in my neck of the woods in Augusta, Georgia. I would have been 12 years old and in the 7th grade when the Mass began to change. But it would be the late 60's and early 70's, my high school years, when silly experiences of the Mass really became in vogue, not only in Augusta, but around the world as reported in the various Catholic newspapers our parish had available to parishioners.
There are many in the blogosphere who dismiss the concept of causality. Causality is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is a consequence of the first. These dismissive individuals in the Church usually are born post 1970's. They have no recollection of the Church prior to the "spirit of Vatican II" and pontificate on recent Church history from the 1950's until the present as though they have first hand experiences which of course they do not. They do not believe that the silliness in the Church of the late 1960's and 70's and the misinterpretation of the documents of Vatican II have anything to do with the decline in Mass attendance from its peak of about 90% of all Catholics in the 1950's to its current low today of about 25% of all Catholics involves any of the chaos that those who pushed the "spirit of Vatican II" during those years. They say there is no cause and effect in other words.
These people are not only naive,they are dead wrong. The intentional, informed liberals of the Church in the 1960's and 70's epitomized by that powerful minority who wrote/write for the National Catholic Reporter, are indeed the clique of individuals that oversaw and promoted the great "deconstruction" of the Catholic Mass, Catholic culture, Catholic religious orders and seminaries, Catholic unity and Catholic pride. They wanted/want an ecumenical Church where Catholic tradition and culture was purged that made us more palatable to the Protestant world. They want a "false egalitarian Jesus" where He was no longer believed to be the exclusive way to heaven, but just one way amongst many ways in the various religions and no-religions of the world.
The liberalism of those who promoted and continue to promote "the spirit of Vatican II" which has little or nothing to do with the actual documents of Vatican II and subsequent authoritative teachings of the popes since that time, has led to a loss of Catholic identity and culture that continues to afflict and divide Catholics today. It has led to lukewarm Catholicism, Cafeteria Catholicism, indiscriminate support for those who have apostatized from Catholicism but continue to demand that the Church change to their apostasy.
One symbol of displacing Jesus as the most unique figure in salvation history was/is the shift in the academic world of theology of using the terms BC and AD (Before Christ and In the Year of the Lord (Anno Domini). The newer term more palatable to our non-Christian friends and thus more interfaith and ecumenical is BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (the Common Era).
I intentionally single out the National Catholic Reporter because it was viewed as the "Palm Reader" of the future Church by a very large and significant number of priests and nuns (religious orders) of the 1970's. You were square if you did not subscribe to the National Catholic Order, I mean, Reporter and allow its editorial positions to become your dogma. The National Catholic Reporter had/has more influence on priests and nuns than any other newspaper, but their influence is on life-support today. I kid you not. This newspaper did and does have some of the most fringe, loony type contributors writing for its pages, except for John Allen who is sane and balanced in his writing and destined for greater things than what one blogger calls the National Catholic Fish-wrap, but I digress.
Today, these aging liberals, again epitomized by the National Catholic Reporter and their editorial positions, want to deconstruct the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of Marriage to conform to the "false egalitarianism" of allowing people to redefine these sacraments according to their own political agendas, i.e. women priests, same sex marriage and sexuality not based upon chastity, but individualized amorality. They use sin and sinners in the institutional Church, which our Lord came to forgive and redeem, to undermine the authority of Pope Benedict and the bishops in order to promote the liberal's warped agenda. They dispise what they call "patriarchy," and the "out of touch" hierarchy of Rome and other places.
There are many hotspots of the cultural clash between authentic Catholicism and those who espouse a neo-liberal Catholicism. The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis is a prime example. There is a small, vocal minority of so-called liberal Catholics taking issue with the Archbishop in terms of the Church's teaching on the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman for a life time as well as other sexual issues of the day. You can read about it at the two following links, simply press the sentence:
NO LUKEWARM CATHOLICS
ARCHBISHOP HAS TO DEFEND IS POSITIONS SUPPORTING CATHOLIC TEACHING ON MARRIAGE TO OTHER CATHOLICS!
NOW READ WHAT THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER ALLOWS ON ITS PAGES, ANTI-CATHOLIC DRIVEL!
This is what the neo-liberals in the Catholic Church fear the most, a revived traditional Catholicism with its distinct identity in our secular culture and a proud heritage that is embraced today.
Two excellent videos on the culture war the Catholic Church is fighting today as it regards the nature of marriage in our American culture: